Tangerines in second-half blitz
Tue 21st Feb 7.45pm
Dundee United rattled in four second-half goals without reply against ten-man Kilmarnock to exchange places with them in the table.
The visitors had Liam Kelly dismissed for a foul on Gary Mackay-Steven soon after the break and Jon Daly converted from the subsequent penalty.
Paul Dixon quickly added another from distance before John Rankin and Scott Robertson helped their side towards their biggest home win of the campaign.
Skipper Daly knocked an early chance over after decent work between Sean Dillon and Johnny Russell and later sent another opportunity wide, while Russell went close following a Dixon cross.
Midfielder Rankin also lifted a free-kick narrowly over with goalkeeper Cammy Bell out of position, whilst attempting to simply give possession back to the opposition.
The Tangerines had enjoyed most of the play during the opening half without finding the target but they weren't forced to wait for long following the restart.
First busy keeper Bell kept out Rankin twice before also denying both Robertson and Russell.
But the departure of Kelly allowed Daly to open the scoring from the spot before Dixon's shot from distance escaped through Bell's arms just a couple of minutes later.
Bell did though prevent Rankin making it three from similar range, although the former Hibs man wasn't about to be denied and struck a 70th minute finish into the top corner after Bell punched away Willo Flood's corner.
Fellow midfielder Robertson then exchanged passes with substitute Stuart Armstrong to complete the damage with six minutes remaining.
Dundee United: Pernis, Neilson, Dillon, Gunning, Dixon, Flood, Robertson, Rankin, Mackay-Steven (Ryan 82), Daly (Lacny 75), Russell (Armstrong 80)
subs (unused): Banks, Watson, Douglas, Dow
Goals: Daly (pen 56), Dixon (58), Rankin (70), Robertson (84)
Kilmarnock: Bell, Toshney, Hay, Fowler, Nelson, Gordon, Sissoko, Kelly, Johnson (Van Tornhout 59), Shiels (Dayton 74), Heffernan (Kennedy 70)
subs (unused): Letheren, Kroca, McKeown, Racchi
Ref: C. Thomson