Day 8 Valletta 6 Tarxien R. 0
Valletta continued their ominous return to top form by hitting Tarxien Rainbows for six on their return to the top standings.
The Lilywhites took full advantage of Gżira United’s slip up against Balzan yesterday to hit top spot longside the Maroons.
Set-piece specialist Denni caught Tarxien stone cold time and again as Kyrian Nwoko showed all the predatory instincts that prompted Valletta to acquire his services from St Andrews this summer.
Determined to gather the three points and reclaim the top spot, Valletta’s first inside the opening ten minutes quickly wiped the smile from José Borg’s face, who had come into the match on the back of two wins and a draw in their last three outings.
Denni whipped a dangerous free-kick to the far post and Tarxien’s defence stood and watched as Valletta forward Kyrian Nwoko stole in to flick the ball past Christian Cassar in goal.
A slick passing move again exposed the Rainbows’ vulnerability on 23 minutes. Nwoko combined neatly with Denni to find the Brazilian striker in space on the Tarxien left side. The former Tarxien player fired in a shot that was blocked by the rearguard.
The game effectively ended as a contest on 33 minutes, when Matteo Piciollo was allowed to run clear down the left and rolled a pass to Nwoko that was clinically turned home.
One minute from half-time, Tarxien’s defence showed the slackness and nerves that has bedeviled them at times this season.
From a corner, Denni found Santiago Malano completely unmarked at the far post to gratefully tap the ball over the line.
Valletta began the second-half as they did the first with Piciollo putting his name on the scoresheet.
Denni played a part in Valletta’s fourth goal again when terrible defending allowed Steve Borg freedom to jink inside the box and superbly connected with the Brazilian’s corner to set up the Italian striker who headed home unchallenged.
Tarxien’s best chance came 15 minutes from time but Ricardo Faria’s fierce shot cannoned off the crossbar and this only served to compound their misery.
At this point, given their fourgoal salvo, Valletta coach Zoran Popovic opted for a substitution to give home-grown hope Russel Fenech added experience in the Premier League.
The ploy worked to perfection as Nwoko opened up the fragile centre of the Tarxien’s defence for Fenech to bury Valletta’s fifth on 79 minutes.
Nwoko rubbed salt in the wound with another quality finish, eight minutes from time. If the six-goal margin of defeat was harsh on Tarxien, it demonstrated Valletta’s awesome finishing power.
Source – Times of Malta
VALLETTA – H. Bonello, R. Camilleri, K. Nwoko, J. Cruz Gill, S. Malano (C. Pani), J. Zerafa (R. Muscat), R. Saleh, J. Borg, S. Borg, M. Picollo, D. Dos Santos (R. Fenech).
TARXIEN R. – C. Cassar, E. Baker, G. McKay (A. Azzopardi), A, Agius, L. Grech, R. Darmanin (M. Traore), E. Calin (M. Spiteri), S. Cipriott, R. Silva Faria, J. Brincat.
Yellow Cards: L. Grech, M. Traore (V)
Scorers: 10′ J. Cruz Gill, 34′ 83′ K. Nwoko, 44′ S. Malano, 51′ M. Piciollo, 80′ R. Fenech,.
Man of Match: K. Nwoko (V)
Referee: I. Barbara