African players in Europe: Salah, Aubameyang among goals
Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang grabbed the headlines for African players in Europe at the weekend, the pair scoring in wins for Premier League rivals Liverpool and Arsenal.
Egyptian Salah opened the scoring in second-placed Liverpool’s 3-0 win at Watford while Gabonese Aubameyang netted the winner as fifth-placed Arsenal edged Bournemouth 2-1.
There was an unusually high number of African scorers in La Liga with Ivorian Seydou Doumbia, Ghanaian Emmanuel Boateng and Moroccan Youssef en-Nesyri among the goals.
PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Arsenal)
The striker extended Arsenal’s unbeaten run to 17 matches in all competitions as he bagged the winner in a 2-1 victory at Bournemouth. Aubameyang struck in the 67th minute at Dean Court, meeting Sead Kolasinac’s low cross with a close-range finish for his first goal in five games. The 29-year-old’s 10th goal of the season in all competitions lifted Arsenal to within one point of the top four as they chase a place in next season’s Champions League.
MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)
The winger opened the scoring to set Liverpool on course for a 3-0 win at Watford. With Liverpool labouring to break down the stubborn Watford defence, Salah made a well-timed run to finish off an incisive move involving Senegalese Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in the 67th minute. Salah’s ninth goal of his inconsistent season was the catalyst for Liverpool to strike twice more in the closing stages despite the dismissal of Jordan Henderson. The Reds remain just two points behind leaders Manchester City.
WILFRIED ZAHA (Crystal Palace)
The Ivory Coast forward helped Palace earn a 0-0 draw at Manchester United that piled on the misery for his former club. With Zaha constantly pressuring the United defence with his pace, tricks and clever runs, Palace were able to stop Jose Mourinho’s team establishing any rhythm. While Palace are still dangerously close to the relegation zone, Zaha’s quality masterminded a display that suggests they can beat the drop. It was Palace’s first point in a league game at Old Trafford since December 1989.
SEYDOU DOUMBIA (Girona)
Doumbia wrapped up a 3-1 away win for Girona over Catalan neighbours Espanyol. The Ivorian forward sped away in the 90th minute, held off Didac Vila, and despite his initial shot being saved, followed up the rebound for an impressive counter-attacking goal.
EMMANUEL BOATENG (Levante)
Boateng salvaged a point for Levante as the Ghanaian’s late goal secured a 2-2 draw against Huesca. Boateng’s low drive across goal found the bottom corner in the 74th minute to deny Huesca a second win of the season.
YOUSSEF EN-NESYRI (Leganes)
En-Nesyri sealed Leganes’ first victory in eight games as they beat high-flying Alaves 1-0. The Moroccan’s left-foot finish just before half-time proved the difference at Butarque as Leganes climbed out of the relegation places.
GERVINHO (Parma)/KHOUMA BABACAR (Sassuolo)
Ivorian Gervinho scored his fifth goal in nine games for promoted Parma in a 2-1 win over Sassuolo, breaking through after six minutes and having his shot cleared, before immediately pouncing on the rebound to score. Senegalese Babacar pulled one back for Sassuolo from the spot after 36 minutes for his third goal since joining the club from Fiorentina. Babacar looked destined to equalise two minutes from time, but his shot was cleared.
FRANCK KESSIE (AC Milan)
Ivory Coast midfielder Kessie put AC Milan ahead 12 minutes from time at Lazio with a goal which took a deflection off Brazilian Wallace. But the Roman club grabbed a late point in the Stadio Olimpico in a stalemate between teams fighting for Champions League football next season.
KEITA BALDE (Inter Milan)
Senegalese winger Balde scored his first Inter Milan goals, helping Luciano Spalletti’s side to a 3-0 victory over Frosinone that closed the gap on second-place Napoli to one point. The former Lazio and Monaco player has struggled for form since returning to Italy but scored after 10 minutes of his 12th league outing, provided the assist for Lautaro Martinez to head in the second, before adding the third eight minutes from time.
ABDUL MAJEED WARIS (Nantes)/STEPHANE BAHOKEN (Angers)
Ghanaian Waris equalised for Nantes in the final minute of regular time as they drew 1-1 at home against Angers, who took a fifth-minute lead through Cameroonian Stephane Bahoken in a Ligue 1 mid-table clash.