African players in Europe: Mahrez stars for champions City
Algeria winger and 2016 African Footballer of the Year Riyad Mahrez created the second goal and scored the third for Manchester City as they won a second successive Premier League title.
He was the stand-out African in Europe at the weekend as star-stacked City triumphed 4-1 at lowly Brighton to pip Liverpool by one point after a thrilling race.
A Mahrez corner allowed Aymeric Laporte to nod City into a 2-1 first-half lead and the north African struck the third goal on 63 minutes to put his side firmly on the path to glory.
RIYAD MAHREZ (Manchester City)
City dominated the second half at Brighton and with 63 minutes gone the 28-year-old Algerian cut in from the wing and unleashed a right-foot shot that gave his club a 3-1 advantage. France-born Mahrez has two Premier League winners medals having been part of the Leicester City side that sensationally became champions three years ago.
SADIO MANE (Liverpool)
Senegalese Mane scored twice in Liverpool’s 2-0 win against Wolves to earn a share of the Premier League’s Golden Boot award. The Senegal forward, 27, ended the season with 22 league goals, level with teammate and last year’s winner Mohamed Salah of Egypt as Liverpool finished on 97 points, one behind Manchester City.
PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Arsenal)
Arsenal forward Aubameyang grabbed a share of the Premier League Golden Boot award with two goals in a 3-1 win at Burnley on the last day of the season. The Gabon forward’s goals meant he finished with 22 in the league — the same number as Mane and Salah.
KARL TOKO EKAMBI (Villarreal)
Ekambi scored his 18th goal of the season to fire Villarreal to a 1-0 win over Eibar in La Liga. The Cameroon forward struck the winner in the 59th minute for his sixth goal in nine matches. Villarreal’s victory leaves them 14th in the table ahead of their last game of the season away to Getafe next weekend.
DJENE DAKONAM (Getafe)
Getafe’s Dakonam scored an own-goal in a 2-0 defeat to Barcelona. The Togolese poked into his own net as Lionel Messi looked to pounce on a one-two with Sergi Roberto at Camp Nou. Arturo Vidal had already put Barca ahead as Getafe slipped out of the top four, with a final game at home to Villarreal to come next weekend.
MUSA BARROW (Atalanta)
Gambian international Barrow broke through immediately after being introduced as a substitute at the break. His first goal this season in a 2-1 win over Genoa put Atalanta third in Serie A and close to a first Champions League qualification.
MEHDI BOURABIA (Sassuolo)
Moroccan midfielder Bourabia put Sassuolo ahead after 27 minutes against Torino but was sent off immediately after for a second yellow card after celebrating by pulling his jersey over his head, as his side fell to a 3-2 defeat.
ANTHONY UJAH (Mainz)
The Nigerian scored twice in four minutes soon after half-time to give Mainz a 2-0 Bundesliga win at Eintracht Frankfurt, who were beaten on penalties by Chelsea in a Europa League semi-final last Thursday. It was a surprise result as Frankfurt are six places above Mainz and the loss completed a disastrous eight days for Eintracht after a 6-1 drubbing at Bayer Leverkusen last weekend.
IHLAS BEBOU (Hanover)
Togolese striker Bebou found the net for Hanover against Freiburg, but even a 3-0 win was not enough to save his side from relegation. Bebou prodded the ball in from close range to score Hanover’s second as they picked up only a fifth win of the season.
SALOMON KALOU (Hertha Berlin)
Ivorian veteran Kalou scored an injury-time penalty to snatch a late 4-3 victory for Hertha in an entertaining dead-rubber in Augsburg. Hertha went behind three times, but Kalou equalised after 75 minutes before completing his brace from 12 yards with the last kick of the game.
CHADRAC AKOLO (Stuttgart)
Democratic Republic of Congo international Akolo made his first appearance since February as Stuttgart secured the relegation play-off place with a 3-0 win over Wolfsburg. The midfielder fell out of favour under former coach Markus Weinzierl, but interim boss Nico Willig welcomed Akolo back into the fold on Saturday.
AMADOU HAIDARA (RB Leipzig)
The Mali international came off the bench as Leipzig spoiled Bayern Munich’s title party with a 0-0 draw. Bayern missed the chance to wrap up a seventh consecutive title as Borussia Dortmund clawed back two points with a win over Fortuna Duesseldorf to send the title race to the wire.
NASSIM BOUJELLAB (Schalke)
Midfielder Boujellab, who has played for Morocco at under-23 level, set up Guido Burgstaller for Schalke’s equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Bayer Leverkusen. Burgstaller’s goal saw Leverkusen miss out on the chance to break into the top four and take pole position in the race for Champions League qualification.
MAXWEL CORNET (Lyon)
The Ivorian doubled his meagre league tally for the season with two goals in a 3-0 win at Marseille. Cornet controlled a wayward long-range shot from teammate Houssem Aouar, holding off a pair of defenders to slot home the opening goal on 25 minutes. He then raced clear after another Aouar pass to stroke home Lyon’s third late on as they pulled four points clear in the final Champions League qualifying spot.
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