Doha: Al Duhail SC consolidated their position at the top of the QNB Stars League table with a 4-2 victory against arch-rivals Al Sadd on Friday.
Then victory took Duhail to 25 points from nine games while Sadd remain on 21.
Sadd were without injured Pedro and with him, their defence looked brittle right from the start.
Youssef Msakni was given too much time and space inside the area in the second minute of the match, but the Duhail captain could not make it count, sending his header wide.
It did not matter much as Duhail took the lead in the sixth minute.
Ali Asad's intended pass for Yasir Abubakar after a Duhail attack went unattended inside the Sadd box, allowing Almoez Ali to pick up the loose ball, pick his spot and slot it past Saad Al Sheeb in goal.
The lead though did not last long as five minutes later, Hassan Al Haydous, after being found by Xavi Hernandez with a quick throw-in, beat Ali Afif on the turn and crossed the ball into the danger area where Baghdad Bounedjah bundled it in despite the close attention of Ismael Mohammed and Mohammed Moosa.
The goal brought more purpose and direction into Sadd's game and they continued on the attack until they were torn apart by Duhail's counterattack in the 20th minute.
When Youssef Msakni got the ball deep in his own half after a Xavi corner from the left, there was not even a hint of danger on Sadd goal.
But the Tunisian forward exchanged one-touch passes with Almoez and Nam Tae Hee as he surged forward and all of a sudden Sadd defence was split wide open. Msakni calmly picked Youssef El Arabi with a perfectly-waited ball and the Moroccan striker scored his 15th goal of the campaign.
It was all Duhail after that in the first half as Msakni hit the far upright with a bending right-footer in the 38th minute and two minutes later drew a save from Saad with an almost identical shot from a similar position.
In between, Sadd suffered another mighty blow when their talismanic striker Baghdad Bounedjah went off the field after suffering what appeared to be a calf injury.
Sadd were definitely nowhere near their best, but to their credit, they never stopped fighting.
They had a great chance to come back into the game around the hour mark, but Jugurtha Hamroun's powerful right-footer missed the target by a whisker. A few minutes later, Hamroun had another chance to level the scores, but this time goalkeeper Khalifa Ababacar came to Duhail’s rescue with a fine save.
But Bassam Al Rawi then took the wind out of Sadd sails, at least for a while, with a stunning goal. The Qatar Under-23 defender, asked by Djamel Belmadi to play in the midfield in place of injured Karim Boudiaf, beat Saad with a stunning long-ranger in the 72nd minute to bring a contented smile to his coach's lips.
Msakni had a chance to make it 4-1 from a counter-attack soon after, but he sent his effort wide of the post.
The very next moment Sadd reduced the deficit after unsure defending from Moosa and tentative goalkeeping from Ababacar left Mashaal Al Shammari with an open net and the substitute forward made no mistake.
Al of a sudden it was Duhail defence that appeared nervy, but Nam made the game safe in the 89th with a calmly-taken goal.
In the other matches on Friday, Al Khor defeated Al Sailiya 1-0 while Al Markhiya and Al Arabi played out a 1-1 draw.