Comfortable win for Valletta

Valletta scored three goals in the first half as they defeated a depleted Tarxien Rainbows side 4-0 to move once again three points behind Birkirkara and four ahead of Floriana.

This was the fourth consecutive defeat for Tarxien who remain anchored at the bottom of the table, one point behind Qormi, Pietà and Zebbug and three behind Mosta and Naxxar.

Tarxien were a depleted side as they lacked Ishmael Grech and the suspended Owen Bugeja, Firas Aboulezz, Carlos Menendez Hevia and Mouhamed Soly. Valletta lacked the suspended Steve Borg and the injured Lateef Elford-Alliyu.

The Citizens took the lead on the 24th minute when a cross from the right found Llywelyn Cremona all alone inside the area and slotted the ball past goalkeeper Sean Mintoff.

Five minutes later, Valletta doubled the score thanks to a direct freekick from the left by Abdelkarim Nafti which gave the Tarxien goalkeeper no chance.

With a fine scissors-kick, Abdelkarim Nafti made it 3-0 eight minutes from the end of the first half, following a cross from the right.

Triston Caruana went close to reducing the gap for Tarxien on the 70th thanks to a direct freekick. However Valletta threatened once again on the 85th with a Ryan Fenech curling freekick which was deflected into a corner. Three minutes later, Nicky Vella performed a good save on a fine effort by Triston Caruana.

One minute in added time, Valletta scored the fourth goal when off a Ryan Fenech corner, Ian Azzopardi headed home past Mintoff.

VALLETTA Nicky Vella, Jonathan Caruana, Ian Azzopardi, Ryan Camilleri, Ryan Fenech, Hamza Barry (86′ Kurt Borg), Roderick Briffa (34′ Luke Dimech), Shaun Bajada (71′ Djamel Leeflang), Llywelyn Cremona, Ikenna Paul Hillary, Abdelkarim Nafti.
Subs not used: Pietro Marino, Hamid Ismaeel Al Kamali, Daniel Camilleri, Kurt Borg, Joshua Buttigieg.
Coach: Gilbert Agius

TARXIEN Sean Mintoff, Kane Paul Farrugia, Jorge Yepes Roda, Triston Caruana, Eduardo Vallecillo Casado (82′ Manuel Xerri), Ryan Sammut, Jose Angel Godar Pereira, Alex Cini, Matthew Tabone, Obinna Darlington Ajoku, Manuel Bonaque Acevedo (46′ Manuel Caruana).
Subs not used: Jonathan Debono, Steve Sadowski, Luke Zahra, Nigel Vella, Nigel Vella (II).
Coach: Clive Mizzi

Referee: Philip Farrugia
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, David Castillo
Additional Assistant Referees: Clayton Pisani, Trustin Farrugia Cann
Fourth Official: Alan Camilleri
Yellow Cards: Vallecillo, Dimech, Cremona, Sammut, Mintoff
Scorers: 24′ Llywelyn Cremona, 29′ Abdelkarim Nafti, 37′ Abdelkarim Nafti
BOV Player of the Match: Abdelkarim Nafti
Attendance: 814