Lies, damned lies and statistics. Someone famous said that a long time ago, though they don’t seem exactly sure who.
Whoever it was, he or she might have had Dundee United’s win over Ross County in mind.
Because while the Tangerines’ bubble didn’t exactly burst, the basic stats of the 90 minutes suggest it might be leaking slightly.
After a five-game run that had seen them score four or more each time, United ‘only’ got one goal to beat County and make it six wins on the bounce.
As anyone who’s witnessed those victories will testify, that stat paints the wrong picture.
Because while the goal tally was greatly reduced, this was the game where Jackie McNamara’s men dominated most.
They battered County from start to finish. The score may have been close but, in terms of quality, these teams were light years apart.
After a horrendous sequence of results that had seen his team draw once and lose six times, visiting boss Derek Adams decided to park the bus.
Not only that, he didn’t allow a single member of his team to get off it.
From early on, his players were simply kicking the ball into space in the United half.
He might argue it was what gave his team the best chance of taking a point. Reality is he knew they would lose again but he wanted to make sure United didn’t hit their usual high scoring form.
It was depressing stuff.
But let’s not dwell on that. It’s the season of goodwill and there was also plenty of good in the United performance to focus on.
Not least was their continued knack of finding a way to keep playing attractive and effective football, whatever the opposition came up with in an attempt to stop them.
County did a good job of denying the home side’s flair players space.
They couldn’t be everywhere all the time and the United reaction was simple but ultimately effective.
Others stepped up and many of the attacks stemmed from the rearguard and, in particular, midfield anchormen.
John Rankin was excellent, as he usually is, but this time he was outshone by Paul Paton, whose tackling was fierce but fair and his use of the ball was outstanding.
He’s made a seamless transition from the lower leagues and perhaps the biggest compliment he can be paid is to point out United are not missing Willo Flood.
Patience was also a key factor and United kept doing the right things.
They were rewarded for that with Gary Mackay-Steven’s fine winner. Indeed, given County’s negative tactics, you might even say they got justice.