In the end, Hearts won it with the one thing Hibs lacked - a killer instinct.

Last night's Edinburgh derby looked destined to fizzle out into a forgettable goalless draw until Lawrence Shankland's late, late intervention gave the visitors all three points at Easter Road. It's an evening that will sting Hibs for quite some time, and there is simply no more deflating way to lose this fixture than via a stoppage time sucker punch.

But, in truth, Nick Montgomery's side weren't at it on the night, and a sub-par display always runs the risk of having the result taken away from you at any moment. Shankland's goal was catalysed by a poor mistake from Rocky Bushiri, but perhaps more concerning moving forward is that Hibs have undoubtedly misplaced their cutting edge of late.

When Montgomery arrived back in September, few could have foreseen goals as being a significant problem, given Hibs' talented attacking options and the manager's willingness to get as many of them on the pitch as possible. But his team have now scored just one goal in their last three Premiership matches, and the forward line has seemingly lost its zip.

Hibs' xG was 1.96 on the night, albeit that was raised significantly by the award of a penalty which was then missed by Martin Boyle. 15 shots was a better return than previous weeks, but only three - including the spot-kick - found the target.

Decision-making found wanting

There's been discussion of deficiencies in Montgomery's system - and there are currently issues - but decision-making in the final third was lacking on Wednesday night. Hibs had most joy down the left, with Jair Tavares and Jordan Obita getting into good positions at various points.

But getting into those areas is one thing, picking the right final pass is another entirely. Hibs were more willing to throw earlier crosses into the box than previously seen under Montgomery - their crossing percentage has consistently been among the lowest in the division - with mixed results. 

Tactical change or not, making the right decision at the right time remains key, and Hibs just didn't get it right often enough. In the example below, Jair does well to drive past Nathaniel Atkinson, but he doesn't get his head up to see that Martin Boyle has pulled back to create space for himself, and he instead crosses straight to Frankie Kent, who clears easily.

In the second-half, Jair again works his way into a good position, but he attempts to fashion space for a shot that isn't on - there are simply too many maroon  jerseys in the way - and he fails to spot Youan arriving at the edge of the box. Jair's shot is deflected into Youan's path anyway, but it lands on his left weaker left foot when he could, with greater awareness on his team-mate's part, been teed up on his right.

It wasn't limited to the forward line, either. Hibs' midfield two in Joe Newell and Dylan Levitt are comfortable receiving the ball from the centre-backs, and were able to help the team build their way up the pitch frequently. But they perhaps did not affect the game as much further forward with line-breaking passes. In the example below, Levitt has time and space to consider his options crossing the halfway line, but he doesn't see a pass to the onrushing Josh Campbell which would have given the Hearts defence a real problem, and instead plays safely wide to Obita. In fairness, referee John Beaton's position does not help, and potentially stops Levitt from spotting Campbell.

Vente's positioning

It's surely no coincidence that two of Hibs' best openings of the evening arrived when they got Dylan Vente into dangerous areas. The Dutch striker can become a peripheral figure at times, dropping deep just to get involved, and putting in a shift for the team. And while Hibs do often require someone to be the link between midfield and attack, it can come at the expense of creating chances for Vente.

READ MORE: Every word from Nick Montgomery Hibs Q&A after derby defeat

If we return to the earlier example where Jair crossed straight to Kent, and rewind to earlier in the build-up, we can see how far Vente drops, and he ends up well behind the play when Obita lobs a pass down the line for his winger to chase.

By the time Jair attempts to cross, Vente hasn't even reached the 18-yard box.

If we contrast that example with the passage of play where Hibs won the penalty, we can see the value of having Vente higher up the pitch. Again, Obita and Jair combine down the left, but this time Vente's starting position is further forward, and it allows him to get into the box, with the ball breaking to him off Kent.

These were not the only issues on the night, with Lewis Miller's off night on the right flank robbing Hibs of what is usually an effective outlet. Montgomery's options are limited through injuries to the likes of Adam Le Fondre, but a central striker's role is not currently getting the best out of Martin Boyle, and his best moments came when he made runs into wide areas.

Getting players back will be key for the manager, as will a few additions in the January market. However, as it stands, Hibs are limping towards the winter break.