Day 13 Valletta 6 Tarxien 0
Valletta served up further evidence of their intent to get back into the title race as they hammered Tarxien Rainbows to the tune of 6-0.
The champions’ fifth consecutive win was never in doubt from the moment Abdelkarim Nafti fired them ahead after just 12 minutes.
What followed was a brilliant performance from Valletta who outclassed the poor Tarxien, adding five more goals to consolidate second place, 12 points behind leaders Hibernians.
Shaun Bajada, advancing on the left, produced a delifghtful chip that skimmed the far post in the opening minutes.
Valletta’s bright start produced an opener after 14 minutes. Roderick Briffa, pushing forward on the right, sped into the box before crossing the ball to Nafti who prodded past Jonathan Debono.
The Tarxien goalkeeper then fisted away Barry’s cross-cum-shot.
It was not before the 26th minute that Tarxien created their first chance. Clebinho’s run unhinged the City defence as the Brazilian released Wesley whose effort was blocked by Ryan Camilleri.
Nafti then blasted his shot over the bar as the champions stayed in control.
With Tarxien down to 10 men as Jorge was being seen by medics after sustaining an injury, the Whites increased their lead eight minutes from half-time. They were awarded a penalty after Ryan Sammut brought down Barry in the box. Barry made no mistake from the spot.
Late in the first half, a flowing City move saw Barry direct the ball to Briffa whose back-heeled pass set up Elford-Alliyu but the English forward’s fierce shot was palmed away by Debono.
Valletta started the second half on the attack.
Another fine move saw Briffa supply an excellent through-ball to Nafti whose close-range effort was pushed away for a corner by Debono. From the ensuing corner, taken by Bajada, Elford-Alliyu nodded home.
Barry played in Elford-Alliyu who pulled the ball back for Nafti but the Tunisian hammered wide.
Briffa then headed just wide from Nafti’s set-piece cross as the Citizens pressed for more goals.
The Malta midfielder was unlucky as his grounder, after good work by Barry and Elford-Alliyu, hit the post.
The score became 4-0 on 76 minutes. Barry dashing through to lift the ball past Debono after a peach of a pass from Bajada.
Ten minutes from time, Briffa’s backheader, from Nafti’s service, grazed the crossbar.
The excellent Briffa tried to surprise Debono with a long-range lob but the ball sailed over the crossbar before Debono denied substitute Raphael Kooh-Sohna.
Three minutes from time, Elford-Alliyu got his second and Valletta’s fifth goal when turning in Nafti’s cross.
Kooh Sohna also put his name among the scorers, finishing with panache after darting past Debono.
Briffa was named BOV player of the match.
VALLETTA – N. Vella, A. Nafti, J. Caruana, R. Camilleri, R. Briffa, I. Azzopardi, S. Borg (L. Dimech), H. Barry (R. Kooh Sohna), L. Elford, R. Fenech (H. Faria), S. Bajada.
TARXIEN R: – J. Debono, K. Farrugia, M. Caruana, C. Barbosa Viana, T. Caruana, W. Lima Silva (S. Sadowski), R. Sammut, L. Zahra, A. Cini (L. Aquilina), M. Tabone, J. Santos Silva (M. Scerri).
Date: 29.11.14 Time: 16:00 Venue: Hibs Stadium
Scorers: 14′ A. Nafti, 39′, 74′ H. Barry, 52′ L. Elford, 87′ 88′ R. Kooh Sohna.
Yellow Cards: M. Tabone (T)
Man of Match: Roderick Briffa (V)
Referee: Alan Mario Sant