United ease into last eight
Sat 2nd Feb 12.45pm
New manager Jackie McNamara enjoyed a winning start as Dundee United breezed past the challenge of third division leaders Rangers in their Scottish Cup fifth round tie at Tannadice.
Home striker Johnny Russell scored within a minute to give his side an early ascendency and Jon Daly doubled their lead before the break. Russell later added his second with eleven minutes remaining and the visitors then saw Kal Naismith and Ian Black sent-off.
Rangers had refused to take up their ticket allocation for the tie as a response to United's opposition to their application to join the SPL after severe financial problems. And their missing fans were probably grateful within thirteen seconds as Russell fired beneath goalkeeper Neil Alexander following defensive uncertainty.
Andy Little dragged across goal in reply before goalscorer Russell headed Willo Flood's deep cross wide as the hosts chased a second. Daly then headed on for Russell to glance another opportunity against the crossbar while ex-United striker Francisco Sandaza nodded wide at the other end.
But the hosts extended their advantage when Daly headed Flood's deep 39th minute free-kick past Alexander to give them a clear lead at the interval.
Rangers were soon forced into a couple of substitutions but improved following the break with both Black and David Templeton having decent efforts until Daly set-up Russell for his second of the afternoon as the final ten minutes approached.
The Ibrox club's misery was then completed as Naismith was dismissed for a challenge from behind on Flood, and the substitute was soon followed by Black for a second bookable offence against John Rankin.
Dundee United: Cierzniak, Watson, Dillon, Gunning, Douglas, Flood, Rankin, Armstrong (Ryan 67), Mackay-Steven (Gardyne 67), Russell, Daly
subs (unused): Banks, McLean, Millar
Goals: Russell (1, 79), Daly (36)
Rangers: Alexander, Faure, Cribari, Perry (Hegarty 41), Wallace, Hutton, Black, Templeton, Little, Sandaza (Naismith 45), Shiels (McKay 73)
subs (unused): Gallacher, Crawford