Maccabi Tel Aviv finished the regulation season in style by putting five past a woeful Beitar Jerusalem to no reply and returning their advantage at the top of the table to 10 points
After two failed attempts this season to beat Beitar Jerusalem, a team that only ten days ago dumped them out of the National Cup competition, Maccabi Tel Aviv finally shook off the jinx and registered an utterly merciless 5-0 dismissal of their illustrious rivals. Midfielder Eran Zahavi opened the floodgates in the first half with his maiden goal in a yellow jersey this season. But the real party began after the break, as individual efforts by strikers Rade Prica and Eliran Atar (his 22nd league goal this season) and a brace by under 21 star and substitute on the night Moannes Dabbur completed this thoroughly one-sided rout.
The Maccabi terraces at Bloomfield Stadium were filled to the hilt and the fans hadn't long to wait before seeing a Maccabi ball nestled in the opposition net. With just nine minutes on the clock Rade Prica sent a superb long ball to Eran Zahavi who rounded Beitar keeper Ariel Harush and rolled the ball into the open goal. Three minutes later Prica himself came close to adding a second but his subtle chip over the goalkeeper's head went just wide. At the other end Beitar midfielder Steven Cohen tested Maccabi keeper Vincent Enyeama with a strike from outside the area, but the Nigerian parried the ball to safety.
Maccabi started the second half much as they had started the first. Ten minutes after the restart it was again co-operative play between Maccabi's two strikers that produced a goal, with Eliran Atar penetrating the Beitar defence in the area and crossing to Rade Prica who shot past the Beitar keeper into the top of the net to double the home team's advantage. Two minutes later Atar himself found the net after fortuitously latching on to a ball from a Beitar defender. The final stages of the match belonged to one player, substitute striker and under 21 star Moannes Dabbur, who needed just thirteen minutes to finish off the 5-0 demolition of Beitar Jerusalem with a brace off two assists from Maharan Radi, his eigth and ninth league goals of the season.
On Saturday Maccabi Tel Aviv will begin their top-end play-off run at Bloomfield Stadium hosting sixth placed Hapoel Ramat Hasharon.