Hibernians kept the pace with leaders Valletta thanks to a 4-1 win over bottom-placed St. Andrews at the National Stadium. A win which puts them two points behind the Citizens.
For the Saints, this was the second defeat after three positive results while for Hibernians this was the seventh win in eight matches.
Hibs welcomed back Marcelo Dias but lacked the suspended Jackson Lima and the injured Rui da Gracia, Clayton Failla and Jorge Santos Silva. Michael Johnson was missing for St. Andrews.
The Paolites managed to take the lead on the 9th minute when Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro concluded a great solo effort by entering the penalty and pulling to the left before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Jake Galea.
The Saints equalised four minutes later when Jonatan Perez Cuesta served Lucky Victor Oseghale who entered the area before hitting low past Justin Haber.
Hibs however regained the lead on the 37th thanks to another solo effort by Gilmar who pulled to the left before hitting low past Galea.
Thirteen minutes in the second half, the Paolites increased the lead as Bjorn Kristensen served Edison Luis dos Santos whose fine shot from the right beat the St. Andrews goalkeeper.
One minute from time, Hibernians scored the fourth goal thanks to Jorge da Silva Pereira, served on the left by Andrew Cohen, who slotted the ball past Galea.
ST. ANDREWS Jake Galea, Enmy Manuel Pena Beltre, Dale Camilleri (85′ Ryan Sammut), Bong Won Che, Jonatan Perez Cuesta (90′ Jamie Magri Overend), Sorin Oproiescu (42′ Liam Grech), Lucky Victor Oseghale, Michel Salomon Wisdom Aka, Joseph Farrugia, Chinatu Francis Onwudinjo, Kyrian Nwoko.
Subs not used: Dorian Bugeja, Jacob Walker, Clyde Cumbo, Marcus Grima.
Coach: Jose Borg
HIBS Justin Haber, Jonathan Pearson, Rodolfo Soares, Marcelo Dias, Andrew Cohen, Bjorn Kristensen, Andrei Agius, Edison Luis dos Santos (82′ Zach Scerri), Joseph Essien Mbong (70′ Diosdado Mangue Mbele Mba), Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro (75′ Jurgen Degabriele), Jorge da Silva Pereira.
Subs not used: Jurgen Borg, Rudy Briffa, Dunstan Vella, Daniel Buckle.
Coach: Branko Nisevic
Referee: Philip Farrugia
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, David Castillo,
Fourth Official: Clayton Pisani
Yellow Cards: Jorginho, Agius, Nwoko, Soares, D. Camilleri, Cohen, J. Farrugia, Che
Scorers: 9′ Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro, 13′ Lucky Victor Oseghale, 37′ Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro, 58′ Edison Luis dos Santos, 89′ Jorge da Silva Pereira
BOV Player of the Match: Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro