Match report: Aberdeen 2-0 Hearts

Aberdeen equalled a nine-game winning streak at Pittodrie set in 1986  as they dumped Hearts 2-0 in a dominant display.

Not since Fergie’s Scottish Cup and League Cup double winning side of 31 years ago have Aberdeen registered nine consecutive home wins in all competitions.

Goals from Shaleum Logan and Jonny Hayes ensured the 10 man Dons equalled that mark to move 17 points clear of the fourth placed Jambos.

With only nine Premiership games remaining it is a victory that all but secures European qualification for a fourth successive season.

Aberdeen were reduced to 10 men in the dying minutes when substitute Jayden Stockley received a straight red card following a challenge with Krystian Nowak.

The Dons may have equalled the ’86 mark, but they are still way behind the club record for consecutive home wins which stands at a whopping 21.

That was set in 1955 by the legendary side that won the league title that season.

Aberdeen completely dominated, both outplaying and out-muscling the Edinburgh side.

It should have been a more emphatic score-line in front of a crowd of 12,178.

The midfield trio of Kenny McLean, Graeme Shinnie and Ryan Jack  underlined their international class with impressive shifts.

However yet again they were snubbed by Scotland boss Gordon Strachan for next week’s double header against Canada and Slovenia.

On this form it is surely a matter of when, not if, the trio get recognition for Scotland.

Aberdeen boss McInnes made just one change to the side that defeated Motherwell 1-0 at the weekend.

Defender Andrew Considine returned from a one match suspension with striker Jayden Stockley dropping to the bench.

Having started recent games with two in attack McInnes resorted back to his favoured 4-2-3-1.

In a taste of what was to come Aberdeen began on the attack and forced two corners in the opening minute.

However the Jambos defence held firm.

It was Dons keeper Joe Lewis who was forced into action first when tipping a powerful 25 yards shot from Sam Nicholson over the bar in the fifth minute.

Hearts should have grabbed the lead.

Right back Shaleum Logan produced a superb challenge with a perfectly timed penalty box tackle to dispossess Arnaud Djoum before he could shoot.

Djoum collected the loose ball and slid it to Nicholson who fired over from the edge of the box to spurn a clear opportunity.

Aberdeen grabbed the breakthrough in the 21st minute when Shaleum LOGAN raced onto a McGinn cross and fired home a powerful header from 15 yards.

It was Logan’s 150th appearance for the Dons.

In the 33rd minute Graeme Shinnie collected a chested pass from Logan but rifled a 20 yard shot over.

Hearts were on the back-foot and moments later keeper Jack Hamilton blocked a low drive from McGinn from the edge of the penalty area.

As the Reds continued to dominate Shinnie shot wide in the 41st minute against an increasingly disjointed looking Hearts who were struggling to get out their own half.

Aberdeen had the ball in the net in the 48th minute but the goal was ruled off for offside.

Keeper Hamilton blocked a low 20 yard Shinnie drive but spilled the ball and Rooney was quick to pounce, firing into the open net.

Rooney’s celebrations for what he thought was his 100th league goal in Scotland were cut short as the assistant referee had flagged for offside.

The influential McLean raced onto a lay off from Hayes in the 55th minute and drilled a vicious 20  yard shot inches over the bar.

An inevitable second came on the hour mark when Jonny HAYES capitalised on a slack pass back from Anastasios Avionitis.

Hayes raced onto the misjudged pass, rounded onrushing keeper Hamilton at the edge of the box and then slammed a shot into the empty net.

Moments later a superb 30 yard drive from McLean was goal-bound until Hamilton produced an equally impressive diving save to push it over the bar.

In the 71st minute a curling 25 yard free kick from McGinn landed on the roof of the net with Hamilton struggling to cover.

It should have been 3-0 in the 81st minute as Ash Taylor met a Hayes free-kick six yards out but headed over with the goal beckoning.

Aberdeen were reduced to 10 men in the 88th minute when substitute Stockley was red carded for catching Krystian Nowak with an arm.

It was a harsh decision on the striker.

The incident sparked a melee with Shinnie and Martin both yellow carded.