Hearts maintained second place in the SPL with a convincing victory over Aberdeen at Pittodrie.
The home team were rightly disappointed to have emerged from the game with nothing after playing some exquisite passing football in the first half and competing well throughout, but in the end they were undone by opponents who had a superior goalkeeper and goalscorers. Despite dominating the first half, the Dons were much more on the back foot.
It was a simple move that led to the opener, in direct contrast to the multi-pass movements with which Aberdeen had tried to unpick their opponents. On 64 minutes, Paul Hartley drifted a free-kick to the back post, and from four yards out Christophe Berra headed in.
Hearts substitute Deividas Cesnauskis made an instant impact to put his side two up with 14 minutes left. The winger won possession in midfield, flicking the ball over ex-Jambo Scott Severin to Saulius Mikoliunas. Advancing into the box, Mikoliunas crossed low for Roman Bednar, who rolled it back with the sole of his foot to Maurico Pinilla. The Chilean took it first time, leaving Jamie Langfield no chance.
Pinilla made another positive contribution five minutes later, putting Mikoliunas through on goal. The Lithuanian finished confidently with a low shot.
Substitute Dyron Daal scored the Dons’ consolation goal in the 82nd minute. Two minutes later, Pinilla saw red for a second booking.
Hearts: Gordon, Tall, Wallace, Pressley, Zaliukas, Berra, Mikoliunas, Hartley, Bednar, Pinilla, McCann.