Hearts kicked off, but it was Aberdeen who forced the early play and won the first corner of the match in the second minute. Ifil failed to connect with Fyvie's delivery and the home side were able to clear. Kello was out quickly in the 5th minute as Kerr tried to release Mackie then Miller and Mackie were penalised for meaty challenges as they made sure that the physical Hearts side were aware of their presence. It had been a good start by Aberdeen as they were first to every ball, but neither keeper had been tested at this stage.
Hearts won their first corner in the 10th minute and after the ball was half cleared Zaliukas fired wide of Langfield's post. Aberdeen grabbed the lead in the 12th minute when Mackie slipped a nice ball through the Hearts defence for Fyvie, who went one-on-one with Kello and calmly finished for his first senior goal for the club. Hearts had been stung by that goal and they started to push for an equaliser as Aberdeen kept their concentration. Aberdeen pushed forward again in the 20th minute and Mackie won another lost cause as he forced a throw in at the bye line.
The Dons couldn't take advantage and Mulgrew had to keep a close eye on Obua at the other end. A Derek Young shot was blocked two minutes later after good work from Mackie and Foster. Hearts then won a corner in the 24th minute despite the fact that Grassi was being fouled all the way to the bye line. The corner came to nothing and Aberdeen broke, but Kerr took too long to release the ball with Fyvie and Mackie in support. Mulgrew had to be quick again in the 27th minute as he intercepted with Hearts starting to build up a head of steam.
There were big shouts for a spot kick on the half hour mark when Stewart went down under a challenge from Ifil, but referee Tumilty was not interested. A minute later Palazuelos fired wide as Hearts started to take control of the game. A Fyvie cross in the 33rd minute went astray then two minutes later Black replaced the injured Lee Wallace for the home side. Stewart then won a free kick on the edge of the box as he was fouled by Foster. The Dons man was booked for his troubles, but the wall did its job and blocked the shot from Stewart.
The Hearts man was lucky to escape a caution as he was in the face of the referee claiming a hand ball. The home side were now putting the official under immense pressure as they claimed for every decision. Poor decision making from Grassi caused a few flutters in the 40th minute as he attempted an ambitious header back to Langfield. The keeper then made a great save two minutes later as he was down quickly to hold a Black drive. Miller then picked up a head knock and had to leave the field to get stitches inserted.
Mackie almost made it 2-0 in the 48th minute as he met a cross from Foster, but his effort was saved by Kello. A minute later the striker won a free kick in Mulgrew territory. Unfortunately his effort was just too high and wide of the target, but Mackie made it 2-0 in the 50th minute as he utilised his pace to reach a Kerr through ball to stab it past the Hearts keeper. Aberdeen looked to add to their tally four minutes later as Young released Mulgrew, but the shot was well off target. Seconds later the ball was bulleted at Mark Kerr from two yards and he was harshly penalised for hand ball.
Hearts won a corner in the 57th minute as they looked for a way back into the match, but Young cleared and Aberdeen broke quickly through Mackie. He set up Kerr who was unlucky when his shot scraped the post. Grassi was caught high by Black in the 59th minute and again the Hearts player was lucky to escape punishment. He wasn't so lucky a minute later when he was cautioned for hauling Fyvie down on the edge of the box. Miller fired the free kick wide but in the 62nd minute Langfield played an intelligent quick ball and Kello did well to deny Mackie a second goal.
Mackie was on fire now and Bouzid was lucky to escape punishment as he crudely took the striker out of the play. Mulgrew took a pot at goal from the free kick even though he was 35 to 40 yards out and Kello had to scramble to save. Aberdeen had produced a great second half performance and at the halfway point the home side looked frustrated. Mulgrew was cautioned in the 70th minute and he could have no complaints as he was caught out by the speed of Robinson. Diamond replaced Mulgrew in the 73rd minute and the returning defender was given a huge cheer from the red army.
Aberdeen made it 3-0 in the 76th minute as Derek Young scored direct from a free kick although Lee Miller was claiming a final touch. Hearts looked to have pulled one back two minutes later, but Langfield saved. The Dons fans were thoroughly enjoying themselves and after a chorus of, "are you watching Darren Barr," the fans gave Darren Mackie a standing ovation for a fine display as he was replaced by Chris Maguire. Hearts finished the match with ten men when Robinson had to leave the pitch after Hearts had used all three substitutes. Nicky Low was handed his debut in the final five minutes as he replaced Fraser Fyvie.
A Mark Kerr shot went inches wide as Aberdeen looked to increase their tally with the stadium half empty now as the home fans had had enough. Another injury to Black reduced Hearts to nine men with only three minutes of injury time remaining, but Aberdeen went down to ten as Lee Miller left the field to get his stitches fixed. There had been a big delay to treat Black so the game went on late. When it ended and the Aberdeen players went to take the applause of the red army as they put in their best away performance of the season by a long way.