Following last Sunday's defeat to Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final, there was just the one change to the Aberdeen starting XI, the injured Marley Watkins replaced by Connor McLennan. Connor's place on the bench was taken up by Ronald Hernandez.
After they went out of the Scottish Cup to Hearts at Hampden last Saturday, Hibs made just the one change too, Kyle Magennis out with injury and replaced by Jamie Murphy. His place on the bench went to Stephen McGinn.
There was a sharp start from the Dons, winning a second minute corner on the right, but Matty Kennedy's ball in was cleared all too easily. Three minutes later though, great pressing from Aberdeen had its reward with a Scott Wright goal. Hedges did so well to close down Murphy in the Hibs penalty area, winning the ball and playing it back to Ross McCrorie on the edge of the box. He rolled it along the top of the area to Lewis Ferguson and his first time pass was perfectly placed for Wright to drive his shot across the face of goal and inside the far corner.
Sam Cosgrove was back in the goals in the 12th minute to make it 2-0. A ball forward from Porteous was charged down in the centre circle by Ferguson, the ball bouncing forward off him and into Cosgrove's path, 30 yards out. He advanced into the box before flicking his shot with the outside of the right boot across Marciano and into the opposite corner, an outstanding finish as the Dons threatened to run riot.
There was a nasty collision in the 19th minute, McCrorie and Ash Taylor running into one another as they tried to win an aerial ball from Nisbet, McCrorie coming off worst and needing attention from the physios before continuing.
Hibs had their first chance in the 29th minute, though it was from an Aberdeen boot, Taylor slicing his clearance from a dangerous looking throw into the box, Joe Lewis up to tip the ball over the bar. The visitors were beginning to have a bit more possession by now, though at this stage it was all in front of the Aberdeen defence without asking any real questions.
McLennan had to produce a terrific piece of defending in the 37th minute to take the ball off Nisbet's toe as he prepared to shoot, Hibs certainly more in the game than in those early stages.
Aberdeen responded and penned Hibs in with a string of passes that won them another corner in the 41st minute. It was another poor ball in from Kennedy and Hibs were away on the break, but a slip from Nisbet as he looked to control the ball in the centre circle alleviated the danger, the Dons still two goals to the good as we headed into the break.
HALF-TIME: ABERDEEN 2 HIBERNIAN 0
The Dons started the half quickly again, McCrorie and Wright creating a chance for McLennan whose drive from the edge of the box arced wide of goal in the 46th minute. Hibs responded, winning a corner following a goalmouth skirmish a couple of minutes later. It was a dangerous ball in but well defended by a McCrorie header.
Aberdeen weren't far away in the 52nd minute, Hedges and Cosgrove combining and putting Wright in on goal but he couldn't quite get the ball out of his feet to shoot, his attempt to pick out Cosgrove with a return pass instead cut out by the defence.
Another opening arrived in the 58th minute, instigated by a good ball forward from McLennan, Hedges then finding Cosgrove whose shot was blocked behind from a tight angle.
Hibs made their first change just past the hour, Newell making way for Mallan. Doig then went into the referee's notebook for an agricultural looking hack on Hedges. More lovely football from the free-kick almost had Cosgrove in on goal in the 64th minute after a clever ball by Wright, but the angle narrowed too quickly for him and the chance was gone.
The Dons were dicing with danger in the 67th minute, Boyle going to ground after a slight shove from Kennedy, but the referee waved play on as the Dons held their breath awaiting a penalty call. Paul McGinn was after a little revenge, going in the book for a late challenge on Kennedy seconds later. Hibs then made their next change, Murphy off for Wright in the 68th minute. Aberdeen's first substitution came three minutes later, Curtis Main on for Cosgrove.
Nisbet made way for Gullan after 77 minutes, Hibs having improved in the second half but still with nothing to show for their efforts in the face of a well controlled and organised Aberdeen display. Greg Leigh then came on to replace Kennedy with a dozen minutes left.
Wright made a clever interception in the 79th minute on halfway and accelerated forward. He was clean through on goal, only for Hanlon to come across and whip his legs from under him. Incredibly, Hanlon picked up just a yellow card for the offence.
The game could have been made safe in the 84th minute, Hedges collecting a loose ball in front of Marciano and advancing to the byline before pulling it back, Porteous just getting in front of McCrorie as he tried to shoot, an important interception, Hanlon completing the clearance.
McLennan went down injured with what looked a muscle strain with five minutes to go, Shay Logan on to replace him as the clock ticked down towards three more points for Aberdeen. There was still time for Lewis to have to make his first save from a Hibs foot as we edged into time added on, a comfortable stop from a weak Gullan effort. Taylor then found a last ditch block to deny Boyle and keep the clean sheet, just what the Dons deserved on a terrific night for the club.