Manchester City’s Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure (C) celebrates with Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (L) and Manchester City’s Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho (R) after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Manchester City at Selhurst Park in south London on November 19, 2016.
Manchester City won the game 2-1. / AFP PHOTO / OLLY GREENWOOD / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. /
Yaya Toure made a dramatic return to the English Premier League at the weekend by scoring both goals for Manchester City in a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace.
It was the first league start of the season for the giant Ivorian midfielder after being sidelined over a row between his agent and manager Pep Guardiola.
Another African to bag a Premier League brace — his first since 2006 — was Nigerian Victor Anichebe for Sunderland in a 3-0 victory against Hull City.
YAYA TOURE (Manchester City)
Surprisingly picked to start for City at Crystal Palace after three months in cold storage, Toure made a storming return to first-team action by scoring twice to earn Pep Guardiola’s side a 2-1 win. The Ivorian put City ahead in the 39th minute, swapping passes with Nolito before blasting in with a deflected shot, and gave the visitors victory — after Connor Wickham had equalised — by tucking away Kevin De Bruyne’s corner seven minutes from time. Guardiola confirmed after the game that Toure’s period in exile was over.
VICTOR ANICHEBE (Sunderland)
Nigerian striker Anichebe scored his first Premier League brace since December 2006 as Sunderland crushed fellow strugglers Hull 3-0 to close to within three points of safety. The 28-year-old former Everton player netted Sunderland’s second goal in the 62nd minute, gathering Patrick van Aanholt’s pass and scoring at the near post with his left foot, before bludgeoning home from Jermain Defoe’s pass in the 84th minute to seal victory.
PAPY DJILOBODJI (Sunderland)
The only black spot for Sunderland manager David Moyes was a late red card shown to Senegalese centre-back Djilobodji for two bookable offences. The former Chelsea defender was cautioned for going through the back of Dieumerci Mbokani in the first half and received his marching orders late on following a needless foul on Jarrod Bowen.
RIYAD MAHREZ (Leicester City)
Mahrez scored his first league goal since the season’s opening day, but it came in a losing cause as Leicester lost 2-1 at Watford — the champions’ sixth defeat of the campaign. The Algeria winger, England’s reigning Player of the Year, blasted a penalty past Heurelho Gomes in the 15th minute after Jamie Vardy had been sent sprawling by Miguel Britos, but by then Watford had already scored the goals that would bring them victory.
VICTOR MOSES (Chelsea)
Nigerian flier Moses was named man of the match after a storming display in a 1-0 win at Middlesbrough that sent Chelsea to the top of the table. Installed at right wing-back in Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 system, Moses has helped Chelsea record six consecutive clean sheets, but it was his attacking qualities that were in evidence at the Riverside Stadium. His forward runs helped to create chances for Pedro Rodriguez and Marcos Alonso and he might have scored in the second half after galloping the length of the pitch to get on the end of Diego Costa’s pass, only to lift his shot over the bar.
CARLOS KAMENI (Malaga)
Cameroonian veteran goalkeeper Kameni produced a sublime performance to keep Barcelona scoreless at the Camp Nou for the first time in La Liga for nearly two years as nine-man Malaga clung on for a 0-0 draw. The pick of Kameni’s saves came deep into stoppage time with an incredible reflex stop to deny Neymar’s header. Kameni was also in goal the last time Barca drew a blank in February 2015 when Malaga claimed a shock 1-0 win in the Catalan capital.
MEHDI CARCELA (Granada)
Moroccan winger Carcela fired home his third goal of the season, but it wasn’t enough to deliver Granada’s first win of the season after a 1-1 draw at Valencia. Carcela broke clear and kept his composure to fire high past Diego Alves in first-half stoppage time, but Nani’s second-half leveller leaves Granada still rooted to the foot of the table.
AISSA MANDI (Real Betis)
Algerian international Mandi netted his first Betis goal as Victor Sanchez’s reign got off to a winning start with a 2-0 victory over Las Palmas. Both goals came from corners with Mandi bundling the ball home from close range for just Betis’ second home win of the season.
MOHAMED SALAH (Roma)
Barely a fortnight after hitting his maiden league hat-trick, Salah went from hero to zero for Roma’s ambitious fans after spurning a number of first-half chances that proved costly in a 2-1 defeat to Atalanta. Salah had followed his Roma triple against Bologna by hitting the opener, from the spot, for Egypt in a 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Ghana last week.
FRANK KESSIE (Atalanta)
Kessie signalled his Serie A arrival in sensational fashion with four goals in as many games from the start of the season — then the goals dried up. The 19-year-old Ivorian ended his drought amid an impressive performance that helped secure Atalanta’s sixth win in seven consecutive games and moved them up to fifth, only eight points off leaders Juventus. When Atalanta won a 90th-minute penalty, Kessie stepped up to send Wojciech Szczesny the wrong way and secure the points.
PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Borussia Dortmund)
The Gabon star was Dortmund’s hero in their 1-0 win over Bayern Munich, scoring the only goal in front of 81,000 fans when he touched in a low ball across goal by Mario Goetze. It was his 12th Bundesliga goal of the season and the victory left Dortmund third.
NABY KEITA (RB Leipzig)
The pocket-size midfielder earned rave reviews for his performance in Leipzig’s 3-2 win at Bayer Leverkusen that took the promoted side to the top of the table. The 21-year-old Guinea international, who has previously played in France and Austria, set up Emil Forsberg’s strike that made it 2-2 before the visitors got a late winner.
IBRAHIMA TRAORE (Borussia Moenchengladbach)
The Guinea winger set up Lars Stindl’s opener for Gladbach in their derby against Cologne and later struck the bar with a free-kick in a match his side lost 2-1.
STEVIE MOUNIE (Montpellier)
Capped five times for Benin, the 22-year-old striker scored in the 55th minute to cancel out his Tunisian teammate Ellyes Skhiri’s first-half own goal and earn Montpellier a 1-1 draw at Bastia.