Hibs' season has been blighted by inconsistency, but that didn't stop Saturday's defeat to St Johnstone coming as a painful surprise.

In a game billed as must-win, Nick Montgomery's side turned in a largely lifeless display and found themselves ruthlessly punished. The result leaves hopes of finishing in the Premiership's top six hanging by a thread, contingent on Dundee essentially throwing it away over their final two pre-split fixtures.

So, where did it go wrong at the weekend? Here, we look at Hibs' overall display and the key factors behind some very dispiriting dropped points.

"Should have won it"

Montgomery said he accepted fans' anger at full-time, but still felt this was a game his side should have won, on balance. On the balance of play and chances created, StatsBomb's algorithm rated Hibs as having a 55% win probability, a draw at 30%, and a St Johnstone win at 15%.

Hibs finished with an xG of 1.36, and St Johnstone with 0.86, despite the two goals they managed. The xG race chart below shows a first-half that was almost a complete stalemate, with neither side putting any sustained pressure on the opposition goal.

Hibs Observer:

St Johnstone's most clear-cut chance was, unsurprisingly, the Sidibeh goal, and the period following shows Hibs being somewhat sparked into life.

Cadden's goal was a clear catalyst for more forward thrust, but that it was Saints who went on to grab the next, and winning, goal, once again shows the defensive frailty that has dogged Hibs all season.

Conceding quickly after working hard to get back into the game mirrored what happened at Ibrox a week earlier, and losing goals at especially bad times is a trait this Hibs side just can't seem to shake off.

More poor goals lost

There's always a risk when dominating possession without creating an awful lot - especially the longer it drags on - that it only takes one moment for a sucker punch. St Johnstone had been set up to counter all afternoon but hadn't looked much like capitalising.

Until they did.

It's a messy one from Hibs' point of view. Joe Newell's effort to drive the team forward was what you want from your captain, but when he miscontrols at a crucial moment, Hibs are too open in transition. Matt Smith has too much time to turn and get his head up, with Nathan Moriah-Welsh - concerned by the presence of Nicky Clark - only belatedly closes him down. Smith's ball into the channel is a good one, but Rocky Bushiri and Nectar Triantis seem struck by indecision. Possibly owed to a lack of familiarity playing alongside each other, they neither commit to stepping up for the offside trap or dropping off to reduce Sidibeh's space in behind. 

Hibs Observer:

The winner is even softer, with the corner cheaply conceded and then not contested. Myziane is marking Gallacher as the ball is dropped in, and seemingly doesn't quite focus enough on the delivery to ensure he gets there ahead of his man.

Hibs Observer:

Myziane to centre-forward

In consecutive defeats, Montgomery has moved Myziane off the left and into a central striking position as Hibs chased a goal. The manager substituted Adam Le Fondre for Elie Youan, and he took Myziane's place on the left.

Myziane can play that role through the middle, and has done previously for Montgomery, but as Hibs' main attacking threat on the day, it was a switch that saw him become less involved in the game. His goals have grabbed the most headlines, but he is also a key creative outlet, and every time Hibs threatened during that dour first-half, it came down his side of the pitch.

Myziane did have a couple of attempts on goal after going through the middle, but, as shown below, his events map in the opening 25 minutes (playing from the left), compared to the last 25 (playing through the middle) showed that he was generally less present in the action. These graphics show passes, shots, and carries across those time periods.

Hibs Observer:

Hibs Observer:

The graphics show that Myziane had significantly less actions (49 in the first 25 minutes vs 23 in the last 25 minutes) after changing positions. It's not to say Youan was the wrong option to bring on - there's a strong argument he should've started - but could the setup have been arranged to keep Myziane at the forefront of Hibs' attacking play?

On a more positive note, Moriah-Welsh's introduction for Fish was a positive one, and he had a significant hand in Hibs' goal, and the team could, perhaps, have used his urgency during the pedestrian opening period.

READ MORE: Cadden on Saints sickener and first Hibs goal since return

The result, as discussed, leaves Hibs on the brink of missing out on the top six. To be relying on multiple favours from other teams to even stand a chance, never mind having to travel to Fir Park and win, feels ominous, but is the unfortunately deserved consequence of a very bad day at the office.