United cruise in SPL opener
Dundee United shook off their European hangover to beat Hibernian 3-0 at Tannadice and go top of the Scottish Premier League at the end of the opening weekend.
United were held to a 2-2 draw by big-spending Russian club Dynamo Moscow in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first leg on Thursday after conceding a stoppage-time equaliser, but they put that behind them with an impressive display against the Edinburgh club.
Johnny Russell, Jon Daly and substitute Michael Gardyne got the goals for Peter Houston's side, who will now travel to Moscow for Thursday's return leg in buoyant mood. United, tipped by many to be Celtic's closest challengers at the top of the SPL table following Rangers' demise, got off to a glorious start, taking the lead inside three minutes when Russell beat Hibs 'keeper Ben Williams with a neat close-range finish.
Houston had stuck with the same team that took to the field against Dynamo, but there were no signs of fatigue, and Russell could have added a second soon after only for Williams to this time make the save. Hibs' debutant shot-stopper was at it again shortly after the half-hour mark, this time reacting brilliantly to keep out a Daly header.
This was Hibs' first competitive game since losing the Scottish Cup final 5-1 to Edinburgh rivals Hearts in May but, despite the presence of three new signings, Pat Fenlon's team were once again very poor.
Russell missed another great chance to make it 2-0 after being set up by the impressive Gary Mackay-Steven five minutes into the second period but, just when it looked as if United might live to regret not adding to their lead, Daly headed home in the 74th minute after Hibs had failed to fully clear their lines.
And summer signing Gardyne then raced through unchallenged to add a third in stoppage time and take United above Celtic and Hearts, who both won on Saturday, in the fledgling table. Hibs failed to muster a shot on target and Fenlon must now lift his side ahead of a capital derby against Hearts next weekend.