Scottish Premiership
AberdeenAberdeen3HibernianHibernian1

Aberdeen 3-1 Hibernian: Hosts win to narrow gap on Motherwell

By Andy CampbellBBC Sport Scotland

Aberdeen moved to within a point of third-placed Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership after coming from behind to beat 10-man Hibernian. The visitors appeared to be in control after Christian Doidge's opener, but Steven Whittaker's dismissal for two bookings changed the game.

Adam Jackson turned into his own net just after the hour, then Andrew Considine scrambled in from a corner two minutes later, before Curtis Main finished coolly to seal the points for Derek McInnes's side.

And the Dons could overtake Well when the sides meet at Fir Park on Friday.

Hibs remain sixth, two points off Livingston but now just a point above St Johnstone.

Hibs lose discipline after strong start

Visiting head coach Jack Ross said before kick-off his side needed to win to have a realistic chance of finishing higher up the table and their first-half performance would have given him confidence.

The Easter Road side appeared more adept at hitting the target with Doidge's header blocked on the line by Joe Lewis and the goalkeeper also called into action to deny Jamie Gullan, who started in place of the suspended Marc McNulty.

Aberdeen, still without top scorer Sam Cosgrove, struggled to threaten Ofir Marciano, with Lewis Ferguson and Matty Kennedy both knocking efforts wide.

And the hosts looked suspect defensively when Scott Allan picked out Doidge through a square defence and the striker escaped Lewis to score for the 18th time this season.

As McInnes's side tried to muster a response, Ferguson claimed in vain for a penalty after tussling with Greg Docherty, referee John Beaton seemingly of the view the midfielder gave as good as he got.

But referee Beaton's next significant decision would change the course of the match. Whittaker had been booked for a first-half challenge on Ferguson and a lunge on the midfielder early in the second period left the official no option but to send him off.

Aberdeen celebrate

Aberdeen were roused and Niall McGinn took matters into his own hands, crossing for Jackson to slice past Ofir Marciano. And the Northern Ireland international took the corner on the left that ended with Considine poking the ball in at the back post.

The defender spoke earlier in the week about his hopes of being included in the Scotland squad and though national boss Steve Clarke will be more interested in his prowess at the back, every little helps.

Aberdeen continued to press and the Hibs defence was all at sea as McGinn played a low ball in from the right, Main the ultimate beneficiary with his fourth goal of the season after substitute Bruce Anderson's shot had been blocked.

Man of the match - Niall McGinn

BBC Scotland's Tyrone Smith at Pittodrie

Aberdeen turned this game on its head. Whittaker's sending off undoubtedly helped, but so did a McGinn masterclass.

There was a real slice of luck when his cross was deflected into the Hibs net, but his delivery all day was exemplary. Every ball in was measured, accurate and pinpoint, providing a creative spark which ignited the match for the hosts.

'Sending off pivotal' - reaction

'Verve & intelligence' won game for Aberdeen - McInnes

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes: "I'm delighted to come out on top. We lose a poor goal and had it all to do, but the players just set about the task.

"It changes massively for us when Whittaker gets sent off, deservedly. We still had to be positive. I thought we were worthy winners because the second-half performance was so good."

Hibernian head coach Jack Ross: "I'm disappointed and frustrated because we came here to try and win the game and were in a good position to do so.

"Undoubtedly the sending off was a pivotal moment. It gives Aberdeen fresh impetus and an obvious advantage. We need to be better at dealing with that period of adversity."

Line-ups

Aberdeen

Formation 3-5-1-1

  • 1Lewis
  • 2LoganSubstituted forAndersonat 62'minutes
  • 14Taylor
  • 4Considine
  • 18McLennanSubstituted forDevlinat 73'minutes
  • 19Ferguson
  • 22Ojo
  • 17McGeouch
  • 23Kennedy
  • 10McGinnSubstituted forHernándezat 84'minutes
  • 9Main

Substitutes

  • 6Devlin
  • 7Bryson
  • 8Hernández
  • 11Hedges
  • 20Cerny
  • 24Campbell
  • 25Anderson

Hibernian

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1Marciano
  • 6McGinnBooked at 87mins
  • 18Jackson
  • 4Hanlon
  • 10Boyle
  • 3WhittakerBooked at 55mins
  • 15Docherty
  • 16StevensonSubstituted forHorganat 82'minutes
  • 23AllanSubstituted forOmeongaat 69'minutes
  • 9Doidge
  • 47GullanSubstituted forHallbergat 59'minutesBooked at 65mins

Substitutes

  • 2Gray
  • 7Horgan
  • 20Hallberg
  • 24McGregor
  • 27Bogdan
  • 33Murray
  • 40Omeonga
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
14,388

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamHibernian
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home18
Away7
Shots on Target
Home5
Away4
Corners
Home7
Away0
Fouls
Home11
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aberdeen 3, Hibernian 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aberdeen 3, Hibernian 1.

  3. Post update

    Ronald Hernández (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Paul Hanlon (Hibernian).

  5. Post update

    Foul by Curtis Main (Aberdeen).

  6. Post update

    Christian Doidge (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Daryl Horgan (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Stephane Omeonga.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen).

  9. Post update

    Greg Docherty (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Bruce Anderson (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matthew Kennedy.

  11. Booking

    Paul McGinn (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Post update

    Matthew Kennedy (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Paul McGinn (Hibernian).

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Curtis Main (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the left side of the box is just a bit too high.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Ronald Hernández replaces Niall McGinn.

  16. Goal!

    Goal! Aberdeen 3, Hibernian 1. Curtis Main (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Bruce Anderson (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Niall McGinn.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. Daryl Horgan replaces Lewis Stevenson.

  19. Post update

    Funso Ojo (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Stephane Omeonga (Hibernian).

Top Stories

Around Scottish sport