After another scrappy draw at Tynecastle between Hearts and Hibs, here are five talking points from the final Edinburgh derby of 2017
The curse of the ghost goal strikes again
Oli Shaw’s ghost goal was the biggest talking point of the night. Coming after just seven minutes, Shaw’s close-range effort from Martin Boyle’s low cross from the right looked over the line at the time and replays showed it should have been given. Linesman Sean Carr appeared to have his view of the ball obstructed by Jamie Brandon, but the incident will surely reignite the debate on goalline technology. It’s not the first time Hibs have had a goal ruled out - a Leigh Griffiths free kick at Easter Road in a 2013 derby hit the bar and dropped down behind the line before bouncing out, with the referee waving play on.
Esmael Goncalves endured a night to forget. The forward was frequently caught in possession, gave the ball away all too often and at times struggled to stay in the game. There were howls of derision from the home support towards the end of the game after another wayward pass. He was given precious little to work with, but the Hearts fans were on his back with every error and one can only assume the threadbare nature of Craig Levein’s squad and lack of suitable replacements on the bench as a result was the only reason he lasted the full 90 minutes.
Stevenson the danger man?
For the second game running, Lewis Stevenson appeared to have been identified as a danger man by the opposition. Stevenson’s assist and passing stats show him to be just about on level pegging with John McGinn - indeed, it was his pass that started the move that led to Simon Murray’s goal in the last derby. So kudos to Levein for identifying the threat posed by Stevenson and keeping him quiet.
Defenders shine in drab derby
Bar Shaw’s effort, it’s hard to pick out anything noteworthy from any of the strikers. Kyle Lafferty started strongly but faded, and should have done better with an effort that he poked wide just after the interval, while Anthony Stokes was unable to replicate his man-of-the-match performance from the win over Ross County. Step forward the central defenders on display - particularly Christophe Berra, Paul Hanlon, Darren McGregor and John Souttar. The quartet were rocks at the back for their respective clubs, dealing with anything that came their way. It’s not hard to see why Berra and Hanlon especially are held in such high regard.
Super John McGinn
John McGinn has been linked with a move away from Hibs, and on tonight’s performance it’s easy to see why. The Scotland international just shaded Dylan McGeouch as the standout midfielder. While not his best game in green and white, he certainly moved up a gear from a fairly ordinary performance against Ross County at the weekend - it’s no secret that the former St Mirren man relishes big occasions like the derby. That he’s said he’s happy to stay at Easter Road for the time being will be music to Neil Lennon’s ears.