The big Premiership fixtures don’t stop with the third Old Firm league clash of the season this weekend, while fifth placed Hearts host third placed Aberdeen at Tynecastle on Saturday.
With one win in the fixture each so far this season, great games have been shared between the two over the years. Here, NTOF takes a look at the more noteworthy clashes in the capital with Hearts hosting Aberdeen.
Hearts 1-0 Aberdeen (3rd May 2006)
A historic fixture took place way back in 2006. Hearts became the first non-Old Firm Scottish team to qualify for the Champions League following a 1-0 victory over Aberdeen. Paul Hartley’s second-half penalty against the Dons sealed the Jambos’ second place SPL finish ahead of Rangers in the 2005-06 season.
It also meant a UEFA Cup spot for lowly Gretna. Their place was guaranteed whether they emerged victorious in the Scottish Cup Final against Valdas Ivanauskas’ team or not. Just as well because they would lose to the Jambos on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
Hearts 1-2 Aberdeen (7th May 2017)
Just over 11 years later, an Aberdeen victory over Hearts at Tynecastle all but secured a second placed finish of their own.
The Dons took the lead through Adam Rooney before Ismael Goncalves levelled for the hosts. Anthony O’Connor would grab the Aberdeen winner to send them nine points clear of third-placed Rangers with three games to go. Hearts were reduced to 10 men in the final stages as Jamie Walker was sent off.
It highlighted a miserable end to the season for the Jambos. They had stuttered in the league under rookie boss Ian Cathro, eventually finishing fifth but summed up a great season for Derek McInnes’ Dons. It was the final match before the construction of Hearts’ new main stand.
After 103 years and 2,253 competitive matches, the Archibald Leitch stand bowed out with a defeat. A defeat to a side that had already lost a League Cup final, looked to be runners-up in the league and would go on to be runners-up in the Scottish Cup. All as a result of Celtic’s invincible season.
Hearts 0-0 Aberdeen (9th September 2017)
Quite fitting, therefore, that as a stand and manager made way, Hearts would host Aberdeen in Craig Levein’s first match back in charge of the Jambos. Having to play at the home of Scottish Rugby at Murrayfield, this was a game that was much better than the scoreline would suggest.
A spirited Aberdeen kept the capital club at bay with goalkeeper Joe Lewis labelled a standout performer. As was Hearts debutant Ross Callachan, along with fellow new signing David Milinkovic.
The Jambos couldn’t find the breakthrough and this was the beginning of what was considered a disappointing sixth-placed league campaign. Derek McInnes’ side would go on and claim another European spot following another second-placed finish.
With both these sides chasing a European spot, two potential further league clashes await. With this being the first of them, it’s a massive game that neither of these two teams or managers can ignore prior to the split.