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Hibernians outclass Floriana to regain top spot

Hibernians midfielder Jake Grech flicks the ball past Jan Busuttil. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

FLORIANA              1

Rutjens 84

HIBERNIANS         4

Degabriele 17, 27

Vella 24; Grech 57


G. Kitanov-6.5; A. Magri Overend-5, C. Rutjens-5, O. El Hasni-5, Z. Cassar-5 (55 J. Arias-5), R. Hovsepyan-5 (69 K. Keqi), K. Reid-6, A. Ciolacu-5, B. Paiber-5, J. Busuttil-5 (69 D. Agius) (78 A. Garzia), R. Camenzuli-5.


I.Kone-7; F. Apap-7, L. Almeida-7 (65 R. Dos Anjos), J. Grech-7, J. Degabriele-7 (77 W. Domoraud), D. Vella-7 (84 A. Attard), Z. Grech-7 (77 E. Beu), Thaylor-7 (84 F. Da Costa), A. Agius-7, G. Artiles-7, A. Diakite-7.

Referee Ishmael Barbara.

Yellow cards Reid, Almeida, Ciolacu, Paiber.

BOV Player of the Match Jurgen Degabriele (Hibernians).

Hibernians produced a statement win against Floriana to highlight their title credentials and fire themselves top of the pile in the Premier League.

A flurry of goals from the Paolites inside the first 27 minutes of the game stunned the Greens, who never really sparked into life after conceding three times. Hibernians’ fourth goal just reflected furthermore their superiority over Floriana.

Stefano Sanderra’s side will now head into the third and final round leading with 47 points, two ahead of Floriana.

Hibernians’ midfielder Dunstan Vella registered the first action of the game with a strike from inside the area just to hit the outside of the goal.

Floriana’s reply came from Kemar Reid whose header was smothered by Ibrahim Kone’s hands before Jake Grech let fly a shot which was easily saved by the Greens’ goalkeeper Georgi Kitanov.

The Bulgarian goalkeeper came to Floriana’s rescue when he denied Grech in a one on one situation.

Nonetheless, Kitanov was beaten in the following action when Jurgen Degabriele latched onto Grech’s neat through ball before slotting home.

Hibernians doubled their lead through Vella when Grech left his marker Zach Cassar in his wake with his change of speed before finding his team-mate who capitalised from point blank range.

The Paolites continued to smell blood and capitalised on the moment through another Degabriele goal. The forward was lucky to find the rebound from Thaylor’s effort into his feet to virtually seal the win inside the first 27 minutes.

Ten minutes from half-time, Grech missed the target with a long-range effort as Hibernians kept piling up the pressure.

Grech could have easily added more goals under his name, squandering another glorious opportunity just before half-time as the Paolites remained the better side.

Andrei Ciolacu registered a 62nd minute shot after some good work from Reid inside the box but the Floriana striker fired wide.

Lady Luck was not on Floriana’s side when a Ciolacu’s point-blank effort was brought to stop by Kone before Daniel Agius saw his rebound strike the woodwork.

Adding insult to injury for Floriana was Daniel Agius picking up a knock and forced to leave the ground, less than 10 minutes after making his game introduction.

Floriana pulled one back in the closing stages through a Christian Rutjens’ header, but Hibernians were already home and dry.

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