From Aaron Hickey’s impressive display to the Hibernian fans calling for Paul Heckingbottom’s exit, here are the biggest talking points from the Edinburgh derby…
Aaron Hickey shines in derby debut
What a way for the 17-year-old to mark his Edinburgh derby debut. There was an element of luck about his first Hearts goal as it took a deflection off of Josh Vela’s outstretched leg, but the youngster was good value for
Paul Heckingbottom insists he is not considering his future as Hibernian boss, despite a 2-1 defeat at home to Hearts piling the pressure on at Easter Road
The derby almost felt like a make-or-break fixture for Heckingbottom and counterpart Craig Levein given how poorly both sides had started the season. Levein has earned at least some temporary respite but will Hibernian stand by their man?
Hibs were poor in the first half here, going long into Hearts centre-backs on numerous occasions, yielding little success, and they failed to take advantage of their momentum following Stevie Mallan’s fantastic opener after the interval. The nature of the defeat, in front of their own fans, leaves Heckingbottom facing even more questions over his future.
Levein passes derby test
Hearts fans protested against Levein in their numbers outside Tynecastle last week but the Hearts boss played a blinder in the derby.
Starting with three at the back certainly stunted the home side, with Christophe Berra and Craig Halkett mopping up long balls over the top, but Levein was quick to act when his side did go behind.
Andy Irving and Callum Morrison were introduced as Hearts pushed further up the pitch and became more aggressive going forward through the power of Uche Ikpeazu and the trickery of Ryotaro Meshino.
Levein essentially turned the game into an end-to-end slugfest with this aggression straight after the opener, with Hearts eventually enjoying a sustained period of pressure as they took the game by the scruff of the neck. Hibs, who have now shipped 15 goals in six games, could not stand up to it.
A springboard for Hearts?
Defeat at Easter Road would have been devastating for Hearts and possibly for Levein’s tenure as manager given not only their poor start to the season but also their disappointing end to the last campaign, with a Scottish Cup final appearance masking frustrating form in the league.