Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Moses, Slimani lead African charge in the EPL

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Chelsea’s Nigerian midfielder Victor Moses (L) tries to hold off Tottenham Hotspur’s Belgian midfielder Mousa Dembele (R) during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London on November 26, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Ian KINGTON /

Nigerian Victor Moses scored the most crucial of the four African goals in the English Premier League at the weekend as it kept Chelsea top of the table.

Reborn as a wing-back after years fulfilling an orthodox winger role, the 25-year-old maintained outstanding form by scoring the winner in a 2-1 triumph over Tottenham Hotspur.

Reigning African Footballer of the Year Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang became the leading German Bundesliga scorer this season after his 13th goal.

However, the Gabon striker could not prevent Borussia Dortmund losing 2-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt.



Revitalised as a right wing-back in Chelsea’s 3-4-3 system, Nigeria international Moses underlined his importance to manager Antonio Conte with the winning goal in a steely 2-1 comeback success against Tottenham. The 25-year-old found the net early in the second half, steaming in from the right flank to meet Diego Costa’s low cross with a first-time shot that found the net via Hugo Lloris’s right foot and Jan Vertonghen’s right thigh. It was his fourth goal of the season and it gave Chelsea a seventh successive win.

DIAFRA SAKHO (West Ham United)

Senegalese striker Sakho opened his account for the season with a quick-fire goal as West Ham recorded a creditable 1-1 draw at Manchester United. The 26-year-old opened the scoring after just 90 seconds at Old Trafford, ghosting into the area to plant a header past United goalkeeper David de Gea from Dimitri Payet’s right-wing free-kick.

RIYAD MAHREZ (Leicester City)

Mahrez, the reigning Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year, scored his third penalty in three outings as champions Leicester were held to a 2-2 draw by Middlesbrough at the King Power Stadium. The Algeria winger is yet to score from open play in the league this season, but he remains deadly from 12 yards and cancelled out Alvaro Negredo’s opener with his latest spot-kick after Calum Chambers was penalised for handball.

ISLAM SLIMANI (Leicester City)

Leicester avoided succumbing to a seventh defeat of the campaign thanks to the ice-cool composure of Mahrez’s Algeria team-mate Slimani. The former Sporting Lisbon striker replaced the misfiring Jamie Vardy in the 65th minute and earned Leicester a point with a last-gasp 94th-minute penalty after Negredo had put visitors Boro in front for a second time. It was Slimani’s fifth goal for Leicester.


Democratic Republic of Congo striker Mbokani played a key role as struggling Hull avoided falling to a ninth defeat in 11 games in a 1-1 draw at home to West Bromwich Albion. Trailing to Gareth McAuley’s first-half opener, Hull levelled in the 72nd minute when Mbokani climbed to nod down Robert Snodgrass’s free-kick for Michael Dawson, who steered home the equaliser via the post.



Roma scraped past Pescara 3-2, but despite his best intentions Salah played an uncharacteristically minor role for Luciano Spalletti’s men as they held on to all three points to remain second, just four points behind leaders Juventus. Salah was his usual energetic self but had a flawed performance at the Stadio Olimpico that was capped by a late shot on goal from a Francesco Totti assist that the Egyptian hit into the side-netting.


Keita has taken on greater importance for resurgent Lazio this season, but flashes of individual brilliance from the Senegal forward were few and far between in a dominant 1-0 win over Palermo that handed the Sicilians a club record seventh defeat on the trot. Keita notably blasted the ball over the crossbar late on as the hosts sought, in vain, to transform their superiority into goals.



The Guinea midfielder opened the scoring in Leipzig’s 4-1 win at Freiburg, which saw the Bundesliga leaders finish the weekend three points clear of Bayern Munich. From a short corner, Keita drilled his shot into the right corner from 25 metres with just two minutes gone at the Schwarzwald Stadion to claim his fourth league goal of the season.


The Gabon striker became the top scorer in Germany when he netted his 13th goal of the season, but his Borussia Dortmund team crashed to a 2-1 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt. ‘Auba’ headed home Ousmane Dembele’s cross on 77 minutes to put Dortmund level only for Haris Seferovic to score Frankfurt’s winner 66 seconds from the restart.


The Cameroon forward atoned for a first-half penalty miss with Schalke’s second goal in their 3-1 win at home to Darmstadt to continue their rise in the table. After setting up Schalke’s equaliser from Sead Kolasinac in the opening period, the 27-year-old made it 2-1 midway through the second half after his penalty attempt had crashed off the boots of the Darmstadt goalkeeper.


SERGE AURIER (Paris Saint-Germain)

The Ivory Coast defender was recalled to the PSG team after missing the midweek Champions League draw with Arsenal when British authorities refused him entry because of a conviction for assaulting a police officer in Paris this year. The right-back started and played 90 minutes as the reigning champions beat Lyon 2-1.


The Guinea forward played a starring role in Bordeaux’s 3-2 win at home to Dijon. He came off the bench for the second half and watched his side fall 2-1 down before heading in an 88th-minute equaliser and then bundling home a stoppage-time winner.


It has been quite a few weeks for the 21-year-old forward. He made his Ivory Coast debut in a 0-0 friendly draw in France — the land of his birth — on November 15 and followed that up by scoring his first goal in Ligue 1 in a 1-1 draw at Rennes four days later. He started against Saint-Etienne at the weekend and had quite an impact, winning a penalty that was missed by Senegalese team-mate Famara Diedhiou and then opening the scoring. But Angers lost 2-1.

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