Day 12 Valletta 7 Tarxien R. 0
Valletta gave further proof of their scoring prowess this season when they netted five goals inside the
first 41 minutes to completely brush aside Tarxien Rainbows and go top of the Premier League.
It was an attacking master class from Danilo Doncic’s men as inspired by the pace and power of
Matteo Piciollo and Raed Saleh, coupled with the lethal finishing of Bojan Kaljevic and Mario Fontanella, who both helped themselves to a brace, they completely tore apart a lethargic Tarxien side to go one point clear of previous joint-leaders Gżira United and Hibernians who are in action this afternoon.
Bojan Kaljevic was back in Valletta’s starting formation after recovering from injury as he rejoined his attacking partner Mario Fontanella upfront while Jean Borg replaced Joseph Zerafa who was not included in the 18-man squad.
Tarxien made one change to the team that triumphed in the FA Trophy against Vittoriosa Stars on Monday as Jackson Paixao replaced Gabriel Aquilina.
Valletta pressed on the accelerator right from the outset and after four minutes, Matteo Piciollo served Mario Fontanella whose shot just missed the target.
However, that was a temporary reprieve for Tarxien as Valletta struck a minute later. Steve Borg’s long pass was chested down by Kaljevic who turned past his marker and fired home.
On ten minutes, Andrea Cassar had to be at his best to turn to a corner Raed Saleh’s shot while two
mintues later the Tarxien no.1 did well to deny Kaljevic from close in.
Valletta netted a second on 13 minutes when Daniel Zerafa failed to clear the ball away and Mario
Fontanella fired home with an overhead kick.
It was one-way traffic now and on 20 minutes Malano fed Piciollo who fired just over.
Valletta added a third goal on 25 minutes when Saleh picked up the ball on the edge of the area and his
shot was deflected into the path of Picciolo who hammered home.
Tarxien finally threatened on 29 minutes when Paolucci’s shot was blocked by Bonello.
But Valletta soon continued where they left off as on 32 minutes Cassar showed great reflexes to
keep out Saleh’s shot.
However, the Oman midfielder was not to be denied as two minutes later he slalomed past two defenders
to blast the ball into the net.
More woes followed for Tarxien as four minutes from the break, Fontanella pounced on some hesitant
defending from the Rainbows to curl home his team’s fifth goal.
Three minutes into the second half, Piciollo released Fontanella who was denied by Cassar.
On 56 minutes, Doncic withdrew Steve Borg and roped in Tunisian Zied Soussi, who was making his
league debut for the Citizens.
Two minutes later, Saleh was upended in the area by Andre Scicluna and Kaljevic made no mistake
from the spot.
On 70 minutes, Cassar again showed great reflexes when he pushed away Piciollo’s curling drive from a free-kick.
Valletta completed the rout three minutes from time when Fontanella hit home from Soussi’s cross to complete his hat-trick.
VALLETTA – H. Bonello, J. Caruana, S. Borg (Z. Soussi), S. Malano (S. Dimech), M. Piciollo, J. Borg, E. Pena Beltre, R. Saleh, R. Muscat, B. Kaljevic (K. Nwoko), M. Fontanella.
TARXIEN R. – A. Cassar, M. Botta,(M. Spiteri), J. Wemmer, D. Zerafa, M. Paolucci (D. Vassallo), A. Agius, A. Scicluna, S. Radavonovic, Anderson, R. Faria, J. De Paixao (G. Aqulina).
Yellow Cards: J. Wemmer, A. Scicluna, J. De Paixao (T).
Scorers: 4′ 56′ B. Klajevic, 13′ 41′ 86′ M. Fontanella, 25′ M. Pciollo, 34′ R. Saleh.
Man of Match: M. Picollo (V)
Referee: A. Koci