Gzira United kept the pace with Hamrun Spartans and Hibernians as they registered a fourth win on the trot, defeating Valletta 2-0 at the National Stadium on Sunday.
This win puts them five points behind Hibernians and seven behind Hamrun but they have a game in hand.
Valletta, who were suffering a second consecutive defeat after losing to Hamrun earlier this week, continue to share the ninth place with Gudja United and Zejtun Corinthians.
The Maroons took the lead on the 22nd minute when off a Jackson Mendoza corner from the left, Maxuell Maia da Silva’s header with goalkeeper Henry Bonello failing to hold the ball to end at the back of the net.
Nikolai Muscat was unlucky to hit the woodwork on 34 minutes and four minutes later, Matteo Piciollo hit the foot of the upright for Valletta with a shot from the edge of the area, deflected by a defender.
Three minutes in the second half, Gzira doubled the score thanks to Maxuell Maia da Silva who concluded a good move on the left with an angled shot which beat Bonello.
Six minutes from time, the Maroons were reduced to ten men after captain Steve Borg picked a second yellow card for a foul outside the area.
GZIRA Anthony Curmi, Gabriel Bohrer Mentz, Steve Borg, Nikolai Muscat, Martin Davis, Nevin Portelli, Maxuell Maia da Silva (75’ Bahrudin Atajic), Jackson Mendoza, Ricardo Correa Duarte, Sacha Borg, Jefferson de Assis (78’ Clyde Borg).
Subs not used: Krassimir Zammit, Karl Pulo, Omar Elouni, Andrew Cohen, Dexter Xuereb.
Coach: Darren Abdilla
VALLETTA Henry Bonello, Jonathan Caruana (80’ Ryan Fenech), Triston Caruana, Santiago Malano (73’ Nicholas Pulis), Matteo Piciollo, Shaun Dimech (59’ Miguel Angel Alba), Kyrian Nwoko, Joseph Zerafa, Eslit Sala (46’ Ryan Camilleri), Rowen Muscat (59’ Mario Fontanella)
Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Ryan Tonna.
Coach: Antonio Jose Cardoso Mendes
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, James Muscat
Fourth Official: Slobodan Petrovic
Yellow Cards: R. Muscat, E. Sala, Steve Borg, T. Caruana
Red Cards: 84’ Steve Borg
BOV Player of the Match: Maxuell Maia da Silva