Hamrun Spartans took the honours in the match of the week as they overcame the challenge of Valletta 7-2.
Brazilian forward Raphinha and their keeper Clint Mifsud were the catalysts behind Hamrun’s thirteenth victory of the campaign.
Both players helped the Spartans put on a spirited performance as they outplayed the Citizens for much of the match.
A sizeable crowd gathered at the Corradino Pavillion to watch this hotly-anticipated derby.
Valletta enjoyed the better start but it was Hamrun who broke the deadlock on 5 minutes through Andy Mangion.
From there on the Spartans were enjoying most of the possession as Raphinha was unlucky to hit the post six minutes later.
However Valletta were operating some swift counter attacks and in one of them they equalized when Daniel Brincat released Mohammed Elamari who hadn’t any difficulty to slot home.
The Citizens’ joy was shortlived as Hamrun once again re-established the advantage when they were awarded a foul outside the Valletta area.
The ball fell into Raphinha who stabbed the ball home from close range.
Valletta were clearly toiling to find their rhythm in the face of Hamrun’s tight pressing.
Eventually, Hamrun managed to score their third as Rodrigo managed to meet Raphinha pass to score without difficulty.
Despite this double blow, Valletta refused to surrender as substitute Dylan Musu netted his team’s second goal.
Clint Mifsud was called in to make back-to-back saves from efforts by Musu and Di Maio.
Just before half-time Hamrun added another one when their inspirational player Raphinha found Jason Mifsud who rapidly put the ball into the net to establish a 4-2 advantage.
In the second half, Valletta could not improve the rhythm of their game and Hamrun managed to add three more goals in the process.
Andy Mangion completed a personal brace as he rushed on the flank before unleashing a low shot that gave Cuschieri no chance.
Seconds later, Dylan Musu was unlucky to hit the post.
Consequently Clayton Felice, the Valletta coach, called a time-out and opted for Xavier Saliba as their flying keeper.
In doing so, they left their net unattended and Michel Melo Jose scored Hamrun’s sixth goal.
In the dying minutes of the game, Rodrigo secured his team’s victory with his second personal goal.
Hamrun: Clint Mifsud, Michel Melo Jose, Kevin Cassar, Michael Spiteri, Peter Pullicino, Andy Mangion, Rodrigo Ticz Patricio, Jason Mifsud, Madson Caetano de Abreu, Robert Fenech, Brian Baldacchino, Raphael Felipe Ortiz de Oliveira.
Valletta: Neil Cuschieri, Gaetano Mallia, Cristian Cuadros Silva, Dylan Musu, Denis di Maio. Xavier Saliba, Melvin Borg, Jurgen Pace, Dejan Bizjak, Josef Borg, Mohammed Abdusalem Elamari, Daniel Brincat.
Referee 1: Franco Cachia
Referee 2: Jude Amin Utulu
Third Official: Pierre Bonnici
Time-Keeper: Mark O’Neill.