09 December 2019 04:58
Media playback is not supported on this device Highlights: Hibernian 1-2 Aberdeen Aberdeen's Europa League hopes rest on Celtic winning the Scottish Cup after they beat Hibernian to finish fourth in the Scottish Premiership. Derek McInnes' side needed to better Kilmarnock's result, but the Ayrshire team's 2-1 win over Rangers secured them third place on goal difference. Marc McNulty fired Hibs ahead from a delightful Fraser Murray pass. Sam Cosgrove finished well to level before the break and James Wilson struck the winner after the break. Cosgrove also had a late penalty saved by Ofir Marciano after Gary Mackay-Steven had been fouled by David Gray.
Should holders Celtic win the Scottish Cup in next week's final against Hearts, Aberdeen will join Kilmarnock and league runners-up Rangers in next season's Europa League qualifiers. Aberdeen's efforts not enough - as yet McInnes sent his Aberdeen players out with the message that three points would be required if they were to have any chance of finishing third and be assured of a sixth successive European campaign. Lewis Ferguson in particular was in the mood, warming the hands of Marciano with an effort from distance and then a 20-drive on target but blocked by his own captain Graeme Shinnie. The home side slowly eased their way into the game and Murray, who celebrated his 20th birthday earlier this month, flicked a wonderful ball through for McNulty to coolly slot home from eight yards. Murray then curled a shot just wide and McNulty inexplicably nodded the ball back across goal when an effort towards it may well have been the better option.
Aberdeen had been under the cosh but carved an equaliser when Connor McLennan delivered low and Cosgrove got the break of the ball before firing across Marciano into the right corner. A wonderful four-man move on the left involving McLennan, Cosgrove and substitute Stevie May drew the Hibs defence to the ball and opened up the space for the unmarked Wilson to roll past Marciano. The goal came just as Rangers' Alfredo Morelos equalised at Rugby Park and the travelling fans at Easter Road were now in full voice. Gray had a shot from close range saved at the second attempt by Tomas Cerny and Stevie Mallan's mis-hit effort was gathered easily by the Aberdeen goalkeeper. After Kilmarnock had gone ahead again in Ayrshire, McLennan's replacement Mackay-Steven was felled by Gray only for Cosgrove's awful spot-kick to be blocked by the legs of Marciano. And though it had no effect on the result in Edinburgh, Cosgrove failed to draw level on league goals with Morelos, who finished one clear in the scoring charts with 18. Wilson was left all alone to slide home what turned out to be the winner 'It was a terrific performance' - reaction Hibernian manager Paul Heckingbottom: "It was a terrific performance. Everything we did wrong came back to haunt us but everything we did right we didn't get the rewards for. "We had the full-backs getting forward. I want people chipping in with single figures and more people getting into double figures because that's the way we're going to win games." Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes: "We asked the players to do their job and we got the three points and 67 points despite all those injuries this season it's still not bad. "Our away form has been spot on. Nobody better I don't think, in the league. Some of the home performances in the second half of the season have ultimately come back to bite us." Deadline Day for Sky Sports News is like July 4th for Americans or whatever date Jools Holland spends pretending it's Hogmanay. It's their biggest day of the year, and all stops are pulled out. At 7pm Jim White arrives with his signature yellow tie, like a bat signal for VLs. The presentation is intense and in-depth, with reporters on the streets of Britain putting on their mittens for these sub-zero conditions and waiting for clubs to push things forward in their 'last-ditch' bids for 'wantaway' strikers. It's a thankless task, particularly when trying to remain composed while someone shoves a sex aid in your ear. The slickness of their Deadline Day presentation is impressive, but their coverage of Scottish football continues to mystify. Incorrect badges, players being linked with clubs they already play for, Andy Walker. It's got to the stage that numerous fans are asking if these almost daily mistakes are actually part of some deliberate bam-up, with Scottish football fans as the victims. To save them the hassle, I've written a Sky Sports round-up of all the transfer activity at Scottish Premiership clubs in this window. ABERDEEN: "Stewart Gregg returned to Pittlochrie for his second spell with the Dens, having spent the first half of this season playing rugby in the park. He's joined by Mack Slow, who had been playing for Aberdeen's local rivals Aberdeen #StandThree" CELTIC: "Celtic narrowly missed out on main target Lewis Morgan, who turned down Celtic to join Sunderland from Celtic. New signings Timothy Weah, Oliver Burke and Vakoun Issouf Bayo will also be pulling on the famous green and white stripes #YMCA" DUNDEE: "The Terrors have had a busy window, with NINE new faces arriving at Tannadice. New defender Andrew Davies was injured just four days after arriving, ruling him out of a vital cup tie against Queens of the South Age" HAMILTON: "Four new arrivals at the Reeferdome in this window, with the pick of the bunch being Steve Davies. The midfielder joins from Blackpool, and has immediately been loaned to Rangers by Hammell Town" HEARTS: "Manager Craig Le Vean brought back Edward Ryan from his loan spell at St Johnstone. The midfielder will be eager to make his mark upon returning to Hibs of Midlothian #GloriousHibs" HIBS: "The biggest departure from East End Road has been Football Association Ambrose, but it's not been all bad news for the Jambos. Ryan Gold has returned to Scottish football after first making his name at Dundee. Despite repeated requests for an interview, manager Neil Lennon refuses to provide us with more updates #GGTTJ" KILMARNOCK: "Alex Bruce will be grabbing himself a famous Killie sandwich after joining Steve Bruce's Dalmarnock revolution. Despite having signed a pre-contract agreement with Rangers, Joe Jordans remains in Rugby Town until the end of the season #KatieID" LIVINGSTON: "It's been an eventful month in Livings Town, with manager Gary Holmes pulling off a coup with the signing of Chris Erskine from Inverness Partickonian Thistle" MOTHERWELL: "32-year-old striker Ross McCormack joins the Fir Park Rangers, in a major boost to manager Robin Stephenson's promotion push #UpTheWall" RANGERS: "36-year-old striker Jermain Defoe has arrived at Ibrox to assist manager Steven Gerrard's title bid. He's joined by 34-year-old midfielder Steven Davis, who previously featured for Rangers between 2008 and 2012. The Teddy Bears have also confirmed the signing of 25-year-old American right back Matt Polster #WATP" ST MIRREN: "St Johnstone have enjoyed an exciting transfer window" You can follow Football Scotland here on Twitter and join the conversation on our Facebook page here. We also publish a nightly newsletter at around 5pm every week day, rounding up the latest stories and more. To sign up go here.