Dundee 3
Dundee United 0
League (Premier League)

3 - 0
Dundee Utd 

League (Premier League)
Wednesday, September 20th, 2000
Dens Park
Attendance: 9,838
7:30 PM Kick-off

Juan Sara (47)
Juan Sara (80)
Juan Sara (88)

Team Managers
Ivano Bonetti
Alex Smith

Starting Eleven
1. Robert Douglas
5. Marco De Marchi
2. Barry Smith
6. Steven Tweed
8. Ivano Bonetti
29. Alessandro Romano
10. Giorgi Nemsadze
14. Gavin Rae
12. Shaun McSkimming
7. Fabian Caballero
9. Juan Sara
Alan Combe .1
John Licina .28
Hasney Aljofree .14
Stéphane Léoni .12
Jason de Vos .5
David Hannah .4
Hugh Davidson .26
Jamie Buchan .24
Joachim Fernandez .6
Mvondo Atangana .15
Steven Thompson .19

3. Jamie Langfield
20. Lee Wilkie
18. Javier Artero
11. Willie Falconer
16. Michael Yates
Paul Gallacher .13
David McCracken .32
Craig Easton .7
Kevin McDonald .35
Alphonse Tchami .10

Lee Wilkie for Marco De Marchi (38)
Javier Artero for Fabian Caballero (65)
Craig Easton for Hasney Aljofree (19)
Kevin McDonald for David Hannah (49)
David McCracken for Hugh Davidson (66)

None. John Licina (27)
Hugh Davidson (30)
David Hannah (44)
Kevin McDonald (69)

Red Cards
None. Jason de Vos (55)
Match Officials

Stuart Dougal (Referee)
Andy Davis & Roddy Cobb (Assistants)
Mike Ritchie (Fourth Official)

Match Report

A second-half hat-trick from Dundee's less heralded Argentinian striker, Juan Sara, ensured the derby bragging rights will stay with those of a Dark Blue persuasion for a few weeks more at least.

Three-nil winners when the sides met at the venue in Jocky Scott's swanson at the end of last season, the Dark Blues survived both a first half onslaught from the visitors and the loss of their prize asset Fabian Caballero to record what was ultimately a comfortable victory.

As before they were aided by a United sending off with Jason de Vos red-carded just after the hour for the tackle which ended Caballero's contribution.

It was a contentious moment for many felt the man at fault in the double tackle had in fact been debutant Kevin McDonald and in the rammy that followed, Dundee assistant Dario Bonetti was also sent to the stand.

All that mattered little to Sara though as he slotted home a right foot shot and two headers to send the home fans into raptures.

"I needed that for in recent games I had been missing many chances which I should have scored," said the born-again Christian.

"That time was not easy for me but I put all my faith in Christ, who is my strength, and with his help I have come through it."

The cliche of a game of two halves certainly applied for United dominated the first 45 minutes.

A Marco de Marchi foul on Mvondo Atangana saw Robert Douglas forced into a save from his own defender Stephen Tweed while a second set piece conceded by the Italian resulted in Joachim Fernandez blasting over.

Douglas was soon called back in action having to pull off a double block to deny first Atangana then Thompson as the visitors threw everything forward in the hope of getting a breakthrough.

Better was to follow for the away fans with the Cameroonian striker smashing the ball off the crossbar with an overhead kick that was all the more impressive for the fact he lost his footing while waiting for Stephane Leoni's cross from the right.

Even the loss of Hasney Aljofree to an injury picked up while making a last-gasp tackle on Sara didn't slow them with Craig Easton curling a delightful shot onto the bar.

Dundee, though, had hinted at their attacking capabilities, notably with Sara heading wide after fine play by Fabian Caballero and De Marchi going close from a wicked Bonetti corner, and were to take the lead on their return.

Caballero was the creator with a 25 yard shot that skidded off the ground and bounced off the chest of Alan Combe. Sara was first to the rebound but, with Combe recovering to narrow the angle, he still had some work to do. To the delight of the 7000-plus Dark Blues support, he did it in style clipping the ball beyond the keeper and into the corner of the net.

Sara beat Combe again minutes later but this time the goal was chalked off for an infringement.

Just as the visitors began to settle United suffered the loss of their captain. Substitute McDonald was at the centre of a stramash in midfield, incensing the home players with a late tackle on Caballero that resulted in the Argentinian being stretchered off.

De Vos had made the initial tackle on the Dundee striker but, at worst, had committed a basic foul and a gasp went up when up when it was he who was shown the red card by referee Stuart Dougal and not McDonald.

For Dundee boss Ivano Bonetti, though, justice was done.

He said, "They tried to kick Fabian two or three times before that so what happened was right," he said.

"My brother was right in front of the incident and he was very angry for he knows that Fabian is a very important player for us who we cannot afford to lose for five or six months.

"We will have to see how his knee injury progresses but the first signs are encoraging and it could be he will not miss out."

With numerical advantage, Dundee pushed forward time and again and in the 79th minute got the killer second courtesy of Georgi Nemsadze who left the United defence trailing in his wake shimmying first one way then the next, before picking out Sara unmarked at the edge of the six-yard box.

As before, the Dundee forward made no mistake heading powerfully past Combe. After that it was always going to be a case of how many with Sara helping himself to a third two minutes from time, Artero the supplier.

"Very hard to take,” was how United manager Alex Smith summarised the night. "We gave them an absolute doing in the first half but have gone behind to another mistake and then lost our captain.

"I didn't think that Jason deserved to go off for the lad McDonald (who suffered concussion as a result of two head knocks) but the referee saw it differently. Unfortunately it is Dundee United who had to pay the price."

In addition to De Vos' sending-off Dundee's player manager was booked (foul on Hannah) as were United's Hannah (foul on Bonetti), McDonald (tug on Rae), Leoni (lunge on McSkimming) and Licini (foul on Sara).

Match report written by The Courier

Squad Statistics (as at September 20th, 2000)

2000-01 All Time
Robert Douglas (GK)28 10 - 130 -
Marco De Marchi - 6 - 6 -
Steven Tweed28 10 - 603
Barry Smith26 10 - 1891
Shaun McSkimming30 5 - 927
Gavin Rae22 6 - 1108
Giorgi Nemsadze28 10 - 10 -
Alessandro Romano30 4 - 4 -
Ivano Bonetti - 7 - 7 -
Juan Sara23 106106
Fabian Caballero22 9595
Lee Wilkie (sub)20 51321
Javier Artero (sub)25 91182

League Table (as at September 20th, 2000)

No league table has been added for this season.

Manager's Programme Notes

Much has been made of the fact that we have failed to win any of our last three games, but looking at it from a more positive angle, we didn't lose any of the game and the overall performance of the team was quite good.

Certainly, against Rangers in the last home game, I felt that we coped well with the champions in what was a good passing game, which admittedly lacked real goalmouth action.

Perhaps the most pleasing aspect from our point of view was the patience and strength of character we showed to come from behind and equalise against such a strong side.

Perhaps the most pleasing aspect from our point of view was the patience and strength of character we showed to come from behind and equalise against such a strong side.

At Perth last Saturday, we passed the ball around quite well in spells, particularly in the opening half-hour, but there was something lacking in the final twenty metres.

Hopefully, however, after working on our finishing we can put that all behind us by taking our chances in this evening's rearranged derby.

Whilst, of course, this is a lot of the player's first experience of a Dundee derby, there is no lack of experience of such occasions within the side.

I, myself, have played in a Genoa - Sampdoria game and I can assure you that they don't come anymore passionate than that!

Dundee United maybe struggling in the league so far, but that will mean little in the context of tonight's game from which regard taking three points as absolutely vital.

And not just because of the city pride which is at stake.

After only taking three points from our last three games, it really is vital that we get back on a winning track.

We must be looking to distance ourselves from the bottom teams, but at the same time close the gap on the ones immediately above us in the league table, so that we can keep on course for a top six placing when the league splits later in the season.