ABERDEEN’S four game winning streak ended in Edinburgh with a 2-0 defeat to dominant Hibs.
The fourth placed Easter Road outfit have now closed the gap on second placed Aberdeen to just five points.
Aberdeen defeated Hibs 4-1 in their previous meeting at Pittodrie in December but there was never any chance of a repeat once Martin Boyle grabbed the opener early in the second half.
Florian Kamberi added a second later on in a game where the Reds failed to find their attacking threat down the flanks that had been so effective in recent games.
Hibs were the more dangerous side and dominated for long spells.
They were well worthy of the win that elevates the Leith side right into contention for a potential European spot.
On loan Manchester City midfielder Chidibeire Nwakali came in for his first start since penning a deal until the end of the season from the Premier League leaders.
Striker Stevie May was back in the squad for the first time since the opening game after the winter shutdown having recovered from an ankle injury.
The £400,000 summer signing from Preston North End had missed the last five matches and was introduced by Dons boss Derek McInnes at half-time for Adam Rooney.
In a tense opening period Hibs had the better of the possession as both sides assessed one another.
The opening opportunity came in the 11th minute when Ryan Christie attempted a 22 yard drive but his effort flew just over the cross-bar.
Moments later the home side threatened when John McGinn fired in a powerful drive but keeper Freddie Woodman saved.
A last gasp block from Andy Considine denied Hibs in the 15th minute as Jamie MacLaren capitalized on a slip up from Scott McKenna 15 yards out.
He unleashed a low drive but Considine stretched out to block.
Aberdeen were denied in the 19th minute when Kenny McLean was given too much time and space 30 yards out.
He made the most of it by unleashing a bullet drive that was going into the top far corner until keeper Ofir Marciano dived high to tip it wide.
As the action hotted up Hibs then forced Woodman into a save in the 23rd minute to collect a 20 yard drive from Dylan McGeouch who had latched onto a lay off from Darren McGregor.
In the 36th minute following patient build up play from Hibs at the edge of the penalty area a low drive from John McGinn was deflected wide for a corner.
Hibs continued to push forward and Paul Hanlon headed just over.
In the 39th minute Nwakali shot from 25 yards out but his low shot never looked like troubling Marciano and went well wide.
Aberdeen made a change at half-time with Stevie May coming on for Adam Rooney.
However it was Hibs who grabbed the opener in the 47th minute when Jamie McLaren was played through by Paul Hanlon but his shot was blocked by Woodman.
Scott Allan collected the ball and squared up McLaren who was again denied by the on loan Newcastle United keeper.
The ball spun up to Martin BOYLE who converted from eight yards.
Hibs went 2-0 ahead on the hour mark when a low drive from Hanlon was blocked in the box.
The ball deflected to Florian KAMBERI who buried it from 12 yards to punish the Reds.
Hibs were flooding forward and looked dangerous with every attack.
In the 70th minute McLean fired in a low 30 yard drive but keeper Marciano was sharp enough to block.
Hibs nearly made it 3-0 when a low drive from Boyle from the right flank flashed across Woodman’s in goal and passed inches wide of the far post.
The by now over-worked Woodman was called into action again when he saved a vicious 15 yard drive from Hanlon in the 85th minute.
ABERDEEN: Woodman, Logan, Considine, O’Connor, McLean, Rooney, Mackay-Steven, McGinn, McKenna, Christie, Nwakali.
Subs: May (for Rooney 46), Arnason (for Nwakali 65), Maynard (for Mackay-Steven 80)
Subs not used: Rogers, Reynolds, Stewart, Arnason, Ball.
HIBS: Marciano, Hanlon, McGinn, McGeouch, Stevenson, Boyle, MacLaren, Kamberi, Allan, McGregor, Ambrose.
Subs not used: Bell, Bartley, Swanson, Rherras, Shaw, Porteous, Mackie.
Referee: Andrew Dallas