Hearts downed by Dons in controversial encounter
Hearts unbeaten run in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League was ended at Pittodrie this afternoon after a Lee Miller strike ensured the points stayed in the North.
Csaba Laszlo made one change to the side which faced Dundee United at Tynecastle last week; Michael Stewart replaced Bruno Aguiar who missed out after picking up a knock in the against Craig Levein's men.
There was a frantic start to the match from both sides and although Hearts commanded a large chunk of the possession in the opening quarter of an hour they did not trouble Dons keeper Jamie Langfield. Aberdeen tested Balogh on a few occasions with Darren Mackie proving to be a bit of a handful for the Jambos defence.
Driver and Kingston had looked lively for Hearts and linked up well with Stewart and Palazuelos in midfield. Driver was keen to take on Aberdeen from all areas of the pitch and you sensed that if he could link up with Nade a goal would come.
It was Aberdeen however who took the lead on 36 minutes after a free kick from Scott Severin found Lee Miller lurking behind the Hearts defenders, Miller picked his spot and drove low past Balogh who looked to have his vision blocked by the huddle of players in front of his goal.
The remainder of the half was scrappy with Hearts pushing for an equaliser and The Dons keen to add to their lead. Hearts never looked out of it and things looked nicely poised for the second half.
Both teams returned unchanged at half time and both picked up where they left off. Hearts pushed Michael Stewart further up the pitch to help Christian Nade and Andy Driver also remained high up the pitch in a bid to find a goal.
Nade came closest on 61 minutes with a long range shot that eventually sailed wide of Langfield's goal.
Hearts task became even harder on 71 minutes when a goalmouth bust up resulted in Marius Zaliukas receiving his marching orders and the Jambos going down to ten men. The match threatened to boil over as both sides felt aggrieved at decisions at both ends of the pitch.
Although down to ten men the Jambos still attacked every ball and searched for that elusive equaliser but in the end it was to prove to be in vain as Aberdeen kept the three points at Pitodrie.
After the match Lee Wallace was sent off in the tunnel by referee Brines.
A bad day all round.
Aberdeen: Langfield; Foster, Diamond, Severin, Mulgrew (Considine 3) ; Aluko (Maguire 86), Kerr, McDonald (Young 90), De Visscher; Miller, Mackie. Subs not used: Bateman, Hodgkiss, Mair, Paton.
Hearts: Balogh; Neilson, Zaliukas, Berra, Wallace; Kingston Jonsson 7&), Karipidis, Palazuelos, Driver; Stewart; Nade (Glen 77). Subs not used: Kello, Thomson, Jonsson, McGowan, Templeton, Rapnik, Glen.
Referee: Iain Brines
Top man: Christophe Berra
Join Lawrence Broadie, Mark Donaldson and Gary Mackay LIVE on air from 2.45pm at Pittodrie Stadium for audio coverage of today's game.