Anthony Stokes grabbed a double to ensure that Hibernian keep pace with the Scottish Premier League leaders after a win over toothless Aberdeen.
Hibs goalkeeper Yves Ma-Kalambay pulled off fine saves to deny Charlie Mulgrew and Darren Mackie.
And Stokes put the visitors ahead against the run of play with a clinical finish five minutes before the break.
The striker stabbed the ball home from close range after 55 minutes and the Dons' Lee Miller was sent off late on.
Hibs remain five points behind Rangers, while defeat is a blow for an Aberdeen side who remain nine points adrift of fourth place and a Europa League qualification spot.
The Dons had gone into the game depleted by injury, defender Davide Grassi, midfielder Derek Young and striker Darren Mackie returning to the starting line-up in place of crocked duo Maurice Ross and Peter Pawlett and the demoted Chris Maguire.
Miller was sent off after 82 minutes for flooring Zemmama
However, Mackie almost opened the scoring in spectacular fashion with a perfectly timed scissor-kick from a Richard Foster cross after eight minutes, but Sol Bamba was in the right place to head the goalbound effort clear.
Hibs were unchanged once more after Derek Riordan recovered from sickness as they sought to extend their unbeaten run in the SPL to 12 games.
And Stokes squandered a great opportunity at the other end three minutes later when he took too long to pull the trigger, allowing Grassi time to block the striker's effort.
However, the home side continued to enjoy the better of the chances, with Gary McDonald's deflected left-footed shot drifting out for a fruitless corner after 15 minutes.
Ma-Kalambay, who was also typically erratic throughout, was called upon to push a Mulgrew free-kick from all of 35 yards out for a corner.
A miss-hit Mackie cross looked to be dipping under the Hibs crossbar, but Ma-Kalambay again demonstrated his agility by pushing the ball over the bar after 27 minutes.
But it was Hibernian who took the lead against the run of play five minutes before the interval when Merouane Zemmama threaded an inviting pass into the path of Stokes, who darted past Mulgrew before slotting the ball past Jamie Langfield.
Mulgrew was deputising alongside Andrew Considine at the centre of the home defence, which was looking fragile despite the home side's dominance of possession.
Stokes could have profited from confusion in the Dons defence before the break when they failed to deal with a long ball upfield from Ma-Kalambay - but the Irishman could only head woefully wide.
Aberdeen signalled their early intent after the interval, with Foster stinging the palms of Ma-Kalambay with a fierce shot before Michael Paton shot over a minute later.
However, it was the visitors who scored again after 55 minutes, when Colin Nish's shot across the face of goal was turned home by Stokes for his second of the match.
The home side could have pulled a goal back almost immediately, but McDonald's tame effort was clawed away by Ma-Kalambay before Considine's header was cleared off the line by David Wotherspoon.
Aberdeen lost Miller eight minutes from the final whistle after he clattered Zemmama from behind, ensuring that the striker will have some community service to do under manager Mark McGhee's new disciplinary rules.
Aberdeen manager Mark McGhee: "I think we played well for long spells and our approach to the game was solid.
"We had some good possession but did not turn our play into chances and Hibs must be thanking the gods for being ahead at half time.
"That's been our pattern and it's something we have to work on, although we had a few players missing, like (Fraser) Fyvie and (Sone) Aluko, who give a bit of edge and variety.
"We've introduced a system of discipline, but there's a kind of irresponsibility about a couple of the sendings off we've had recently.
"The most recent ones we can't tolerate and need to stamp out, so I will be looking at that again closely."
Hibernian manager John Hughes: "I felt, in the first half, that Aberdeen gave as good as they got and that we possibly scored our first goal against the run of play.
"The second half was better for Hibs and we got a second goal and deserved our victory, but we had to work hard for it.
"I'll tell you this, Aberdeen are going places. They have a good blend and possibly have the best crop of youngsters in the league right now.
"But they will have to take their time. We have goals in the team and that was the difference."
Live text and stats
Saturday, 19 December 2009
14 Young yellow card
09 Miller red card
10 Mackie yellow card
24 Paton (Maguire 77)
06 Murray yellow card
26 Bamba yellow card
07 Zemmama (Benjelloun 87)
09 Nish (Cregg 90+1)
10 Riordan (Stevenson 79)
Ref: McDonaldAtt: 9,096
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+3:11 The final whistle is blown by the referee.
90:00+1:19 The ball is crossed by Charlie Mulgrew, clearance by Souleymane Bamba.
90:00+0:52 Substitution Colin Nish leaves the field to be replaced by Patrick Cregg.
86:36 Andrew Considine takes the free kick.
86:36 Substitution Abdessalam Benjelloun is brought on as a substitute for Merouane Zemmama.
86:36 The referee blows for offside.
83:43 Corner taken by Charlie Mulgrew from the right by-line, Souleymane Bamba manages to make a clearance.
82:58 Charlie Mulgrew delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel, David Wotherspoon manages to make a
82:58 Booking Booking for Ian Murray for unsporting behaviour.
82:51 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Christopher Maguire by Ian Murray.
81:17 Free kick crossed right-footed by Chris Hogg, Charlie Mulgrew makes a clearance.
81:17 Sent off Lee Miller is sent off by the referee.
80:57 Foul by Lee Miller on Merouane Zemmama, free kick awarded.
79:31 Anthony Stokes takes a shot. Save made by Jamie Langfield.
78:50 Colin Nish challenges Andrew Considine unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jamie Langfield.
78:15 Substitution Lewis Stevenson replaces Derek Riordan.
76:36 Substitution Christopher Maguire on for Michael Paton.
76:13 The assistant referee signals for offside against Derek Riordan. Jamie Langfield restarts play with the free kick.
75:14 Booking Booking for Souleymane Bamba.
Correction - 75:13 The referee gives a free kick against Souleymane Bamba for handball. Direct free kick taken by Jamie Langfield.
75:13 Souleymane Bamba is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Jamie Langfield takes the free kick.
Correction - 74:15 Corner taken by Derek Riordan.
74:15 Short corner worked by Derek Riordan.
70:28 Foul by Davide Grassi on Colin Nish, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Chris Hogg.
69:15 Gary McDonald challenges David Wotherspoon unfairly and gives away a free kick. Chris Hogg takes the free kick.
68:08 Unfair challenge on Darren Mackie by Souleymane Bamba results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.
67:19 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Derek Riordan played to the near post, clearance made by Gary McDonald.
64:42 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mark Kerr by John Rankin. Free kick crossed left-footed by Charlie Mulgrew, Souleymane
Bamba manages to make a clearance.
64:30 Anthony Stokes is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Charlie Mulgrew takes the indirect free kick.
61:56 Gary McDonald has an effort at goal from a long way out that goes wide of the right-hand post.
61:27 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Souleymane Bamba by Darren Mackie. Yves Ma-Kalambay takes the free kick.
60:52 The referee blows for offside against Anthony Stokes. Jamie Langfield restarts play with the free kick.
60:18 Charlie Mulgrew takes the inswinging corner, Liam Miller makes a clearance.
59:48 Corner taken by Derek Young, Souleymane Bamba manages to make a clearance.
59:21 Inswinging corner taken by Derek Young from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Chris Hogg.
Correction - 57:51 Lee Miller fouled by Souleymane Bamba, the ref awards a free kick. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from
Lee Miller, save by Yves Ma-Kalambay.
57:51 Foul by Souleymane Bamba on Lee Miller, free kick awarded. Charlie Mulgrew takes the direct free kick.
57:24 Booking Booking for Darren Mackie.
56:47 Lee Miller challenges Ian Murray unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Ian Murray.
54:12 The assist for the goal came from Colin Nish.
54:12 GOAL - Anthony Stokes:Aberdeen 0 - 2 Hibernian Anthony Stokes finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal.
Aberdeen 0-2 Hibernian.
52:55 Davide Grassi gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Merouane Zemmama. The free kick is delivered right-footed
by Chris Hogg from right wing.
47:50 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Derek Young from the left by-line to the near post, Merouane Zemmama makes a clearance.
47:33 Richard Foster takes a shot. Save made by Yves Ma-Kalambay.
45:58 Lee Miller fouled by Liam Miller, the ref awards a free kick. Charlie Mulgrew crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed
from left channel, save by Yves Ma-Kalambay.
45:12 Unfair challenge on Darren Mackie by Ian Murray results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Richard Foster.
45:01 The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.
45:00+1:06 The whistle is blown to end the first half.
43:34 Charlie Mulgrew takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by John Rankin.
41:56 Mark Kerr takes a shot. Yves Ma-Kalambay makes a save.
40:17 Unfair challenge on Merouane Zemmama by Lee Miller results in a free kick. Free kick crossed by Chris Hogg, Gary McDonald
manages to make a clearance.
39:05 GOAL - Anthony Stokes:Aberdeen 0 - 1 Hibernian Anthony Stokes finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Aberdeen
34:30 Lee Miller gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Souleymane Bamba. Ian Murray restarts play with the free kick.
34:00 Derek Riordan is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Jamie Langfield.
33:46 Foul by Lee Miller on David Wotherspoon, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Chris Hogg.
32:54 Souleymane Bamba challenges Lee Miller unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed by Charlie Mulgrew, Lee Miller
concedes a free kick for a foul on Souleymane Bamba. Yves Ma-Kalambay restarts play with the free kick.
31:56 The assistant referee flags for offside against Gary McDonald. Yves Ma-Kalambay takes the free kick.
27:38 Derek Young takes a floated corner.
26:54 Darren Mackie delivers the ball, save made by Yves Ma-Kalambay. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Derek Young, Chris
Hogg makes a clearance.
24:48 Liam Miller gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gary McDonald. Charlie Mulgrew restarts play with the free kick.
24:20 Darren Mackie is caught offside. Free kick taken by Souleymane Bamba.
23:43 The ball is swung over by Charlie Mulgrew.
22:57 Charlie Mulgrew takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, John Rankin manages to make a clearance.
20:16 Unfair challenge on Davide Grassi by Merouane Zemmama results in a free kick. Jamie Langfield restarts play with the free
18:15 Inswinging corner taken by Derek Young from the right by-line, clearance made by David Wotherspoon.
17:14 Foul by Souleymane Bamba on Lee Miller, free kick awarded. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Charlie Mulgrew,
save made by Yves Ma-Kalambay.
14:07 Gary McDonald takes a shot. Save by Yves Ma-Kalambay. Charlie Mulgrew takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played
to the near post, John Rankin makes a clearance.
12:11 The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Jamie Langfield.
10:29 Outswinging corner taken by Merouane Zemmama from the right by-line played to the near post.
9:05 Corner taken by Merouane Zemmama, Davide Grassi makes a clearance.
7:38 Overhead kick right-footed shot by Darren Mackie. Chris Hogg gets a block in.
2:51 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Derek Young from the left by-line.
2:19 Souleymane Bamba challenges Lee Miller unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Charlie
Mulgrew from right channel, Liam Miller manages to make a clearance.
1:29 Direct free kick taken by Derek Riordan.
1:29 Booking The referee cautions Derek Young for unsporting behaviour.
0:49 Derek Young gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Wotherspoon.
0:00 The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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