17 Feb McInnes unhappy as below-par Dons lose at Hibs
Derek McInnes admitted his Aberdeen side were “murdered” by Hibernian as his Easter Road counterpart Neil Lennon toasted his side’s most complete performance of the campaign.
Second-half goals from Martin Boyle and Florian Kamberi secured a 2-0 triumph, avenging the Hibees’ meek 4-1 reverse at Pittodrie in December.
The result could have been far more comprehensive if not for the interventions of Dons goalkeeper Freddie Woodman, who was in fine form to deny Jamie MacLaren, Boyle and the superb Scott Allan.
Aberdeen, who will now surrender second spot in the Ladbrokes Premiership to Rangers if the Glasgow giants defeat Hamilton on Sunday, were out of sorts going forward and visibly missed the influence of suspended club captain Graeme Shinnie in the heart of midfield.
McInnes pulled no punches in his assessment of their capitulation after the interval.
He said: “I can sit and say what I want – but they murdered us in the second half, absolutely murdered us.
“They were the better team hands down.
“Their better players had a bigger influence on the game and we did not react the way I would expect when the second goal went in.
“There was plenty of effort, but not enough responsibility taken.
“We picked up enough yellow cards but I’m not kidded by that – there wasn’t enough proper tackling from us. Hibs had a good day today, similar to when we won 4-1 at Pittodrie.
“That was revenge for Hibs today. Although it was only 2-0 we were lucky to get away with two.”
Lennon confessed the display even took him by surprise and is adamant it bettered their 2-1 triumph over Rangers at Ibrox a fortnight ago.
Hibs are now just two points behind Rangers and five adrift of second-placed Aberdeen after they firmly announced themselves in the race to be crowned best of the rest behind Celtic.
He said: “No question, that was our performance of the season. Ibrox was good, but you have to put into context the quality of opposition and the form (Aberdeen) were in, they are an excellent side.
“We were outstanding and thoroughly deserved the win. I didn’t see it coming at half-time.
“One swallow doesn’t make a summer and we need a consistency of performance, but we were excellent and are in a really good place at the moment.”