Livi boss Davie Martindale made five changes from the side that lost to St Johnstone last weekend. Jon Guthrie and Josh Mullin were welcome additions to the starting eleven as they returned from injury, while Jack Fitzwater Julien Serrano and Craig Sibbald all earned a starting berth.
The game got off to the worst possible start for Livingston, as after just 51 seconds the hosts were in front.
After a slack pass from Max Stryjek followed by some very poor defending, Jamie Robson cut the ball back for Adrian Sporle. The Argentinian took a touch by his man, and from close range stabbed the ball into the roof of the net to give his side the lead.
If conceding in the first minute wasn’t bad enough, the visitors lost their striker on 12 minutes through injury as Scott Robinson couldn’t continue. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas replaced him.
The Lions had a couple of half chances, and had the majority of the ball after United’s opener, but were not clinical enough.
Trailing by a goal, Livi were handed a lifeline on 31 minutes when Peter Pawlett was shown red by referee Nick Walsh for a late tackle on Jason Holt.
But, this only spurred Micky Mellon’s side on as just four minutes later they doubled their lead.
After miscommunication by Holt and Nicky Devlin, Ian Harkes took advantage of a loose ball. The American slipped in Lawrence Shankland with a lovely weighted through ball, and the striker made no mistake one on one with Stryjek, slotting the ball coolly beyond the goalkeeper.
On thehour mark, things went from bad to worse for the Lions when Jack Fitzwater received his marching orders from referee Nick Walsh. The defender was adjudged to have denied an obvious goal scoring opportunity, and Livi lost their one man advantage as they tried desperately to get back in the game.
If they weren’t already, the three points were sealed seven minutes from time as Shankland grabbed another. The Scotland international worked a yard inside the box, shifting the ball onto his favoured right foot before curling a brilliant effort into the far corner to make it 3-0.
It was an afternoon to forget for Livingston, who had now suffered back to back defeats. A tough trip to Paisley to take on St Mirren was to come the following week, with the Lions needing to restore a bit of confidence before the upcoming Betfred Cup Final.
Dundee Utd: Siegrist, Smith, Sporle (⇔ Harkes 34), Reynolds, Pawlett ▊, Edwards, Robson, Butcher ▊, Shankland, Appere (⇔ McNulty 78), Fuchs ▊
Subs not used: Deniz, Connolly, Clark, Hoti, Bolton, Mochrie, Neilson
Goals: Sporle (1), Shankland (35 & 83)
Livingston: Stryjek, Devlin, Fitzwater ▊, Guthrie, Serrano, Bartley (⇔ Lawson 71), Holt, Mullin, Pittman (⇔ Poplatnik 64), Sibbald ▊ (⇔ Kabia 64), Robinson (⇔ Emmanuel-Thomas 12)
Subs not used: McCrorie, McMillan, Taylor-Sinclair, Ambrose, Forrest
Referee: Nick Walsh
Match Report: Calum Brown