Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes has claimed Craig Levein and Hearts “are always looking for penalties”.
Tynecastle boss Levein hit out moments after Aberdeen’s 2-0 win at Pittodrie on Saturday, believing his side were denied at least two clear-cut penalties by referee John Beaton.
McInnes, though, hit back, saying: “Do you know what? Sometimes that is standard with Craig and Hearts.
“They are always looking for penalties. It has gone from two in the BBC interview and he seemingly said three penalties in here (the press room).
“Between trackside and here they’ve gained another penalty claim. The only one I can think of was Steven Naismith with Max Lowe when Steven MacLean got his chance.
“If there was a coming together I think he is too far away from it to be involved. But let’s make it clear. Aside from anything like that the better team won – hands down.”
Levein was adamant his side were deserving of two penalties. He said: “My biggest gripe, once again, was that I thought there were three penalty decisions to be made and the softest of the lot was the one that was given (for Aberdeen). Steven Naismith was pulled to the ground, I asked him (referee John Beaton) but he said he didn’t see it and Peter Haring had a free header where he was barged in the back and both of those claims were denied.
“I thought the game was pretty even from the beginning. We had spells of the match where we were on top and Aberdeen did the same but without either of the teams creating many clear-cut opportunities.
“In a game like that where it is so finely balanced... I feel like I sit here every week and say the same thing but big decisions and goals change games. It becomes quite exasperating when you feel like you are sitting down in this chair complaining about the same things.”