Dundee United 0-2 Hibernian: Jack Ross’ side reach Scottish Cup final

Kevin Nisbet scores for Hibernian against Dundee United
Kevin Nisbet scored his 18th goal of the season and had a hand in Hibs’ second

Hibernian reached the Scottish Cup final for the first time since their historic 2016 triumph with a deserved victory over Dundee United.

Kevin Nisbet’s calm finish from the edge of the box gave Jack Ross’ side a merited half-time advantage.

Christian Doidge was offside when he found the net after the break but the goal stood to double Hibs’ lead.

Lawrence Shankland was denied by Matt Macey as United tried unsuccessfully to mount a comeback.

St Mirren and St Johnstone contest Sunday’s semi-final, with the final scheduled for 22 May at Hampden with no fans in attendance.

Having ended a 114-year wait to win the trophy for the third time in 2016, Hibs now have the chance to win the famous Scottish Cup trophy for a second time in five years.

Melker Hallberg thundered a shot wide and Hibs team-mate Nisbet’s effort on the turn suffered a similar fate as Ross’ side tried to take control of the tie early on.

And they did just that after Liam Smith’s slack header out of the United defence was pounced upon by Jackson Irvine.

The Australian slipped the ball to Nisbet, who passed it precisely into the net from the edge of the box.

There was no immediate Dundee United backlash and Martin Boyle screamed in vain for a penalty when his cross appeared to be blocked by Mark Reynolds’ arm early in the second period.

Micky Mellon sent on Adrian Sporle in place of Nicky Clark in an attempt to revive United’s fortunes but they were soon two down, in controversial circumstances.

Neat interplay between Nisbet and Boyle put Doidge through and he finished well past Deniz Mehmet. However, replays showed the striker was clearly offside.

This time United did respond and Shankland met Marc McNulty’s cross to draw a save from Macey, quickly followed by a McNulty shot wide.

And Jamie Robson missed the best chance that came the Tayside club’s way, volleying past the right-hand post from Smith’s deep cross.

In throwing men forward, Mellon’s team were left light at the back and Irvine’s delicious through ball set Boyle in on goal, Smith and Deniz doing enough to force the ball wide.

A Nisbet free-kick struck the bar before the striker was replaced by Jamie Murphy as a precautionary measure, having picked up an ankle knock.

Murphy’s bending shot was superbly saved by Deniz as Hibs ran the clock down and a Shankland effort was deflected into Macey’s hands deep into stoppage time.

Man of the match – Jackson Irvine

Jackson Irvine and Callum Butcher
Irvine (left) was a constant menace to United and set up the opening goal

What did we learn?

Be it nerves or the slippy conditions, there was a hesitancy in the final third from Dundee United, best exemplified by Shankland electing to pass rather than shoot in an early advance.

Hibernian’s formation and in particular Jackson Irvine’s free role prevented United obtaining the sort of dominance they had enjoyed in their quarter-final victory over Aberdeen.

Ross had spoken about the soreness of two recent semi-final defeats and Hibs played like a team determined not to be on the end of another Hampden heartbreak.

And with Boyle, Nisbet and Doidge all into double figures this season, Hibs will take a fair bit of stopping in the final.

What did they say?

Poor decision went against us – United boss Mellon

Dundee United manager Micky Mellon: “We didn’t really turn up with the sort of personality that we’re used to. It looked like we were a wee bit standoffish, certainly in the first half.

“We came out second half and sort of half-an-hour onwards we looked a wee bit more like ourselves. A really poor decision goes against us.”

Hibernian head coach Jack Ross: “I would’ve taken any sort of win but I thought I got a win that was fitting of the levels this season.

“Really delighted for the players and staff. They’ve been outstanding for me all season. I believed the players would prove they were good.”

Hibs showed ‘strength of character’ – Ross

What’s next?

Both sides play their penultimate Scottish Premiership fixtures of the season on Wednesday, with Dundee United at home to Motherwell (18:00 BST) and Hibernian away to Aberdeen (19:45).

Line-ups

Dundee Utd

Formation 4-3-3

  • 19Mehmet
  • 2Smith
  • 12EdwardsBooked at 74mins
  • 6Reynolds
  • 17RobsonBooked at 77mins
  • 23HarkesSubstituted forPawlettat 60′minutes
  • 18ButcherBooked at 10mins
  • 66Fuchs
  • 9McNulty
  • 24Shankland
  • 10ClarkSubstituted forSpörleat 53′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Spörle
  • 5Connolly
  • 8Pawlett
  • 15Chalmers
  • 27Appéré
  • 28Davidson
  • 36Watson
  • 43Smith
  • 53Doohan

Hibernian

Formation 4-4-2

  • 33Macey
  • 6McGinn
  • 5PorteousBooked at 48minsSubstituted forMcGregorat 73′minutes
  • 4Hanlon
  • 25Doig
  • 10Boyle
  • 20Hallberg
  • 11NewellSubstituted forMagennisat 60′minutes
  • 36Irvine
  • 15NisbetSubstituted forMurphyat 84′minutes
  • 9Doidge

Substitutes

  • 1Marciano
  • 2Gray
  • 7Magennis
  • 8Wright
  • 16Stevenson
  • 18Murphy
  • 24McGregor
  • 52Laidlaw

Referee:
Bobby Madden

Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Dundee United 0, Hibernian 2.

  2. Second Half ends, Dundee United 0, Hibernian 2.

  3. Attempt missed. Lawrence Shankland (Dundee United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

  4. Attempt saved. Lawrence Shankland (Dundee United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  5. Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Jeando Fuchs.

  6. Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Calum Butcher.

  7. Attempt blocked. Jamie Murphy (Hibernian) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  8. Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Paul Hanlon.

  9. Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Deniz Mehmet.

  10. Attempt saved. Jamie Murphy (Hibernian) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top right corner.

  11. Attempt blocked. Christian Doidge (Hibernian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  12. Attempt blocked. Adrián Spörle (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  13. Substitution, Hibernian. Jamie Murphy replaces Kevin Nisbet because of an injury.

  14. Attempt missed. Martin Boyle (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  15. Corner, Dundee United. Conceded by Josh Doig.

  16. Christian Doidge (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Foul by Mark Reynolds (Dundee United).

  18. Jamie Robson (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

  19. Martin Boyle (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  20. Foul by Jamie Robson (Dundee United).

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