Gżira United kept the pace with leaders Floriana as two goals late in the first half paved the way for a 3-1 win over Mosta.
Giovanni Tedesco’s side were eager to bounce back after suffering a shock exit from the FA Trophy at the hands of Senglea Athletic. They held the initiative throughout the 90 minutes even though they needed two quick goals late in the first half to take control of the match.
Mosta did pull one back during the second half but another late strike for Gżira in the dying minutes left no doubts which way the three points were going.
The Maroons had two changes from the team which lost to Senglea as as Nikolai Muscat and Amadou Samb were back in the starting line-up, replacing Andrew Cohen and Martin Davis.
Mark Miller, on the other hand, opted for practically an unchanged team following the 7-0 trashing of Rabat Ajax with the exception of Nikita Kotlov who replaced Zachary Brincat.
Mosta threatened after just eight minutes with Weverton Gomes controlling the ball inside the area but his shot was pushed away by Haber.
A minute later, Hamed Kone’s freekick for Gżira ended just over the bar.
On 25 minutes, Jefferson missed a good opportunity for the Maroons as he miskicked the ball from an ideal position when served by Kone from the right.
Then, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino hit incredibly high following a Kone corner on 36 minutes. Two minutes later, a Kyle Gatt freekick from the right was neutralised by Haber.
The Maroons managed to break the deadlock two minutes from the end of the first half when off a cross from the right by Kone, Jefferson beat goalkeeper Andreas Vella with a fine back-header.
Gżira doubled the score on 45 minutes when off another cross by Kone, Samb headed the ball over the Mosta custodian.
Mosta pulled one back on 63 minutes when Kotlov, served by Dexter Xuereb, beat Haber with a shot from the right.
However seven minutes later, the Blues were reduced to ten men after Sergio Leonardo Villareal received a second yellow card for a reckless tackle.
Jefferson came to the rescue for Gżira as he headed into a corner a Jean Barthelemy Diouf freekick from the left ten minutes from time.
However, one minute in added time, the Maroons sealed the issue with a third goal when substitute Cohen pounced on a Gianmarco Conti through pass on the left in a swift counter-attack and the former Hibernians midfielder passed the ball back to Kone who slotted past Vella.
Deep into stoppage time, Mosta went close to reducing the gap once again but substitute Zachary Brincat’s header, off a cross by Weverton from the left, was parried by the Gżira goalkeeper.