A brace from Eliran Atar, a maiden goal from newcomer Rade Pricca and a classic effort by Maharan Radi handed Maccabi Tel Aviv an emphatic 4-0 derby win over city rivals Hapoel Tel Aviv
In one of their most convincing derby displays to date, Maccabi Tel Aviv last night thrashed guests Hapoel Tel Aviv 4-0 in the 22nd round of the Israeli Premiere (Winner) league. Recently acquired Swedish striker Rade Pricca scored his maiden goal in a yellow jersey and Eliran Atar scored on either side of halftime to bring his season total to 21 goals in all competitions. Maharan Radi completed the rout with the fourth.
From the very start the Yellow half of the derby equation dominated play, and after only 9 minutes striker Rade Pricca latched on to a high ball with an overhead scissor kick that Hapoel keeper Apola Adel was just able to push away. The deflection fell right into the path of midfielder Eran Zahavi, who forced yet a second save as the Hapoel defence put his shot out of play for a Maccabi corner. Far from being discouraged, Pricca returned to the area in the 14th minute to fire a Zahavi pass past the Hapoel keeper for his maiden goal for the club, putting Maccabi ahead 1-0. On 27 minutes midfielder Maharan Radi again tested the Hapoel keeper with a strike aimed at the centre of goal. Not until the half hour mark did the red half of the derby clash threaten, as Hapoel's Shay Abutbul fired a well-placed free kick that Maccabi keeper Barak Levi handily deflected. The resulting corner fell to Hapoel's Shimon Harush, whose shot at the goal corner was again deflected by Levi onto the legs of Hapoel defender Walid Badir, who also missed the net. On 36 minutes the Yellow half were attacking again, with Rade Pricca providing Eliran Atar with a superb ball that the young striker put narrowly past the goal. Just seven minutes later Atar was once again in the area on the receiving end of a cross from Maharan Radi, but this time he headed straight into goal to send Maccabi to the dressing room at half time leading their arch rivals 2-0.
The second half started with a sudden downpour, but nothing it seems could dampen the Maccabi spirit, neither in the terraces nor on the pitch. Eliran Atar could have increased Maccabi's advantage when he fired a deflection of a Dor Micha effort over the Hapoel crossbar. Just after the hour mark Maharan Radi was once again the source of a powerful strike that Hapoel keeper Adel barely managed to push away. But the Yellow pressure continued and when fifteen minutes later Adel brought down Rade Pricca in the area, Eliran Atar expertly converted the awarded penalty to increase Maccabi's advantage to 3-0. But even that margin could not satisfy the Maccabi appetite and with just minutes remaining a through ball found Maharan Radi onside and alone facing the Hapoel keeper, who was helpless to keep the ball from sliding past to seal Maccabi's 4-0 triumph.
Next week round 23 of the Premiere (Winner) league sees Maccabi Tel Aviv back at Bloomfield Stadium, this time as guests of Bnei Yehuda.