Billy King scored an early winner to lift spirits at Tannadice with a 1-0 victory against Championship leaders St Mirren.
He converted Paul McMullan’s low third-minute delivery to leave the visitors still waiting to confirm their title success.
The Tangerines’ recent form has been dreadful but they produced the ideal start as McMullan crossed for King to drill them into an immediate advantage.
Both Lewis Morgan and Adam Eckersly went close in reply before Danny Mullen crashed against the underside of the crossbar following Ryan Flynn’s cross.
Danish striker Thomas Mikkelsen responded directly at Buddies goalkeeper Craig Samson, who then superbly turned aside from Sam Stanton.
However, his opposite number Daniz Mehmet continued to remain well-protected, and the visitors must now try to secure the title at home to second-placed Livingston this weekend.
Dundee United: Mehmet, Ralston, Mohsni, Durnan, Murdoch, Flood, Stanton, McMullan (Briels 86), Gillespie, King (Glass 90), Mikkelsen
subs (unused): Scobbie, Robson, Lewis, Smith, Mason
Goals: King (3)
St Mirren: Samson, Smith, MacKenzie, Davis, Eckersley, McGinn (Sutton 74), Magennis, Flynn, Smith (Hippolyte 80), Morgan, Mullen (Reilly 64)
subs (unused): Demetriou, Baird, McShane, Stewart
Ref: A. Dallas