Not content to simply level the Celtic legend’s tally of 158 – he ended the match having taken his own tally to 160 goals in Scottish football’s top-flight.
Damien Casalinuovo pulled a goal back for United and Steven Whittaker and Madjid Bougherra were also on the scoresheet but the night belonged to Boyd. The Scottish champions now boast a seven-point lead at the summit ahead of Sunday’s Old Firm derby, with the only sour point a red card for Kenny Miller which rules him out of the clash with the Hoops.
The breakthrough came when referee William Collum pointed to the penalty spot after Dods foolishly shoved Miller in the box.
Boyd stepped up for the spot-kick and rifled low into the net to hand the Scottish champions the advantage with 20 minutes gone. Boyd got his second after 25 minutes, firing home a free kick rolled short by Steven Davis.
With just 29 minutes gone, Boyd claimed his hat-trick to level Henrik Larsson’s record as the SPL’s top scorer with 158 goals. United pulled a goal back a minute after the restart.
Paul Dixon supplied a lovely cross for substitute Damien Casalinuovo to fire home from close range. The home side were dealt a blow when Miller was shown a straight red card for violent conduct with 51 minutes gone.
Sub Whittaker had an immediate impact when he claimed a goal after 68 minutes. Boyd then broke Larsson’s record with 75 minutes gone.
Not content, he claimed his fifth of the night when he rifled into the top corner from 12 yards. Madjid Bougherra ended the scoring with a low shot into the back of the net and seal an emphatic 7-1 win.
Meanwhile Hearts captain Michael Stewart spoiled Craig Brown’s return to management by hitting the only goal against Motherwell at Tynecastle.
Good work from Christian Nade allowed Stewart an easy finish late in the first half.
RANGERS: McGregor, Broadfoot, Bougherra, Weir, Papac (Smith 46), Lafferty, Davis, McCulloch, Novo (Whittaker 65), Miller, Boyd (Little 81).
DUNDEE UTD: Weaver, Kovacevic (Swanson 63), Dods, Kenneth, Dixon, Myrie-Williams, Dillon, Gomis (David Robertson 87), Buaben, Conway (Casalinuovo 37), Cadamarteri.
Ref: W Collum (Scotland).