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African players in Europe: Mane, Salah rescue Liverpool

AFP , Monday 28 Oct 2019
Mohamed Salah
Egyptian Mohamed Salah (L) is blocked by Toby Alderweireld of Tottenham Hotspur during a Premier League match at Anfield (Photo: AFP)
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Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, consistently among the top African performers in the major European leagues this season, rescued English Premier League leaders Liverpool at the weekend.

After conceding a first-minute goal to Tottenham at Anfield, the Reds recovered to win 2-1 with Egyptian Salah scoring the winner off a penalty won by Senegalese Mane.

Salah topped the last two editions of the African Footballer of the Year poll and Mane looks set to succeed him and become the second trophy-holder from Senegal after El Hadji Diouf.

ENGLAND

MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)

The winger kept his cool to fire Liverpool to a 2-1 win over Tottenham as the leaders moved six points clear at the top of the Premier League. With Liverpool battling back from the shock of conceding a first minute goal, Anfield was stirring when Jordan Henderson equalised. That set the stage for Salah to raise the roof when he blasted home from the penalty spot after Serge Aurier caught the back of Sadio Mane's leg in the 75th minute.

JORDAN AYEW (Crystal Palace)

The Ghana forward scored his fourth goal of the season to give Palace an impressive 2-2 draw at Arsenal. Roy Hodgson's side were two goals down after nine minutes but got one back through a penalty after Ivory Coast star Wilfried Zaha was fouled. Ayew completed the Palace fightback in the 52nd minute when he headed home.

WILFRED NDIDI (Leicester)

The Nigeria midfielder was part of an historic occasion as Leicester powered to a record-breaking 9-0 thrashing of Southampton. Although Ndidi didn't get on the scoresheet, he played the full 90 minutes and delivered a typically influential display as hat-tricks from Jamie Vardy and Ayoze Perez helped Leicester record the biggest away win in English top-flight history.

SPAIN

KARL TOKO EKAMBI (Villarreal)

Ekambi continued his hot streak by scoring twice to fire Villarreal to a 4-1 win over Alaves. The Cameroon striker sprinted clear in the 13th minute and lifted the ball in for the opening goal of the match and then restored Villarreal's lead shortly after the hour by poking in Moi Gomez's cross at the near post. Ekambi has scored five goals in his last four games.

ITALY

AMAD TRAORE (Atalanta)

Seventeen-year-old Ivorian forward Traore came on as a late substitute and scored six minutes later on his debut to complete a 7-1 rout by Atalanta over Udinese. "This goal will remain forever in my head," said the brother of Sassuolo's Hamed Junior Traore, after becoming the first player born in 2002 to score in Italy.

NICHOLAS OPOKU (Udinese)

The Ghanaian defender was sent off after picking up a second yellow card within half an hour of the kick-off. The 22-year-old's absence hit Udinese hard with the club conceding six goals during the hour they were a man short to crumble 7-1 at Atalanta.

YANN KARAMOH/GERVINHO (Parma)

Ivory Coast-born French forward Karamoh, on-loan at Parma from Inter Milan, equalised and then set up Ivorian teammate Gervinho for a second goal on the half hour against his parent club in a 2-2 draw.

CHRISTIAN KOUAME (Genoa)

Ivorian Kouame came off the bench and acrobatically scored for Genoa in a 3-1 win over Brescia to get new coach Thiago Motta off to a winning start. It was the fourth goal in nine league games for the 21-year-old.

GERMANY

SALIF SANE (Schalke 04)

The towering Senegal defender was one of Schalke's most dangerous attackers in his side's frustrating 0-0 draw with Ruhr rivals Borussia Dortmund. Sane went close several times, once hitting the crossbar.

SALOMON KALOU (Hertha Berlin)

The Ivory Coast striker, 34, scored a terrific equaliser for Hertha in the 69th minute against visiting Hoffenheim. However, the goal could not prevent Berlin losing 3-2.

FRANCE

YANN GBOHO (Rennes)

The 18-year-old, born in the Ivory Coast, was the hero for Rennes as they beat Toulouse 3-2. Gboho came off the bench in stoppage time and moments later, in the 92nd minute, he slotted in the goal that gave his side a very welcome first win in 11 matches in all competitions. Gboho had only made his top-flight debut off the bench against Monaco last weekend. Although Ivorian by birth, he has played for France at age-group level all the way up to the under-18s.

VICTOR OSIMHEN (Lille)

The Nigerian striker had an outstanding start to his career in France, with seven goals in the first nine league games of the season and one goal in the Champions League against Chelsea. He has not been on target in any of Lille's last three outings, however, including a 1-1 Champions League draw with Valencia in midweek and Saturday's 3-0 win over Bordeaux, when he was taken off after an hour and saw his replacement, Loic Remy, score the final goal.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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