Myziane Maolida's sumptuous strike earned Hibs a first Premiership victory since December in a must-win clash with Dundee.

Dylan Vente's penalty - awarded after a calamitous error by keeper Trevor Carson - earned Nick Montgomery's side a well-deserved half-time advantage, but they were unable to press home their dominance as a string of stops from Carson kept the visitors in the game. They then capitalised to equalise through Luke McCowan, shunting Hibs back to square one.

But as time ticked away, the outstanding Myziane stepped up to finish off a flowing move to earn Montgomery's team maximum points at Easter Road. Patrick McPartlin and Liam Bryce were in Leith to provide the instant analysis.

Platform to build

Hibs really needed that. Nick Montgomery really needed that. It ended up being far more nerve-wracking than it ought to have been, given how much Hibs created, but the end result is still a massive three points on the board. Defeat - or even a draw - would have left hopes of finishing in the top six, a bare minimum return, looking rather bleak. It would have also plunged the mood around Easter Road to depths from which it would have been hard for this team to recover. That they delivered a result when the pressure is on is to be commended, especially after being pegged back by McCowan's drilled equaliser. It is, though, merely a start, and something which must be built upon. Aberdeen losing to Kilmarnock was also welcome news, but these final seven matches before the split will test whether Hibs can use this springboard to finally find some consistency. The attacking talent is there, depth has improved, and the manager is finally able to apply continuity in his selections. In other words, there can be no excuses not to build for the better.

Liam Bryce

Myziane unplayable

There was a lot to like about Hibs' attacking play here, and most of it involved Myziane Maolida. Shifted slightly from the central striking role he occupied at Pittodrie, the Comoros international was a nightmare for Dundee to deal with. With Jordan Obita pushing high and wide, Myziane was able to drift into the inside left pocket at will, and the visitors couldn't figure out how to combat it. If centre-back Joe Shaughnessy followed him, that opened up space to play Obita in behind. If he didn't, it allowed Myziane to turn and drive forward, which is when he can be at his most dangerous. If it fell to a Dundee midfielder to track him inside, that gave Emiliano more freedom to to find space. He and Myziane linked well with simple give and go passes, Vente looked a greater threat, and Martin Boyle still looks sharp on the right flank. The result was that Hibs' attack looked the most cohesive as it has for some time. I owe a personal debt to Myziane, too, because were it not for his wonderful goal, I'd be following all that up with a lament about how Hibs failed to make their good attacking play count with more goals. The winner, when it came, was a thing of beauty, and the culmination of swift, incisive interplay between Luke Amos, Emiliano, and Vente. When the Dutchman slipped Myziane down the inside left, he still had so much to do, but remained the most composed man in Easter Road to leave Shaughnessy on the grass and place the ball beyond Carson.

Liam Bryce

Rocky returns - and impresses

After not seeing any game time during the Africa Cup of Nations, it was little surprise that Rocky Bushiri wasn’t risked against Aberdeen. But it would be fair to say that Nectar Triantis has struggled a bit with Scottish football since his loan move from Sunderland and he endured another difficult 90 minutes at Pittodrie. Bushiri had, and still has, his detractors among the support but a big part of a successful team is how they play together and it was notable that Will Fish looked a lot more comfortable with his ‘usual’ partner alongside him.  Bushiri also played well on his return to action in terms of defensive play although there are times when he could move the ball quicker. But he won a lot of his aerial challenges and played a big part in Hibs firming things up at the back. 

The entire Hibs back four looked a lot more solid and cohesive than it has done for, well, weeks - and Triantis making a late substitute appearance in midfield was a bit of a surprise, even though he played there on occasion for Montgomery at Central Coast Mariners. 

Montgomery confirmed ahead of the game that the defence had been working on improving their approach to set-pieces but it appears to have had a positive impact overall - particularly against a Dundee side that has scored more goals than Hibs this season, although Luke McCowan's goal coming from a second phase - a lingering issue for this team - was a blot on their copybook. 

With another huge game coming up in midweek against Hearts, it was vital that Hibs not only won this game, but won it comfortably and did so with a defensively sound performance. It could have been a lot more comfortable - the match played out very similarly to the last meeting at Easter Road - but perhaps it’s a case of baby steps for this Hibs team, who were still tested by the Dark Blues attack, but fared better than they have done previously.

Patrick McPartlin

Vente back among the goals

Dylan Vente’s struggles earlier this season were well documented, as the Dutchman was played out of position as a result of injuries and Nick Montgomery’s insistence on playing a 442. He was an unused substitute for the last two games but looking at the players Hibs had brought in during the January window and Montgomery’s switch to a 433, it seemed sensible to give him a try as the number nine with two wide players able to supply him from the wings. In fact, earlier this week during the Hibs Observer Monday briefing we suggested a front three of Vente flanked by Myziane Maolida and Martin Boyle would be a combination we’d like to see so it was interesting to see Montgomery give it a shot. And it worked very well, Vente dispatching a first-half penalty and Maolida scoring the all-important winner.  Vente scored again in the second half but saw it ruled out for offside following a VAR review, but grabbing a goal, albeit from the penalty spot, on his return to the starting line-up, will have done his confidence a power of good. 

Patrick McPartlin