Hibernian 2 Aberdeen 1
Midfielder Stephen Glass cut his old team to shreds as he set up the first goal and then scored a spectacular winner as Hibernian closed to within four points of Aberdeen in the race for third place.
The visitors played the whole of the second half with only 10 men following a red card for David Preece, but they were still on level terms until Glass rifled home a left- foot volley after 63 minutes.
This brought an end to Aberdeen's four-game winning run and was only the second away defeat this season for the Dons.
Aberdeen had followed a minute's silence for former striker Hicham Zerouali, who died last Sunday, by opening the match in the same carefree attacking style which made the Morrocan so popular. From a clever flick by Fernando Pasquinelli, Darren Mackie ran on and hit the side netting with a rising right-foot drive.
Hibernian produced their first move of note after 12 minutes when left-back David Murphy clipped in a cross which Aberdeen defender Russell Anderson nodded over the bar under intense pressure from striker Garry O'Connor.
The passage of play leading to Hibernian's opening goal was electrifying with keeper Simon Brown saving a low left-footer from Pasquinelli before the home side raced upfield and Derek Riordan hammered home a precise cut-back from Glass for his 10th goal of the season. Hibees threatened to cut loose after that, and in the 36th minute Preece made a crucial block to deny O'Connor form close range.
Minutes later history almost repeated itself but this time Aberdeen survived a scare before bouncing back to score. Derek Riordan was the guilty man for Hibees, side- footing wide when he had time to pick his spot and Mackie made him suffer by spinning 180 degrees away from his markers and forcing a left-foot shot past Brown.
The Dons were back in the game but soon suffered a massive blow as Preece handled a shot from Guillaume Beuzelin outside the penalty area and was sent off by referee John Rowbotham after he had consulted his assistant.
Youngster Ryan Esson came on with Pasquinelli having been sacrificed as an out field player, and although Hibees dominated possession against the 10 men Aberdeen carved out the better chances. Defender Alexander Diamond sent a downward header just wide and Markus Heikkinen was closed down quickly as he prepared to pull the trigger.
Glass then shattered Aberdeen's hopes of victory against the odds, and only a sensational reflex save from replacement keeper Ryan Esson prevented Gary Caldwell from adding a third goal 20 minutes from the end.