Dundee 4-0 St Mirren: Dundee hammer St Mirren to move fifth

Dundee put in a "complete performance" as they thrashed high-flying St Mirren at Dens Park to move two points off third place in the Scottish Premiership.

Stephen Robinson's side flirted with defeat before salvaging a draw with Hibernian in midweek, but there was little doubt about this result as Dundee went in at the break with a two-goal lead.

Amadou Bakayoko walloped in the opener before Zak Rudden netted from the spot on the brink of the break to give the hosts a comfortable cushion.

Bakayoko tapped in his second just before the hour mark, then Zach Robinson iced the cake with a fourth in the 85th minute.

"I thought it was as close to a complete performance as you can get," Dundee manager Tony Docherty said.

"It's a good day's work. We're in a good place. All we look for is constant improvement - we're getting that.

"The performance level today was outstanding. Another clean sheet. All the strikers got on the scoresheet. It was the endeavour and work-rate of the strikers that transcended onto the rest of the team."

Docherty's side became the first club outside the Old Firm to beat St Mirren the league this season, as they moved up to fifth.

Robinson claimed his team's performance on Wednesday night was one of the best of the season. It was a view few agreed with, but the mentality they showed was admittedly impressive.

That was distinctly lacking here, although they may well have been impacted by the sickness bug tearing through the camp in Paisley, which also stripped them of captain Mark O'Hara before kick-off.

The Buddies started sluggishly, just as they did against Hibs, and that showed when an Owen Beck corner wasn't cleared by Richard Taylor early on. The ball bounced to Bakayoko and he lashed it home from near the penalty spot.

St Mirren dominated possession for the rest of the first half but created precious little. Then they gifted another goal to their opponents.

Another Beck corner resulted in a clear handball from Marcus Fraser and Rudden rolled the ball in the spot-kick.

Four changes at half-time told you Robinson wasn't happy, but they didn't have the desired effect.

Twice Dundee picked off their visitors on the counter, firstly Bakayoko profiting when Rudden's shot was parried straight into his path.

Then the Sierra Leone international slipped Luke McCowan through when St Mirren had thrown bodies forward desperately. The creator cut the ball to second-half sub Robinson and he dinked over Zach Hemming.

Player of the Match - Amadou Bakayoko

Clinical Dundee carve sickly St Mirren apart - analysis

There's that old saying that the game is won in both boxes, and that was certainly the case here.

St Mirren knocked it about well, dominated possession, even got into good areas of the pitch on plenty of occasions. But once they were there, they were completely shut out by a dominant Dundee defence.

It's a backline that has kept six clean sheets this season - only Rangers have more.

That was a sharp contrast to the other end, where Dundee scored with almost every chance they created. Sure, they were gifted opportunities but they buried them with lethal attitude.

Four goals, all scored by strikers, will buoy their confidence and it is now increasingly hard to predict what they will do this year, in a season many expected them to struggle in.

St Mirren could well point to illness and match schedule. They did look tired. It's not a performance we've seen from them in a long time, and Robinson will hope we won't see it again for a while.

What they said

Dundee manager Tony Docherty: "We could have scored more goals today, but I'm not going to be greedy. We've got ourselves into a healthy position in the league, but we're only going to strive to get better.

"It feels like there is a synergy with the fans. I thought there was a real work ethic about the team. The crowd are seeing that."

St Mirren boss Stephen Robinson: "Collectively not good enough. We've started particularly well, there was always going to be an occasion where this happened. It happened today and we didn't see it coming. It's a wake up call for everyone to rest, come back and go again."

What's next?

St Mirren host Livingston after the international break on Saturday 25 November, while Dundee welcome Hibernian at the same time (15:00 GMT).