Hibernian 1-3 Heart of Midlothian
Tuesday 3rd March 2020, KO 19:45 | Ladbrokes Premiership | Easter Road
Hearts cruised to a sensational derby victory at Easter Road this evening, beating Hibs 3-1.
A devastating second-half display saw the Jambos reclaim capital bragging rights thanks to Sean Clare, Ollie Bozanic and Conor Washington goals, with Melker Hallberg netting a consolation strike at the end.
Daniel Stendel made two changes from the side that dumped Rangers out of the Scottish Cup three days earlier. Clevid Dikamona replaced the injured John Souttar, while Liam Boyce came in for Steven Naismith, with Craig Halkett taking the captain’s armband.
Despite a fairly even opening ten minutes it was the hosts who fashioned the game’s first opportunity. Greg Docherty sent Martin Boyle racing down Hearts’ left and he whipped in a cross for Christian Doidge to connect with but he bulleted a header wide of Zdenek Zlamal’s left-hand post.
A moment of controversy arose when Marc McNulty fouled Sean Clare on the touchline then appeared to stamp on the grounded Hearts man’s back, but the officials took no action.
Ofir Marciano had to be at his best to deny Hearts the opener on 20 minutes. Ollie Bozanic’s set piece was met by Halkett ,who powered a header on target but the Hibs keeper sprung to his left to push the ball away.
The Jambos went close again on 37 minutes. Bozanic curled in a corner for Boyce to meet but he could only slam his header inches over the bar.
A lovely passing move down the right soon followed, with the ball finding its way to Hickey. He cut inside and tried his luck from 20-yards but struck high and well over the target.
Minutes into the second half Hearts went on the offensive. Boyce showed quick feet to get away from his man inside the box before chipping into the middle for Clare but his header took a deflection which carried the ball over the bar.
Clare was at it again soon after following an incisive Jambos break, gliding to the corner of the box before seeing his low drive take another deflection inches wide.
Hearts’ pressure paid off in the 53rd minute when a Bozanic corner was handled in the box by Scott Allan, and referee Kevin Clancy pointed to the spot. Clare stepped up to the spot and coolly slotted the penalty into Marciano’s bottom right corner.
By 64 minutes it was 2-0. Another devastating breakaway saw Lewis Moore thunder into the box, shimmying his way through, before finding Bozanic 20-yrds out and he curled an unstoppable first-time effort into Marciano’s top right corner.
Hibs gave a timely reminder of their danger with 77 minutes on the clock when Paul McGinn met a corner from the right but bulleted his header clean over the bar.
Three minutes later it was game over. Aaron Hickey’s defence-splitting pass was latched onto by Washington, who timed his run to perfection to beat the offside trap, and he ran into the box before striking low and into Marciano’s bottom left corner.
There was time for the home side to pull one back but it was a mere consolation when Hallberg finished with two minutes remaining, and Hearts could’ve bagged a fourth when Naismith found time at the edge of the box only to fire over.
A stunning derby performance from the Jam Tarts – their second win on the bounce at Easter Road and third match unbeaten in Leith – and three points, which lifts them off the foot of the table.
Hibs: Marciano, Hanlon, McGinn, Doidge, Boyle, McNulty (Gullan, 64'), Docherty, Stevenson, Jackson, Allan (Horgan, 58'), Omeonga. Subs: Bogdan, Whittaker, Hallberg, McGregor, Murray.
Hearts: Zlamal, Smith, Bozanic, Clare, Washington, Damour, Halkett, Moore (Walker, 73'), Dikamona, Boyce (Naismith, 67'), Hickey. Subs: Pereira, Langer, Irving, Henderson, Meshino.
Referee: Kevin Clancy