A former Rangers forward and a player linked with Ibrox both scored for Dundee United in a hugely significant derby win over Dundee on Friday evening.

With United already top of the league heading into the fixture, the onus was on the hosts to grab three points.

Former Rangers midfielder Graham Dorrans was in action for Dee. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Yet, after a cagey first half, the Tangerines showed superior quality in the second.

A poor challenge in the area from Declan McDaid allowed Nicky Clark, who played for the Gers between 2013 and 2016 the chance to break the deadlock from the spot in the 56th minute. He kept his cool, sending Conor Hazard the wrong way and dispatching the spot-kick into the bottom right corner, much to the delight of the away supporters.

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Eight minutes later, prolific centre-forward Lawrence Shankland, the boyhood bluenose who Rangers reportedly scouted earlier in the campaign [Daily Record], secured the points.

Pouncing on a mistake in possession by Andrew Nelson, he battled past a defender before giving the keeper the eyes and tucking a left-footed finish into the bottom right corner.

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On BT Sport commentary, Chris Sutton called it a “calm, cool, composed finish from a natural-born finisher” as the 24-year-old sprinted off to the corner flag to celebrate.

Shankland’s goalscoring exploits in the second tier have brought him international opportunities. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It’s his 19th strike in 18 appearances in all competitions since moving to United, to go alongside his goal for Scotland against San Marino last month. 

He has his detractors, but he continues to prove his prowess in front of goal by delivering week in, week out.

Crucially, the win takes United nine points clear of third-placed Dee and six points ahead of Ayr United, who travel to Queen of the South this afternoon.

After several years of failing to return to the top flight, the Tangerines look best equipped to take the Championship crown, especially after passing this significant test.

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