After collecting just one point from the last three matches, Valletta returned to winning ways as they defeated bottom-placed Qormi 3-1 despite playing for almost an hour in ten men.
A win which puts Valletta eleven points behind leaders Hibernians and three behind Birkirkara. On the other hand, for Qormi, this was the ninth defeat in ten matches.
Valletta took the lead on the 9th minute when Roderick Briffa received a through pass, advanced into the area and beat Matthew Farrugia with a diagonal shot.
On the 24th minute, the Citizens doubled the score when off a Shaun Bajada corner, Steve Borg headed the ball home past the Qormi goalkeeper.
Seven minutes from the end of the first half, Qormi were awarded a penalty after Alfred Effiong was brought down inside the area by Steve Borg. The Valletta defender was red-carded and from the penalty spot, Marcelinho’s effort was neutralised by Marino.
Just before half-time, Roderick Briffa made it 3-0 for Valletta as he beat Farrugia off a cross by Ryan Fenech.
Qormi reduced the gap on 66 minutes when Roderick Briffa brought Alfred Effiong down inside the area and the Nigerian striker converted from the penalty spot.
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Alejandro Mendoza Corujo, Marcelo Roberto de Mattos, Alfred Effiong, Clifford Gauci, Gustavo Villalobos, Zoran Levnajic, Duncan Pisani (46′ Ryan Micallef), Jonathan Bondin (85′ Joseph Chetcuti), Billy Berntsson (46′ Alex Nilsson), Leighton Grech.
Subs not used: Mario Muscat, George Portelli, Bjorn Bondin, Emerson Vella.
Coach: Mark Miller
VALLETTA Pietro Demetrio Marino, Jonathan Caruana, Ian Azzopardi, Steve Borg, Ryan Camilleri, Ryan Fenech, Hamza Barry (90′ Djamel Leeflang), Roderick Briffa, Shaun Bajada (90+1′ Hamid Ismaeel Alkamali), Llywelyn Cremona, Abdelkarim Nafti (68′ Ikenna Paul Hillary).
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Daniel Camilleri, Kurt Borg, Stefan Cassar.
Coach: Gilbert Agius
Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Luke Portelli
Fourth Official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow Cards: Berntsson, Nilsson, Marino, Micallef
Red Cards: 38′ Steve Borg
Scorers: 9′ Roderick Briffa, 24′ Steve Borg, 45′ Roderick Briffa, 66′ Alfred Effiong pen
BOV Player of the Match: Roderick Briffa
Renato Vella reporting from the National Stadium