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Mackay-Steven winner sends Aberdeen above Hibs

Gary Mackay-Steven (right) broke the deadlock at Pittodrie

Aberdeen leapfrogged Hibernian and are now within five points of the Scottish Premiership summit thanks to a thunderous Gary Mackay-Steven goal.

The winger celebrated his Scotland call-up by pouncing on a slack pass by Ryan Porteous just before the break.

It gave Aberdeen a fourth consecutive win - and fifth in a row at home. But Hibs are now without a win in four.

Neil Lennon's side improved after the break, but Mark Milligan and Florian Kamberi missed chances to equalise.

Wind & winger the winners

Given that the previous three meetings had finished level after 90 minutes, two without a goal being scored, it was almost guaranteed to be a tight affair.

But both managers were determined to belie the predictions, with attacking line-ups - forward Stevie May being preferred to defensive midfielder Dominic Ball for Aberdeen and Florian Kamberi returning from suspension to partner Jamie Maclaren up front for the first time in the league this season.

Despite Aberdeen having four players named in Alex McLeish's Scotland squad this week and Hibs having three called up by Australia, showing their international class was proving difficult for the players in the strong wind swirling around Pittodrie.

Australian midfielder Milligan had an early header cleared from in front of the Aberdeen goal by Shay Logan, but it was one of Aberdeen's Scotland quartet who was making the difference at the other end.

Porteous was looking uncomfortable on the left of Hibs' back three and, after he picked up a yellow card for a foul on Mackay-Steven, Aberdeen continually provided the winger opportunities to further tease the 19-year-old.

When Mackay-Steven intercepted Porteous' clearance, the Scotland Under-21 centre-back was easily deceived by a little drop of the shoulder and the ball was soon whistling between the near post and goalkeeper Adam Bogdan's outstretched hand.

It was no surprise when Hibs head coach Lennon changed to a back four at half-time and the change helped the visitors.

Milligan sent a header over from a good position, and Kamberi failed to finish after rounding Joe Lewis. At the other end, May failing to make Bogdan pay for his equally unwise rush from his goal-line.

Aberdeen had not lost from a winning position at Pittodrie since 2014 and that record was prolonged after Kamberi twice failed to find the target from close range.

Hibs' Florian Kamberi fires wide at Pittodrie

Plenty to ponder for Lennon - analysis

BBC Scotland's Tyrone Smith at Pittodrie

The wind was the winner, the dreadful conditions stifling what should have been a high-quality affair, but Aberdeen won't give a jot about that, as their bandwagon continues to gather pace. That is now four wins on the spin for the Pittodrie side, the international break perhaps coming at the wrong time for them.

As for Hibernian, they are now four without a victory, leaving plenty for Lennon to ponder over the next fortnight. They created, and spurned, enough chances to win the game in the second half, but that will be scant consolation.

Line-ups

Aberdeen

  • 1Lewis
  • 2Logan
  • 18Devlin
  • 5McKenna
  • 29Lowe
  • 11Mackay-StevenSubstituted forBallat 90+1'minutes
  • 19Ferguson
  • 3Shinnie
  • 10McGinn
  • 17MaySubstituted forCosgroveat 86'minutes
  • 9WilsonSubstituted forAndersonat 71'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Considine
  • 8Gleeson
  • 15Wright
  • 16Cosgrove
  • 20Cerny
  • 21Ball
  • 25Anderson

Hibernian

  • 31Bogdan
  • 24McGregor
  • 5MilliganBooked at 90mins
  • 36PorteousBooked at 16mins
  • 25Ambrose
  • 8SlivkaSubstituted forHorganat 79'minutes
  • 10Boyle
  • 14MallanBooked at 60mins
  • 16StevensonSubstituted forMackieat 89'minutes
  • 22Kamberi
  • 9MaclarenSubstituted forAllanat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Marciano
  • 3Whittaker
  • 7Horgan
  • 23Mavrias
  • 43Mackie
  • 47Gullan
  • 49Allan
Referee:
Alan Muir
Attendance:
15,629

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamHibernian
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home6
Away10
Shots on Target
Home1
Away1
Corners
Home4
Away6
Fouls
Home11
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Aberdeen 1, Hibernian 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Aberdeen 1, Hibernian 0.

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Lewis Ferguson.

Stephen Mallan (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Sam Cosgrove (Aberdeen).

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Dominic Ball replaces Gary Mackay-Steven.

Booking

Mark Milligan (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Mark Milligan (Hibernian).

Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. Martin Boyle (Hibernian) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Sean Mackie replaces Lewis Stevenson.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Sam Cosgrove replaces Stevie May.

Foul by Mark Milligan (Hibernian).

Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. Stephen Mallan (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Daryl Horgan replaces Vykintas Slivka.

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Lewis Allan replaces Jamie Maclaren.

Foul by Stephen Mallan (Hibernian).

Gary Mackay-Steven (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen).

Florian Kamberi (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Shaleum Logan (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Florian Kamberi (Hibernian).

Attempt missed. Florian Kamberi (Hibernian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Aberdeen. Bruce Anderson replaces James Wilson.

Florian Kamberi (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen).

Attempt missed. Vykintas Slivka (Hibernian) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Attempt blocked. Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Shaleum Logan.

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Shaleum Logan.

Attempt blocked. Jamie Maclaren (Hibernian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Booking

Stephen Mallan (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Stephen Mallan (Hibernian).

Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Florian Kamberi (Hibernian) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Foul by Lewis Stevenson (Hibernian).

Gary Mackay-Steven (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Mark Milligan (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high following a corner.

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Shaleum Logan.

goal

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