Jason Cummings’ early goal was enough to win a frantic Edinburgh derby, sending Hibernian into the Scottish Cup quarter-final.
Both sides were reduced to 10 men in the second-half, with Blazej Augustyn then Cummings receiving second yellows.
The dismissals barely disrupted the tumult of the game, sprinkled with excellence from Hibs’ John McGinn.
Hearts twice had cause to regret offside decisions, with Abiola Dauda and Juanma having goals disallowed.
Hearts were rattled before the game had even settled down to a frenetic nature. Hibs exploited the width of their wing-backs with David Gray sweeping a cross in from the right that Cummings stabbed high into the roof of the net from close range.
The goal generated a surge of enthusiasm in the home side, with Liam Henderson, McGinn, Cummings and Anthony Stokes all prominent in the final third. They often darted into space, further pulling the Hearts defenders out of position and causing a sense of alarm that stifled the visitors.
Hearts’ passing was often awry in the opening half, as they bypassed the midfield to try to hit the forwards early. If there was symbolism to the game – beyond the relentless invention and running of McGinn – was the comparison between the quick, bright sharpness of Cummings and the languid play of Juanma, who spent more time expressing his angst to the officials.
John Beaton, the referee, was swamped with decisions to make, and most of them were shrewdly taken. He took a moment to communicate with his assistant referee before disallowing Hearts’ equaliser after Abiola Dauda moved offside before heading in Callum Paterson’s cross. Earlier in the game he also wasn’t swayed when Darren McGregor fell in the penalty area as he challenged Augustyn for the ball.
By snapping into challenges and breaking upfield with intent, Hibs suppressed the visitors. They had to rely more on their defensive instincts in the second-half, as Hearts responded with some resilience of their own. Igor Rossi ought to have equalised when Paterson curled the ball deep towards the back post, but sent it instead into the side-netting.
Juanma – an infuriating figure throughout – missed from even closer range after Rossi’s deep ball was sent across goal by Paterson, with the striker failing to connect inside the six yard box. Even when he did, from a similar move, he was judged to be offside.
The competitive nature of the game could never be quelled, although neither red card was the result of fouls. Augustyn received a second yellow for hurling the ball into the ground in frustrations, while Cummings received his second booking for kicking the ball away after it went out of play.
The game became frenetic again, with Hibs camped deep in their own half, but for all their pressing hearts could not create an opening.