Heart of Midlothian 0-2 Hibernian
Thursday 26th December 2019, KO 12:30 | Ladbrokes Premiership | Tynecastle Park
Hearts lost the Edinburgh Derby after a 2-0 defeat to Hibs today at Tynecastle Park.
The Jambos fell to two first half strikes from Martin Boyle as the visitors came away victorious in the second Edinburgh derby of the season.
Daniel Stendel made three changes to the side that lost to Hamilton on Saturday. Into the team came Ryo Meshino, Jake Mulraney and Christophe Berra, and out went Glenn Whelan, Steven Naismith and Steven MacLean.
Hearts attempted to start on the front foot but were caught cold after just six minutes. Hibs won a fifty-fifty on the Hearts right flank, and the ball bounced to Scott Allan who hooked a pass over his shoulder for Boyle, who volleyed the ball first-time past Joel Pereira to give the visitors the lead.
Hearts attempted to respond a minute later when Uche Ikpeazu was hauled to the ground in the area by Melker Hallberg, but referee Don Robertson deemed that there was no foul.
Hibs came close to doubling their lead after 20 minutes when Allan whipped in an inswinging corner that almost caught out Pereira, and saw the ball rebound back off the post and away to safety.
On the half hour, Boyle made it two for Hibs. Loic Damour was caught loitering on the ball and had his pocket picked by Allan, who prodded the ball through for Boyle, the forward cut across his markers and passed it into the net beyond Pereira.
At the other end, Meshino nearly scored a brilliant goal when he cut inside from the left but his goal bound effort was tipped over by Ofir Marciano as Hearts sought to find a route back into the match.
Into the second half, and Hearts had another big penalty shout when Ikpeazu appeared to be pulled back by Darren McGregor in the area, but again the officials didn’t identify a foul in the build up on play.
The manager had introduced Euan Henderson and Ollie Bozanic at the break in an attempt to add some tempo to the play, and Bozanic came close when Meshino danced his way to the edge of the box before sending a lovely ball to the back post, but the Australian missed the target.
Meshino was proving the Jambos’ biggest threat, and he drew yet another save from Marciano when he drove at goal and let fly, but the Israeli got down well to push away his shot from around 25 yards out.
Two minutes later, Hearts had two further chances. Firstly, the ball fell to Meshino inside the area again but the Japanese snatched at his effort, before Sean Clare slid a pass through for Ikpeazu who had turned his man, but he dragged his shot wide.
Moments later, Henderson drew a double save from Marciano. First, he was played through by the impressive Clare, but his low shot was saved by the Israeli keeper’s feet, before his shot on the rebound was also pushed wide.
As the match went into the final twenty minutes Hearts were restricted to long-range efforts that failed to trouble Marciano, and Hibs managed to see out time.
Hearts: Pereira, Smith, White (Henderson, 46'), Berra, Clare, Mulraney (Keena, 77'), Ikpeazu, Damour (Bozanic, 46'), Halkett, Hickey, Meshino. Subs: Zlamal, Wighton, MacLean, Dikamona.
Hibs: Marciano, Hanlon, Horgan (Newell, 72'), Slivka, Doidge, Boyle, Stevenson, Hallberg, Naismith, Allan (Mallan, 68'), McGregor. Subs: Bogdan. James, Jackson, Shaw, Murray.
Referee: Don Robertson