So what did Friday’s derby at Tannadice tell us and what have we learned from an eventful first month of the league season?
To take the most obvious first, it’s probably been that predictions this season’s promotion race in the second tier could well be a two-horse race may prove to be more than a little optimistic.
Because, after only four games, the Tangerines look to be the only thoroughbreds in it and appear more than capable of streaking away from the rest of the field.
Never mind the crushing 6-2 defeat of their city rivals and touted main contenders at the top of the table, all four of their outings so far have been mighty impressive.
Two home games have seen them brush aside fancied opposition in the Dark Blues and Inverness with ease, scoring 10 and conceding just three goals.
Just as he did when in charge at Hearts for the 2014/15 campaign, boss Robbie Neilson has not just put together a very useful team, he’s got his timing spot on.
Back then, the Jambos – facing a tougher challenge with both Rangers and Hibs in the division – got off to a flying start by winning their first four outings.
His current team have equalled that feat and will go one better if they win down at Ayr in the middle of the month.
Already they have the look of a team that’s going to be very hard for the rest to keep pace with and, if September proves to be as good as August was, by the end of it automatic promotion will be theirs for the taking.
Rightly, of course, Neilson has stressed there is a long way to go and challenges, possibly even tough times, will lie ahead.
Privately, though, he has to be delighted with the start and feel the squad he’s assembled is capable of going the whole league season without suffering any more than one or two defeats.
That’s not something any other manager in this division will feel, simply because the other nine outfits all have the look of typical Championship sides – all capable of winning on any given day but also liable to lose a few.
That’s certainly the case with Dundee, who’ve looked decent at times but showed on Friday they’re both inconsistent and fragile. Right now, boss James McPake must be scratching his head about that.
Against Aberdeen in the Betfred Cup, his men came within a whisker of beating one of the country’s top teams.
In the league, though, it’s been a different and worrying story. For 44 minutes in their opener they were in danger of being swamped by a Dunfermline side whose movement and pace they seemed to have no answer to, before rallying in the second half to earn a draw.
If that first-half showing at East End Park was a warning future such lapses would prove costly, it was not heeded.
After just over half-an-hour of the derby they were right in the game, maybe even a touch unlucky not to be ahead, but the loss of four goals in 13 minutes left them battered and badly bruised.
With so many changes needed over summer, the early weeks of the season and even within games, that inconsistency was going to be a problem.
However, Dundee were hammered by United and, given the quality of player they have, however new a team this is, it was an unacceptable outcome.
It should also be said not many teams suffer the kind of beating the Dark Blues did against United and finish a season at the top of their league.
Just one win from four games has to have Dee fans worried.
Turning things round is going to take character. The one big hope they might be clinging to at the moment is that’s something their manager has in spades.