David Templeton’s brilliant solo goal helped give Hearts a deserved derby win that left ten-man Hibs second bottom of the Scottish Premier League and nine points behind their Capital rivals.
Defeat for the Hibees left Colin Calderwood, who had kept faith with the line-up that lost narrowly to Dundee United the weekend before, with three straight defeats since succeeding John Hughes as manager.
Hearts, meanwhile, moved into fourth place, justifying Jim Jefferies’ decision to ring the changes by introducing Templeton, Stephen Elliott and Ian Black in place of Calum Elliot, Suso and Darren Barr.
Hibs made the more lively start, although they were unable to create anything clear-cut within their Edinburgh rivals’ penalty box.
They were restricted to a couple of high balls from set-pieces aimed at Sol Bamba, the defender failing to get sufficient purchase on his headers to threaten the visitors’ goal.
Templeton cut in from the left wing to fire a drive from 25 yards straight at goalkeeper Mark Brown as Hearts at last threatened after 16 minutes. But Hibs did not heed the warning as the winger netted a stunning solo goal three minutes later.
The 21-year-old again cut inside and shrugged off the challenges of Daniel Galbraith, Michael Hart, Bamba and Liam Miller before tucking a cool, right-foot finish low past Brown from just inside the penalty box.
Calderwood showed his disappointment with the first-half display by replacing midfielder John Rankin with striker Valdas Trakys, who took over as lone striker as Derek Riordan moved wide on the left.
Riordan immediately released Jonathan Grounds, whose low cross was well saved by goalkeeper Marian Kello with a forest of Hibs boots waiting to turn the ball into the net.
Hearts survived loud appeals for a penalty when Marius Zaliukas appeared to bundle Paul Hanlon to the ground as they waited for a Riordan free kick to be delivered into the box.
It was Hibs’ turn to escape when Ian Black chipped the ball into the box and Czech ace Rudi Skacel volleyed well over from 15 yards when Elliott might have been better placed.
However, while Hibs had now taken control territorially, they fell further behind to Elliott’s first goal since joining Hearts.
Kevin Kyle headed the ball into the box following a free kick, Templeton got in front of his markers to stab the ball on and Elliott swept the ball home from ten yards.
That killed the game, with Hibs fans streaming for the exits and those left behind reacting with some anger as the game ended without their side seriously threatening Kello in the Hearts goal over the whole 90 minutes.
Hibs captain Riordan got caught up with the frustration with a red card in the dying seconds for a scything challenge on Skacel.
Hibs: Brown, Hart, Grounds, Hanlon, Bamba, De Graaf, Rankin, Stevenson, Galbraith, Miller, Riordan.
Hearts: Kello, Bouzid, Zaliukas, Jonsson, Palazuelos, Black, Templeton, Skacel, Mrowiec, Kyle, Elliott.