Aberdeen kept up their rampant home form to leapfrog Hibernian into third place in the Scottish Premiership with an absorbing win at Pittodrie.
Bojan Miovski slotted home a retaken penalty at the end of the first half after some protracted discussions with VAR, and nodded home his second the other side of the interval.
Ylber Ramadani and Leighton Clarkson scored impressive strikes either side of Mykola Kukharevych’s tap in for Hibs, which was awarded after a lengthy VAR intervention.
It means Jim Goodwin’s side have now scored four goals in five of their last seven home matches in all competitions, with Hibs having lost four of their last five games.
With the controversy surrounding the reverse fixture between these sides still very much at the forefront of pre-match chat, many anticipated some early fireworks. They weren’t disappointed.
Both sides showed good attacking impetus in the opening stages as Luis Lopes and Joe Newell had chances for either team but failed to convert.
Hibs’ Kukharevych fired an edge-of-the-area free-kick before Lopes managed to get in behind the away side’s high line, but his angled shot was stopped a few yards from cross the line. Ewan Henderson then had a header expertly saved by Kelle Roos.
As a fairly end-to-end 45 minutes were coming to an end, Jayden Richardson slipped in Lopes, who appeared to trip on the hand of David Marshall as he dived for the ball. A penalty was given, then saved, then retaken as the Hibs captain was not properly on his line as he sprung to save the initial shot. At the second time of asking Miovski slotted home with a brief rammy ensuing in the following moments.
The drama continued after the interval as Hibs, who had been marginally the first half’s better side, found themselves two goals down when Clarkson’s cross found the unmarked Miovski who leapt, unchallenged, and nodded in his second of the match.
It was soon three as Ramadani lashed home his first goal for the club with a fine volley that skipped up off of the turf before VAR allowed Kukharevych’s goal to stand despite an initial on-field decision of offside.
The hosts didn’t settle however, with Clarkson reaching a low Marley Watkins cross to emphatically backheel in.
Player of the match – Leighton Clarkson
Stuffy Aberdeen can’t stop scoring – Analysis
An open encounter, as this was, will always have goals in it, but Aberdeen’s defensive strength was impressive throughout, too.
Whereas Hibs were easily carved open, the home side often stood firm with Anthony Stewart and Liam Scales both looking formidable.
For Hibs, it may be a bit of a head scratcher. Seventeen shots, six on target, and 1.44xG to Aberdeen’s 1.93, but three goals fewer.
They dominated the ball with 61% possession, but failed to create enough in the way of goal-scoring opportunities. A common theme of late for Lee Johnson’s side.
What they said
Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin: “I didn’t think there was much between these teams pre-match, the scoreline may suggest we were well on top and gave Hibs a tough time but people at the game will realise it was a lot closer than the scoreline would suggest.
“All in all you’ve got to be pleased. I’d have taken a scrappy 1-0 before the game so the fact we’ve been able to entertain the fans and score four goals, I don’t know the exact number but I know we’ve scored a considerable amount here, I’m delighted to go and entertain the fans again tonight.”
Hibernian head coach Lee Johnson: “Anger and frustration [are my overriding emotions]. We came here with good intentions to play forward, to win the game, to counter well and I thought we did that really well for 45 minutes until the injury time that led to the penalty.
“It was difficult for me as I didn’t feel like it was absolutely clear and obvious. It took an age to get through and if it takes that long then it’s probably not. I suppose I’m bad in that sense.
It’s a club with prestige, it’s a club that expects to be up there and those soft underbelly tones are not good enough.”
Aberdeen are away to Livingston November 8 (19:45 GMT), while Hibernian host Ross County at the same time.
- 16RamadaniBooked at 61mins
- 20ClarksonSubstituted forDuncanat 90′minutes
- 22CoulsonBooked at 74minsSubstituted forMacKenzieat 78′minutes
- 9MiovskiSubstituted forKennedyat 89′minutes
- 11de Barros LopesSubstituted forWatkinsat 73′minutes
- 1MarshallBooked at 45mins
- 7MagennisSubstituted forCampbellat 76′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 3CabrajaSubstituted forStevensonat 81′minutes
- 18HendersonSubstituted forMelkersenat 65′minutes
- 99KukharevychSubstituted forYouanat 82′minutes
- 10Vieira Tavares
- David Munro
Match ends, Aberdeen 4, Hibernian 1.
Second Half ends, Aberdeen 4, Hibernian 1.
Josh Campbell (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Josh Campbell (Hibernian).
Marley Watkins (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Joe Newell (Hibernian) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.
Josh Campbell (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Matthew Kennedy (Aberdeen).
Substitution, Aberdeen. Ryan Duncan replaces Leighton Clarkson.
Substitution, Aberdeen. Matthew Kennedy replaces Bojan Miovski.
Attempt missed. Nohan Kenneh (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Lewis Stevenson.
Josh Campbell (Hibernian) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Ylber Ramadani (Aberdeen).
Offside, Hibernian. Rocky Bushiri tries a through ball, but Élie Youan is caught offside.
Substitution, Hibernian. Élie Youan replaces Mykola Kukharevych.
Substitution, Hibernian. Lewis Stevenson replaces Marijan Cabraja.
Substitution, Aberdeen. Jack MacKenzie replaces Hayden Coulson.
Goal! Aberdeen 4, Hibernian 1. Leighton Clarkson (Aberdeen) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Marley Watkins.
Substitution, Hibernian. Josh Campbell replaces Kyle Magennis.
Hayden Coulson (Aberdeen) is shown the yellow card.
Player of the match
Squad number9Player nameMiovski
Squad number16Player nameRamadani
Squad number11Player nameDuk
Squad number20Player nameClarkson
Squad number2Player nameMcCrorie
Squad number8Player nameBarron
Squad number15Player nameWatkins
Squad number3Player nameMacKenzie
Squad number22Player nameCoulson
Squad number24Player nameRoos
Squad number4Player nameScales
Squad number5Player nameStewart
Squad number25Player nameRichardson
Squad number23Player nameDuncan
Squad number33Player nameKennedy
Squad number99Player nameKukharevych
Squad number18Player nameHenderson
Squad number7Player nameMagennis
Squad number33Player nameBushiri
Squad number12Player nameCadden
Squad number3Player nameCabraja
Squad number6Player nameKenneh
Squad number11Player nameNewell
Squad number4Player nameHanlon
Squad number20Player nameMelkersen
Squad number16Player nameStevenson
Squad number1Player nameMarshall
Squad number32Player nameCampbell
Squad number23Player nameYouan
Squad number5Player namePorteous