Goals from Yutaro Oda and Liam Boyce were enough to see Hearts get back to winning ways with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Aberdeen at Tynecastle.
There was one change to the side that faced Motherwell prior to the international break as Kenneth Vargas replaced Alex Lowry.
Games between Hearts and Aberdeen are often feisty encounters and unsurprisingly, it was a frantic beginning at Tynecastle.
It was the visitors who had the first effort on goal inside two minutes. James McGarry cut in off the left and his effort was beaten away by Zander Clark.
Up the other end, Hearts’ first chance of the afternoon fell to Nathaniel Atkinson, who after robbing McGarry, stung the palms of Kelle Roos.
Just two minutes later however, the men in maroon did break the deadlock. Liam Boyce worked the ball out to Yutaro Oda, who had found space on the right. He faced up McGarry and his low shot across the face of goal had enough power on it to beat Roos and open the scoring.
From that point onwards, the game became very scrappy with both sides committing numerous fouls and picking up cautions from referee Kevin Clancy.
The Jambos almost doubled their lead 11 minutes from the interval. Stephen Kingsley picked out substitute Alan Forrest, who had replaced the injured Oda, but he couldn’t beat Roos with his back post header.
In a first half of few openings, the men in maroon again came close shortly before the break. In trademark Liam Boyce fashion, the Hearts number 10 found a pocket of space in the middle of the pitch, but the Northern Irishman dragged his shot wide from the edge of the area.
Half-time: Hearts 1-0 Aberdeen
The men in maroon had been the better team in the first period and they were the side in the ascendency at the start of the second half.
Kenneth Vargas was inches away from doubling the lead on the hour mark but his speculative effort from range came crashing back off the crossbar with Kelle Roos beaten.
The second goal did arrive just four minutes later however through Boyce. After an initial scramble in the Dons penalty box, the ball dropped to Boyce, and he slammed the ball home to give Hearts some deserved breathing space.
The Jambos continued to be the side on top, Kye Rowles almost added a third when his shot was blocked inside the box, while Hearts appeals for a handball fell on deaf ears.
Hearts weren’t able to add a third, but they kept it tight at the other end to record a clean sheet and get back to winning ways.
Hearts: Clark, Kent, Kingsley, Haring (Nieuwenhof, 50), Shankland ©, Boyce (Grant, 65), Oda (Forrest, 33), Atkinson (Sibbick, 65), Devlin, Rowles, Vargas
Subs: McGovern, Baningime, Grant, Nieuwenhof, Forrest, Sibbick, Denholm, Tait, Lowry
Aberdeen: Roos, Devlin, Shinnie ©, Jensen, Gartenmann, McGrath (Barron, 67), Miovski (Sokler, 67), Clarkson (Gueye, 67), Duk, McGarry (Duncan, 57), Rubezic
Subs: Doohan, Mackenzie, Barron, Gueye, Hayes, Sokler, Polvara, Duncan, Macdonald