Match report: Hearts 3-0 Hibs

01 February 2023

Robbie Neilson made two changes to the side that defeated St Johnstone in Perth last time out. Barrie McKay and Michael Smith returned to the starting 11 in place of Jorge Grant and Alan Forrest.

As is often the case in derby matches, the match started at 100mph with the men in maroon struggling to get control of the ball in the early stages. However, they managed to get themselves in front after just eight minutes and it was all down to the tenacity of Cammy Devlin.

The Aussie midfielder would not give up on a lost cause and after blocking a Hibs clearance, the ball fell to Josh Ginnelly, who cut inside and although his effort was saved by David Marshall, Lawrence Shankland was alive to fire home the rebound and grab his 17th goal of the season.

The Jambos thought they had doubled their lead on 28 minutes when Toby Sibbick bundled the ball home after a penalty box scramble, only for it to be ruled out for offside. However, after a lengthy VAR review of just about everything, Hearts were awarded a penalty for a handball, and you know the rest.

Marshall guessed right, but Shankland’s penalty was too good, and Hearts were two goals to the good.

The visitors had seen plenty of the ball but were struggling to create any openings of note. Toby Sibbick produced a wonderful tackle to prevent Elie Youan from getting a shot away after the striker was clean through on goal.

The third goal almost arrived in first half stoppage time, a trademark spin in behind from Josh Ginnelly, the perfect pass to find him from Toby Sibbick, but Marshall produced an excellent fingertip save to deny the winger’s audacious volley.

Half time: Hearts 2-0 Hibernian

Lee Johnson made two substitutions at the break and the introductions of Aiden McGeady and Kyle Magennis did add a bit more threat to the visitors in the final third, whereas Hearts lost Andy Halliday and Michael Smith to injury in the opening ten minutes of the second period.

Hibs had their tails up at this point with Hearts struggling to adapt to the two changes.

Zander Clark hadn’t been forced into too many saves, but produced an excellent reaction save when Alex Cochrane’s clearance rebounded off a Hibs player and looked to be heading straight for the top corner.

The Hearts stopper was once again called into action to produce an unbelievable double save three minutes from time to deny Magennis as Hibs threw everything at Hearts to find a route back into the contest.

It had been far from plain sailing in the second half, but the third goal arrived in stoppage time. Stephen Humphrys marked his return from injury in fine fashion as he made no mistake after being sent clean through on goal to cap off another memorable Tynecastle derby.