Paisley, Scotland (SportsNetwork.com) - Dundee United's six-match winning streak came to an end on Thursday at St Mirren as the club suffered a 4-1 defeat behind two goals from Steven Thompson.
United entered the day in second place on the strength of its six straight victories, but Thompson scored just 12 minutes into the contest to put the home side into the lead.
John McGinn doubled the advantage for the Saints in the 35th when he eluded a pair of defenders near the edge of the penalty area and beat goalkeeper Radoslaw Cierzniak.
United responded within a minute through Nadir Ciftci, whose shot was deflected by goalkeeper Marian Kello but ended up in the net after it spun back across the goal line.
However, the visitors saw their comeback attempt take a hit in the 70th minute when Keith Watson was sent off for a late challenge on St Mirren's Sean Kelly.
United paid almost immediately for the sending off with McGinn sliding a through ball to Jason Naismith which the defender dispatched beyond the reach of Cierzniak.
Thompson put the final stamp on the contest with his second goal of the day two minutes from time, with the result dropping Dundee United to fourth.
Celtic took advantage and extended its lead atop the league to 11 points as the Hoops got a goal from Virgil van Dijk in the fifth minute and made it stand up in a 1-0 win at St Johnstone.
Lionel Ainsworth's goal early in the second half was enough as Motherwell moved into second place with a 1-0 win at Aberdeen, third-place Inverness was held to a 0-0 draw at Partick Thistle, Kris Boyd netted two goals as Kilmarnock topped Hearts, 4-0, while Hibernian downed Ross County, 2-0, behind goals from Michael Nelson and Jordan Forster.