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Drogba, Mikel help Chelsea clinch title


Chelseas-win-COCIvorian legend Didier Drogba and Nigerian John Obi Mikel helped Chelsea defeat Crystal Palace 1-0 at the weekend and clinch the English Premier League title.

Deputising for injured striker Diego Costa, 37-year-old Drogba played the 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge while midfielder Mikel came off the bench for the second half.

Senegalese Sadio Mane was the lone African scorer in the Premier League, but his goal could not prevent Southampton losing 2-1 at lowly Sunderland.


SADIO MANE (Southampton)

The Senegal midfielder was quickest to react after Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon spilt the ball, firing the Saints level at the Stadium of Light with a 22nd-minute equaliser. Unfortunately for the south coast club, his goal came between two Jordi Gomez penalties that saw Sunderland to a 2-1 win.


Was involved in the controversial incident that led to the Hammers’ winning penalty in a 1-0 victory over relegation-threatened Burnley at Upton Park. The Senegal star worked his way into the Burnley penalty area and was sent tumbling to the turf by Michael Duff’s trip as he prepared to shoot. Referee Jonathan Moss, somewhat harshly, ruled that Duff’s foul denied Kouyate a goal-scoring opportunity and showed a red card before Mark Noble scored with the ensuing spot-kick.


The veteran Ivorian once more led the line, and for the entire 90 minutes too, as Chelsea wrapped up the Premier League title with a 1-0 victory at home to Crystal Palace. Drogba tested Palace keeper Julian Speroni early on with a dipping free-kick and then dropped deep before, in common with manager Jose Mourinho, enjoying title success in his second spell at Stamford Bridge to add to the Premier League crowns he won first time around.


One of the Blues ‘go-to’ men when they are looking to close out a match, the Nigerian replaced the ineffectual Juan Cuadrado at half-time and did what was required of him as Chelsea maintained what turned out to be a title-winning clean sheet.



El-Arabi gave Granada’s survival hopes a huge boost under new coach Jose Ramon Sandoval as he scored twice in a 2-1 win at Getafe. The Moroccan opened the scoring from the penalty spot and then sealed Granada’s first win in nine games with a bullet header from Piti’s cross to register his sixth goal of the season.



The 27-year-old Ivory Coast striker scored his second goal for the club since moving from CSKA Moscow after 35 minutes in a 2-0 win over Genoa which allowed the capital city side to leapfrog rivals Lazio into second place and automatic Champions League spot.



Togo international Ayite scored the goal that saw Bastia edged high flyers Saint Etienne 1-0 and climb six points clear of the relegation zone with three games to go. Since joining from Reims last summer the attacking-midfielder has scored eight goals, and insiders at the club are expecting big things from him.


SALIF SANE (Hanover 96)

A stunning second-half bicycle kick by the Senegal defender sealed relegation-threatened Hanover’s 2-2 draw at VfL Wolfsburg, who threw away a two-goal lead. Sane struck from 11 metres out with a kick which slammed into the top left-hand corner on 58 minutes.


Dropped for the last few games due to a lack of form, the Ghana midfielder came off the bench for Cameroon’s Eric Choupo-Moting to help create two goals in Schalke’s 3-2 fight-back win against VfB Stuttgart. Boateng put in a final pass for Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to equalise on 78 minutes and then his 89th-minute shot was deflected by Stuttgart left-back Florian Klein to give Schalke the winner.

IBRAHIMA TRAORE (Borussia Moenchengladbach)

The Guinean came off the bench to score Moenchengladbach’s winner in their 2-1 victory at strugglers Hertha Berlin to reclaim third in the Bundesliga table. Traore scored his first goal for Gladbach since joining from Stuttgart last year when he came on with 73 minutes gone and drilled home the winner five minutes from time.

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