The Dons December keeps on giving, with yet another win that fires us up into second in the Scottish Premiership after languishing at seventh 11 days ago with four wins in a row and nine wins in the last 12.
Derek McInnes put out the same team for the third game in a row, and it wasn’t long before on-form super striker Sam Cosgrove opened the scoring after a poor header from Olly Lee was intercepted by Stevie May, and Cosgrove rose to nod the cross into the net in the second minute of the game.
Aberdeen dominated the first half, with both Niall McGinn and Max Lowe threatening, while Shay Logan’s cross dipped into the net only for John Beaton to penalise Lewis Ferguson for fouling the goalkeeper.
Aberdeen suffered a blow in the 48th minute when the departing Max Lowe went down injured and was replaced by Dean Campbell.
Aberdeen increased their lead in the 69th minute after Scott McKenna was dragged down in the box, and the ref awarded the resultant penalty.
Sam Cosgrove stepped up to take it to slot it confidently into the left hand corner of the net, putting the Dons 2-0 ahead.
Heart’s miserable day went from bad to worse, when they were reduced to ten men in the 85th minute when Dean Mitchell was sent off for a second yellow.
The Dons are in great form heading into the Boxing Day game against Celtic, and they definitely could take a win against the Glasgow side which should be an exciting encounter.
Derek McInnes told the club website after the game: “We had a great start in the game and I thought the players came out of the traps with a clear intent to get after Hearts and cause them problems.
“We get the goal that our play deserves and it was a good run and cross from Stevie who puts it into an area for Sam. He’s still got a lot to do, but what a brilliant header. It’s not even about the power, but it’s just making sure he’s got the direction on it – a fantastic goal. It set the tone for us and I thought we were very good after that. I thought we were the dominant team and past up opportunities to get the second goal. I was really pleased with what the players were giving us and we kept Hearts attacking threat to a minimum.
“I’ve got to say though Joe Lewis makes a great save when Hearts were bright with their free kick. It was a very important save and I’ve seen Joe do that time and time again for us over the years. I thought it would have been harsh on us to go in 1-1 at half time as we were by far the dominant team.
“We spoke at half time about trying to reproduce the start in the game that we had. I think we’ve had two games more than Hearts and I was a wee bit concerned with the physical part of the game with the output of my players. I thought there were little stages in the second half where we couldn’t get close enough to them. That said we were keeping them at arm’s length, but I wanted us to assert more pressure on our play.
“Max then went down, which is far from ideal and I thought there was a little 10 minute period where we took Shinnie out the middle – although I thought he was outstanding at left back – and we lost a wee bit of his bite and aggression in there. I think the subs helped and it was unfortunate on Stevie’s part to come off because it was just tactical and to get the bodies through the middle again. Once we got Gleeson and Campbell on I thought the two of them help bring us that element of control back to the game.
“The second goal was a real shot of adrenaline for us. Getting the penalty kick knocks the stuffing out of Hearts, but we felt home and hosed after that and I felt we were very comfortable. We saw the game out pretty confidently and delighted to get all three points against a tough opponent. I know they’ve had tough times recently, but I thought we were the better team today.
“It was three very important points.”