African players in Europe: Mane, Zaha two-goal stars
Senegalese Sadio Mane and Ivorian international Wilfried Zaha were two-goal stars for Liverpool and Crystal Palace respectively in the English Premier League at the weekend.
Mane punished 10-man Chelsea by scoring twice within four minutes soon after half-time to give defending champions Liverpool a 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge.
Zaha converted a penalty and scored again to assure Palace of a shock 3-1 triumph at Old Trafford over Manchester United, his former club.
SADIO MANE (Liverpool)
The Senegal forward tormented Chelsea as he triggered Andreas Christensen’s red card and then scored twice in the champions’ win. With a tight clash goalless heading into first half stoppage-time, Mane raced onto Jordan Henderson’s pass and was pulled down by Christensen, who was initially booked before the decision was changed to a red card. Mane made sure Liverpool took advantage of their numerical superiority with a 50th-minute header from Roberto Firmino’s cross. He followed his first goal of the season with his second four minutes later, this one a gift as he seized a wayward pass from Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and slotted into the empty net.
WILFRIED ZAHA (Crystal Palace)
The Ivory Coast forward returned to haunt Manchester United as his double fired Palace to a shock win. Zaha had a difficult spell with United between 2013 and 2015 before rejoining Palace, where he is fulfilling his vast potential. The 27-year-old showed why Palace are so keen to keep him out of the clutches of a host of admiring clubs as he calmly converted a 74th-minute penalty and then killed off United with a fine finish five minutes from full-time.
SAMUEL CHUKWUEZE (Villarreal)
The young Nigerian midfielder provided an assist to help Villarreal come from behind and beat Eibar 2-1 in La Liga. A fine cross from Chukwueze midway through the second half enabled Gerard Moreno to equalise.
DAKONAM DJENE/ALLAN NYOM (Getafe)
Togolese centre-back Djene and Cameroon midfielder Nyom played the full 90 minutes for Getafe in a 1-0 home win over Osasuna in their first outing of the season. Jaime Mata scored the only goal nine minutes into the second half.
VICTOR OSIMHEN (Napoli)
Nigerian international Osimhen came off the bench after an hour for his Napoli debut to trigger the two goals in a 2-0 win over Parma. Three minutes after his introduction, the 21-year-old was involved in the opener from Dries Mertens, with Lorenzo Insigne adding a second a quarter of an hour later. “Osimhen has an extra gear,” said coach Gennaro Gattuso of the player Napoli paid Lille a club record 80 million euros ($94.6 mn) for. “He’s a serious lad who does not forget where he comes from. He lost his parents as a child… he is a young man with the head of a 40-year-old.”
MEHDI BOURABIA (Sassuolo)
Morocco international midfielder Bourabia came on after 62 minutes and equalised three minutes from time with his free-kick salvaging a point for hosts Sassuolo in a 1-1 draw against Cagliari. It was a rare league goal for the 29-year-old, who now has three in as many seasons with the club.
CEBIO SOUKOU (Arminia Bielefeld)
The Bochum-born winger, who debuted for Benin last year, gave promoted Bielefeld a shock lead at Eintracht Frankfurt in a 1-1 draw. The 27-year-old sprinted to the ball in the area and lifted his shot over Germany goalkeeper Kevin Trapp with an hour gone.
SILAS WAMANGITUKA (VfB Stuttgart)
The 20-year-old Democratic Republic of Congo forward netted Stuttgart’s second goal, but their late fightback was not enough to avoid a 3-2 home loss to Freiburg on their return to the Bundesliga. Wamangituka fired into the bottom corner on 81 minutes.
RAMY BENSEBAINI (Borussia Moenchengladbach)
The Algeria defender clipped the ankle of 17-year-old United States junior international Giovanni Reyna to concede a penalty in Moenchengladbach’s 3-0 loss at Borussia Dortmund. Erling Braut Haaland converted the penalty.
AMADOU HAIDARA (RB Leipzig)
The Mali international scored Leipzig’s third goal in a 3-1 home win over Mainz, sweeping the ball home from point-blank range just three minutes after the visitors had halved a two-goal deficit. The Haidara goal was the decisive final act in a swashbuckling attacking performance from Leipzig.
ANDY DELORT (Montpellier)
Algeria forward Delort scored just before half-time and again on the hour mark as Montpellier trounced visiting Angers 4-1 to lie third in Ligue 1, one point behind Saint-Etienne and Rennes.
IBRAHIMA NIANE (Metz)
Metz ended a run of three losses since the season kicked off by winning 2-1 at home to Reims thanks to a brace from Senegalese Ibrahima Niane. He opened the scoring on 18 minutes and snatched the winner with two minutes of regular time remaining.
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