Aberdeen 2-0 Heart of Midlothian
Hearts endured a disappointing return to league action as they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Aberdeen on Saturday.
Niall McGinn's close range tap-in put the hosts ahead inside ten minutes and then grabbed his second ten minutes after the restart, ensuring all three points stayed at Pittodrie.
Hearts made one change to the side that featured at Hampden prior to the international break, with Jason Holt replacing the injured Darren Barr in central midfield.
Jambos front man Michael Ngoo could have put the Gorgie side ahead on three minutes after a mix-up in the Dons defence. The Liverpool striker found himself one on one with Jamie Langfield, but could only send his shot into the keeper's legs.
Instead it was the home side who took the lead after a fine run down the right saw Jonny Hayes send an inviting ball across goal where an unmarked Hayes was on hand to stab the ball home from two yards out.
The momentum was well and truly with the hosts as they found space behind the Hearts backline on several occasions as the Jambos struggled to find their composure.
John Sutton forced a superb save from Langfield with a header on twenty minutes, before directing a Jamie Walker cross off the bottom right post soon after.
Josh Magennis then wasted a glorious opportunity on the stroke of the half as he volleyed over with only the keeper to beat.
The midfielder then looked to have double his side's advantage shortly after the interval as he found Macdonald's bottom left corner, but the linesman's flag put an end to his celebrations.
Soon after, however, McGinn grabbed his second as he escaped two markers on the left before jinking past Dylan McGowan a curling a low deflected shot into the bottom right corner.
It was uphill for Hearts from then on as they struggled to create chances, whilst Aberdeen continued to pose a significant threat on the counter attack.
Danny Wilson could have put Locke's men back in the game on the hour mark as he met a Jamie Walker corner, but his shot was swept off the line by Hayes.
Taouil flashed a volley into the side netting soon after, whilst Magennis capitalised on an Andy Webster slip-up up the other end, only for Macdonald to stop his effort at the near post.
The Gorgie side enjoyed an attacking spell in the dying minutes, with Kevin McHattie stabbing a loose ball wide of the post from just a few yards out.
Hearts misfortune infront of goal refused to let up however as the Dons secured all three points on a disappointing afternoon for boys in Maroon.
Aberdeen: Langfield; Shaughnessy, Anderson, Reynolds, Robertson; Jack (Smith 89), Rae, Magennis (Low 85), Hayes (Pawlett 84); Vernon, McGinn. Subs not used: Rogers, Milsom, Fallon, McManus.
Hearts: Macdonald; McGowan (Hamill 58), Webster, Wilson, McHattie; Stevenson, Taouil, Tapping (Novikovas 58), Walker; Ngoo, Sutton (Carrick 78). Subs not used: Hamilton, McKay, Holt, G.Smith.
Referee: Willie Collum
Top man: The excellent Hearts fans who made the long journey north.