Maccabi Tel Aviv returned to the top of the Premier League standings in resounding fashion on Monday night, thrashing Hapoel Beersheba 5-0 at Bloomfield Stadium.

Maccabi had won just two of its previous five matches, but it improved its already-impressive home record on Monday, winning for the eighth time in nine encounters, including its past four by a combined goal difference of 17-3.

The three points were effectively secured by the 13th minute following early goals from Steve Gohouri (5) and Eliran Atar (13), with Atar (43), Maharan Radi (68) and Moshe Lugasi (80) compounding the misery on the sorry Beersheba, which lost for the fourth time in five games.

“For me this is a result of our work,” said Maccabi coach Oscar Garcia, whose team opened a two-point lead over Hapoel Tel Aviv. “In this league teamwork is the key and all the players must work hard and know what they need to do on the pitch.”

Maccabi was desperate to make an early breakthrough and it got off to an ideal start.

Ivorian defender Gohouri, who was rumored to be on his way out of the club in the January transfer window, showed the skills of a striker, a position he played at the start of his career, expertly bringing down the ball and firing into the bottom left corner to give the hosts the lead after less than five minutes.

Beersheba came centimeters from drawing level in the ninth minute when Bojan Markovic’s header bounced off the crossbar, but Maccabi seized complete control four minutes later when Atar pounced to double the lead.

Radi squared the ball for Atar to tap in his 16th league goal of the season two minutes from the break and the midfielder turned from provider to scorer in the 68th minute after Tomer Swisa missed a penalty for Beersheba six minutes into the second half.

Lugasi netted Tel Aviv’s fifth goal 10 minutes from time and Beersheba ended the match with 10 men after Firas Awad was shown a straight red card in the 87th minute to complete the most miserable of nights for the southerners.

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