Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen1Hearts0

Scottish Premiership: Aberdeen 1-0 Heart of Midlothian

Hearts' Jordan McGhee rises to handle
Hearts' Jordan McGhee handled to give Aberdeen a penalty

Adam Rooney's 12th goal of the season three minutes from the end moved Aberdeen to within a point of Celtic and seven points clear of Hearts.

But Derek McInnes' side can thank a moment of madness by full-back Jordan McGhee for gifting them the chance to win the game from the penalty spot.

Only the young defender knows why he jumped up and handled the ball in the six-yard box when under no pressure.

Victory extends Aberdeen's unbeaten run to five games.

Third-top Hearts had also gone into the game looking to protect a sequence of four league games without a loss, only a League Cup defeat by Celtic interrupting the Edinburgh side's run of eight games without defeat in the league as they headed north.

But they were blown away by Aberdeen when the teams last met at Tynecastle in September and a repeat looked on the cards in a first half dominated by the home side.

Aberdeen's Jonny Hayes, Adam Rooney and Graeme Shinnie celebrate
Adam Rooney (centre) won the game for Aberdeen from the penalty spot

Niall McGinn did not play for second-placed Dons through injury, but the Northern Ireland forward was not missed as Jonny Hayes accepted the responsibility of tormenting the opposition down the left side.

The former Inverness Caledonian Thistle midfielder gave poor Callum Paterson in particular a terrible time with his mazy runs down the wing, while his set-piece deliveries were always a threat.

Hearts actually created the first chance of the afternoon when Sam Nicholson headed a Paterson cross narrowly wide at the back post, but that was the home defence's only moment of anxiety in the opening period.

From then until the interval the Jambos were hanging on as they were pinned back for long spells, but desperate defending at least got them to the break on level terms.

Neil Alexander played his part in that with crucial saves from Hayes' acute angle-driven cross and a full-length block high to his left to keep out a Kenny McLean 25-yard effort.

The Hearts goalkeeper was also well positioned to hold on to an Andy Considine header, but the Dons defender should have made more of the chance created by another tricky Hayes free kick.

Hearts were forced into trying to break play up to repel Aberdeen's attacks, but Miguel Pallardo took things too far and was substituted by his manager before he got himself sent off.

The Spaniard was booked for a foul on Peter Pawlett in 27 minutes and, seconds later, tripped Hayes with Robbie Neilson quick to replace him with Morgaro Gomis.

The pattern of play was barely altered in early in the second half, but Nicholson did get forward to crack a 25-yard drive off the crossbar then pick up a booking for pulling back Pawlett as he threatened to break clear.

Aberdeen kept pressing only for Rooney to head a Kenny McLean cross over the bar from just six yards before the visitors at last started to enjoy a phase of attacking play of their own.

Ward made a marvellous blocking save to deny Juanma and, from the corner, Willo Flood cleared Paterson's header off the line.

However, Aberdeen got the win they deserved when Rooney made his usual efficient job from the penalty spot to confirm that the Pittodrie side have rediscovered their early season form.

Line-ups

Aberdeen

  • 19Ward
  • 2Logan
  • 5Taylor
  • 6ReynoldsSubstituted forJackat 45'minutes
  • 4Considine
  • 16PawlettSubstituted forGoodwillieat 73'minutes
  • 8FloodBooked at 75mins
  • 3Shinnie
  • 11HayesBooked at 90mins
  • 7McLean
  • 9Rooney

Substitutes

  • 14Smith
  • 17Goodwillie
  • 20Brown
  • 22Jack
  • 23Storie
  • 26McKenna
  • 31Ross

Hearts

  • 1Alexander
  • 2Paterson
  • 4AugustynBooked at 67mins
  • 18Rossi
  • 22McGheeBooked at 75mins
  • 16Sutchuin-Djoum
  • 14Pallardo GonzalezBooked at 28minsSubstituted forGomisat 32'minutes
  • 8Buaben
  • 11NicholsonBooked at 52minsSubstituted forKingat 85'minutes
  • 19Delgado Lloria
  • 10Sow

Substitutes

  • 5Ozturk
  • 6Gomis
  • 12King
  • 13Hamilton
  • 17Oshaniwa
  • 20Reilly
  • 23Swanson
Referee:
Craig Thomson
Attendance:
13,110

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamHearts
Possession
Home59%
Away41%
Shots
Home11
Away6
Shots on Target
Home4
Away1
Corners
Home10
Away4
Fouls
Home13
Away25

Live Text

Match ends, Aberdeen 1, Heart of Midlothian 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Aberdeen 1, Heart of Midlothian 0.

Attempt missed. Osman Sow (Heart of Midlothian) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left.

Foul by David Goodwillie (Aberdeen).

Blazej Augustyn (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Booking

Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen).

Billy King (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Jordan McGhee.

Goal!

Goal! Aberdeen 1, Heart of Midlothian 0. Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

Penalty conceded by Jordan McGhee (Heart of Midlothian) with a hand ball in the penalty area.

Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Billy King (Heart of Midlothian).

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Billy King replaces Sam Nicholson.

Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Arnaud Djoum (Heart of Midlothian).

Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Prince Buaben (Heart of Midlothian).

Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Igor Rossi.

Attempt blocked. David Goodwillie (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Booking

Jordan McGhee (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Jordan McGhee (Heart of Midlothian).

Booking

Willo Flood (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Arnaud Djoum (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Willo Flood (Aberdeen).

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. David Goodwillie replaces Peter Pawlett.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Andrew Considine.

Foul by Willo Flood (Aberdeen).

Arnaud Djoum (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Andrew Considine (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Blazej Augustyn (Heart of Midlothian).

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Willo Flood.

Attempt blocked. Sam Nicholson (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Booking

Blazej Augustyn (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Blazej Augustyn (Heart of Midlothian).

Foul by Kenny McLean (Aberdeen).

Blazej Augustyn (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Ash Taylor (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic16123141122939
2Aberdeen18122428181038
3Hearts1794429181131
4St Johnstone179353526930
5Ross County187382826224
6Hamilton176472225-322
7Inverness CT175571923-420
8Partick Thistle175571823-520
9Dundee184862330-720
10Motherwell175391624-818
11Kilmarnock184591932-1317
12Dundee Utd1823131334-219
View full Scottish Premiership table

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