Malaga keeper Kameni thwarts Barcelona again
Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez hold no fears for Cameroon-born Malaga goalkeeper Carlos Kameni.
He kept the celebrated attacking trio at bay with relative ease as his club dented the La Liga ambitions of Barca by winning 2-0 at the weekend.
It was the second time in three seasons that Kameni has kept two clean sheets against star-stacked Barcelona.
CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (West Ham United)
Senegal midfielder Kouyate picked a good time to score his first goal of the season. His first-half strike secured a 1-0 win over Swansea City that ended a deeply damaging run of five successive defeats for West Ham. It was a fine goal, too — Kouyate collecting a pass from Robert Snodgrass, advancing down the centre of the pitch and letting fly from 25 yards with a shot that flew into Lukasz Fabianski’s bottom-left corner.
ISLAM SLIMANI (Leicester City)
Slimani scored for the second game running, but it proved to be in a losing cause as Leicester’s six-game winning run in all competitions came to an end in a 4-2 defeat at Everton. The Algeria frontman struck in the fourth minute at Goodison Park, tucking Demarai Gray’s pass beneath Joel Robles to cancel out Tom Davies’ opener. It was his first away goal as a Leicester player.
VICTOR MOSES (Chelsea)
After two games out with a toe injury Moses made his return in Chelsea’s 3-1 win at Bournemouth and played a key role in the league leaders’ opening goal. Having drifted into space on the right, the Nigeria winger squared the ball to Diego Costa, whose mishit shot deflected in off Adam Smith’s head for an own goal.
AHMED ELMOHAMADY (Hull City)
Egypt right-back Elmohamady inadvertently opened the door to defeat as Hull were beaten 3-1 at Manchester City. He completely misjudged his attempt to clear Jesus Navas’s 31st-minute cross and succeeded only in bundling the ball into his own net.
CARLOS KAMENI (Malaga)
No one is more adept at stopping Barcelona’s superstar front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar than Cameroonian ‘keeper Kameni as he registered an eighth career clean sheet against Barca. Malaga struck a huge blow to the Catalans’ La Liga title hopes with a 2-0 home win. It is the second time in three seasons that Kameni has kept two clean sheets in a season against Barca having also starred in a 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou in November.
KEVIN-PRINCE BOATENG (Las Palmas)
Boateng netted his ninth goal of the season with a neat finish from the edge of the area as Las Palmas eased past Real Betis 4-1. The Ghanaian also helped set up Vicente Gomez’s opener for the hosts.
CEDRIC BAKAMBU (Villarreal)
After an injury-disrupted season, Democratic Republic of Congo striker Bakambu continued his return to form as Villarreal moved clear in fifth place with a 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao. Bakambu’s low strike into the far corner early in the second half was his fifth goal of the season, with three coming in his last eight games.
MOHAMED SALAH (Roma)
It took Roma time to get going but after Federico Fazio fired the visitors into a 25th-minute lead in Bologna, Egyptian Salah added a touch of magic with a delightful lob over home ‘keeper Antonio Mirante after collecting Edin Dzeko’s chip four minutes before the interval. Another goal completed a 3-0 win for Roma.
AFRIYIE ACQUAH (Torino)
Torino had already taken firm control by the time Acquah hit a 20-yard screamer that went in under the crossbar in the 53rd minute of a 3-2 win at Cagliari. But the Ghanaian’s slightly deflected drive, which gave Toro a 3-1 lead, proved decisive in the end. Acquah now has two league goals this season.
CHEICK DIABATE (Metz)
The giant Malian striker was back in the Metz line-up for the trip to former club Bordeaux, having sat out the 3-0 loss to Lyon in midweek. He could do nothing to stop Metz suffering another defeat by an identical scoreline, however. Diabate was unable to add to his five goals since signing on loan from Turkish side Osmanlispor in January.
BENJAMIN MOUKANDJO (Lorient)
The captain of the Cameroon side that won the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations against all the odds, Moukandjo is now doing his best to lead Lorient to a miraculous escape from the jaws of relegation. He scored two goals and set up another in a stunning 4-1 win in Lyon. Moukandjo now has five goals in his last five games and 12 altogether, and three wins in a row have taken Lorient out of the bottom two.
PREJUCE NAKOULMA (Nantes)
A powerful forward who had spent much of his career in Poland, Nakoulma was a star of the Cup of Nations with third-placed Burkina Faso and is now starring for Nantes. His goal secured a 1-1 draw at Saint-Etienne. It was his fifth goal in his last four appearances.
PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Borussia Dortmund)
In the race to be the Bundesliga’s top-scorer this season, the Gabon striker failed to get on the scoresheet and was overtaken by rival Robert Lewandowski, who netted twice in Bayern Munich’s 4-1 home win against Borussia. Lewandowski’s double left him on 26 goals, one more than Aubameyang, whose best chance in Munich came on 67 minutes when his shot beat goalkeeper Sven Ulreich, but Jerome Boateng cleared off the line.
SALOMON KALOU (Hertha Berlin)
The Ivory Coast striker weighed in with his fifth assist this season by setting up Valentin Stocker in Hertha’s 2-0 win at home to Augsburg. Kalou combined with his forward partner Vedad Ibisevic in the build-up to Stocker’s goal after American international John Anthony Brooks headed Hertha into an early lead. Kalou could have added a late third, but failed to get a clean connection on his shot.