Valletta returned to winning ways as they defeated bottom-placed Pembroke Athleta 2-0 at the Victor Tedesco Stadium on Saturday.
A win which enables the Citizens to move closer to leaders Balzan and second-placed Hibernians. For Pembroke, this was the sixth defeat in the last seven matches.
For Valletta, Jean Borg, Claudio Pani, Federico Falcone and Romeu Romao replaced Steve Borg, Valdo Alhinho, Llywelyn Cremona and Uchenna Umeh. Pembroke, on the other hand, had Andrea Scozzese, Miguel Attard and the returning Zoran Levnaic and Paltemio Barbetti replacing Adrian Borg, Oleg Maksymov, Manolito Micallef, Brandon Muscat.
Jean Borg was unlucky not to put Valletta ahead on the 11th minute when his conclusion from the right hit the foot of the upright.
However three minutes later, the Citizens were not to be denied when Calleja Cremona partially saved a shot by Falcone and off the rebound, Michael Mifsud placed the ball at the back of the net.
Valletta went close once again on the 27th minute with a Jhonnattann effort hitting the crossbar.
On the 77th minute, Valletta doubled the score thanks to a great freekick by Santiago Malano which saw the ball hit the posts twice before ending at the back of the net.
Five minutes later, the Citizens score the third goal thanks to another direct freekick, this time by Leandro Aguirre from the right which beat Calleja Cremona.
PEMBROKE Matthew Calleja Cremona, Sunday Eboh, Asani Djeljilj, Paltemio Barbetti, Zoran Levnaic, Owen Bugeja (70′ Adrian Borg), Miguel Attard (64′ Jhonatan Bernardo Mariano), Ugochukwo Akuta, Siraj Arab Eddin, Haruna Shola Shodiya, Filippo Andrea Scozzese.
Subs not used: Craig Abdilla, James Mifsud, Neil Micallef, Matthew Buhagiar.
Coach: Artim Shaqiri
VALLETTA Dziugas Bartkus, Jonathan Caruana, Ryan Camilleri, Santiago Malano, Michael Mifsud (88′ Shaun Dimech), Jean Borg (71′ Llywelyn Cremona), Federico Falcone, Claudio Pani, Leandro Aguirre, Jhonnattann Benites da Conceicao (82′ Russell Fenech), Romeu Pericles Romao.
Subs not used: Henry Bonello, Matthew Spiteri, Nicholas Pulis, Leon Camilleri.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Martin Borg
Additional Assistant Referees: Fyodor Zammit, Trustin Farrugia Cann
Fourth Official: William Debattista
Yellow Cards: Akuta, Mariano, Scozzese
BOV Player of the Match: Michael Mifsud