Albirex Niigata took advantage of a slip up from nearest challenger Lion City Sailors to open up a five-point lead at the top of the 2021 Singapore Premier League (SPL) this week.
The defending champions walked away 4-0 winners over Balestier Khalsa as Lion City were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by Hougang United.
Albirex had a brace each from Ryoya Taniguchi (47th and 77th minute) and Kuraba Kondo (50th and 64th) to thank for the comprehensive win as they chalked up 40 points from 17 matches played.
Five points behind is Lion City with 35 points from 16 games.
For Lion City, they were lucky to escape with the one point with Stipe Plazibat again the savior with a 75th minute equaliser after Anders Aplin had given Hougang the lead in the 51st minute.
2021 AIA SINGAPORE PREMIER LEAGUE
Tampines Rovers 2-2 Tanjong Pagar United
Albirex Niigata 4-0 Balestier Khalsa FC
Geylang International 2-3 Young Lions
Lion City Sailors 1-1 Hougang United