Maccabi Tel Aviv blew away Kiryat Shmona 4-0 on Monday night to make clear it intends to take the Premier League crown away from the northern upstarts.
Experience teaches that four games are not always enough to see which direction Maccabi Tel Aviv is heading, but Monday's rout at Bloomfield Stadium suggests its four wins in four games is no fluke.
When Jordi Cruyff and Oscar Garcia came to Tel Aviv, some said they were here to enjoy the sun, the sea and owner Mitch Goldhar's money. But the two have proved they came to work. Cruyff and Garcia note they benefit from not understanding the Israeli press.
Last night, once Kiryat Shmona lost two players to red cards in the 50th and 51st minutes, the result was inevitable. Still, Maccabi Tel Aviv dominated the match even before the two men were sent off.
Maccabi has yet to play brilliantly, but Garcia positions his players well; they know exactly what their role is whether on offense or defense. The team has 10 goals so far, more than any other club. Its two dominant players are goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and striker Eliran Atar, whose brace on Monday gave him a league-leading six goals.
Atar looks much more at ease; he seems to have benefited from the departure of Barak Itzhaki.
Gonzalo Garcia started the scoring in the 44th minute off a deep cross from Gal Alberman. Four minutes into the second half, Atar converted a penalty shot after Shir Tzedek fouled Roberto Colautti.
Already down 2-0, Kiryat Shmona lost its mojo after the second red card. Maharan Radi made a 25-meter shot in the 82nd minute, while Atar added another in injury time.
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