Hearts 2-0 Aberdeen: match report and players ratings as two defenders score 8.5s

Yutaro Oda and Liam Boyce scored either side of half time but it was the defence who shone as the Jambos picked up all three points.

Steven Naismith’s side have certainly fulfilled their promise to excite their fans as Aberdeen’s visit to Tynecastle was not shy of the drama. Goals from Yutaro Oda and Liam Boyce ensured the home team went away with the vital three points and Hearts’ fight to get back into their 2023/24 season is well and truly on.

The Dons kicked off early with James McGarry striking at the goal in the opening two minutes but it was nothing Zander Clark couldn’t manage.

Hearts’ return to action began slower with the visiting side enjoying much more opportunity to score and it seemed the ‘fatigue’ Naismith had previously spoken about was set-in for the long haul. However, it was the returning 22-year-old Oda that ultimately split the difference in the opening half after Liam Boyle sent out the ball for the Japanese forward to strike right past Kelle Roos.

Hearts continued, however, on a path of aggression with three yellow cards being dishes out in the first half, two in two minutes sending the Gorgie fans into fits of rage.

Unfortunately for the Jambos, their goal scorer was soon to come off, finishing his weekend after just 32 minutes and was soon seen on crutches in the dugout.

The fire and pace was quickly resumed after half-time with Aberdeens’ Duk continuing to receive cries of booing anytime his foot went near the ball.

Shankland, Vargas, and the Dons’ McGarry were the main stirrers of trouble for the respective men between the sticks but the scramble for the next goal was finally ended after Calem Nieuwenhof beautifully brought the ball into the box. After a defection of a visiting shirt, Liam Boyce secured his first goal of the season and Hearts’ second of the match.

In true fashion, the meeting between these two teams was far from dull with the battle going end-to-end right until the final whistle and, while it’s unlikely the referee is to be welcomed back to Tynecastle with open arms anytime soon, Hearts will rejoice in taking away the crucial win.