African footballers week in Europe: City toast Toure, Eto'o strikes again

AFP, Monday 16 May 2011

Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure scored the lone goal of the FA Cup final against Stoke City at the weekend to bring expensively assembled Manchester City their first trophy in 35 years


Cameroon striker and captain Samuel Eto'o snatched his 35th goal of the season in all competitions in a 1-1 draw with Napoli that secured second place in Serie A for outgoing champions Inter Milan.

The only African to bag a brace in a major European league was Senegalese striker Demba Ba, but it proved a hollow achievement as West Ham surrendered a two-goal lead to lose at Wigan and were relegated from the Premiership.




The Ivory Coast midfielder ended 35 years of hurt for City as his goal secured a 1-0 win over Stoke in the FA Cup final at Wembley. Toure, who also scored the semi-final winner against Manchester United, drove home from close range in the 74th minute to give City their first trophy since the 1976 League Cup and dedicated the goal to brother and team-mate Kolo, who is serving a drugs ban.



The Ivory Coast striker was dropped for Chelsea's 2-2 draw against Newcastle. With the Premier League title lost to Manchester United, Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti opted to pick Fernando Torres ahead of Drogba in a move that suggests he could be on his way out of Stamford Bridge during the close season. Drogba eventually came on in the 64th minute.


DEMBA BA (West Ham)

The Senegal striker scored twice but couldn't stop the Hammers being relegated from the Premier League as they crashed to a 3-2 defeat at fellow strugglers Wigan. Ba netted with a 12th-minute header and struck again 14 minutes later with another close-range header, but Wigan scored three times in the second half.



The Democratic Republic of Congo midfielder bagged the winner as Albion defeated Everton 1-0 at the Hawthorns. Mulumbu struck in the 10th minue with a low shot from Nigerian Peter Odemwingie's cross. It was Mulumbu's second winner in three matches and his seventh goal of the season.



The Senegal midfielder gave a dominant display as his side kept alive their hopes of avoiding relegation with a dramatic 3-2 win over West Ham. With the Latics trailing 2-0 at half-time, Diame was one of the key figures in Wigan's comeback as Charles N'Zogbia scored a last-minute winner that leaves Roberto Martinez's team in the bottom three only on goal difference going into the final match of the season at Stoke.




The Cameroon centre-back produced a rugged performance as his side ended a 56-year wait for silverware by beating Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in the French Cup final. He displayed his attacking intent with several buccaneering runs into PSG territory and dealt superbly with the aerial threat of the Parisians' France international target man, Guillaume Hoarau.


SIAKA TIENE (Paris Saint-Germain)

Tiene had a day to forget as his side failed to defend their French Cup crown, despite a solid personal showing. The Ivory Coast left-back produced a key block to cut out a threatening pass from his international colleague Gervinho in the 10th minute, but blotted his copybook by conceding the free-kick from which Ludovic Obraniak netted Lille's 90th-minute winner.


KAMEL GHILAS (Arles-Avignon)

Algerian international Ghilas, on loan from English second-tier side Hull City, struck the only goal of the game as relegated Arles-Avignon claimed only their second victory of the season with a 1-0 defeat of Toulouse. The 27-year-old capitalised on slack marking from the visiting defence to break the deadlock in the 20th minute with a close-range header.



Cameroonian forward Moukandjo scored one of the goals of the weekend to give Monaco the lead in their 1-1 draw with Lens, dispatching a beautifully measured left-wing centre from Chris Malonga with a deft half-volley. The draw confirmed Lens' relegation to Ligue 2.




The Tunisia striker scored the winner and netted for the 10th time this season as Mainz bounced back to beat St Pauli 2-1 in the Bundesliga. The 24-year-old came off the bench at the start of the second half and scored the winner in the 82nd minute which secured his side's place in the Europa League next season as they finished fifth.


DIDIER YA KONAN (Hanover 96)

The Ivory Coast striker scored his 14th league goal of the season in Hanover's 3-1 win over Nuremberg. The 26-year-old netted a 78th-minute penalty after team-mate and ex-Germany forward Jan Schlaudraff was brought down in the area to seal his side's fight back having fallen behind in the first half.



SAMUEL ETO'O (Inter Milan)

The Cameroon captain notched his 35th goal of an incredible season as he scored the one which secured Inter second place in the league. It came early on with a powerful shot from outside the area to give Inter the lead away to Napoli. The Neapolitans hit back to earn a draw, though, in a result that suited both teams.



In the absence of playmaker Wesley Sneijder the Morrocan was again picked to replace him. It wasn't a direct swap, though, as Kharja lined up on the left of midfield where he played an important role in limiting Napoli's Christian Maggio from making his usual surges forward. Kharja proved particularly useful in picking up loose balls and maintaining possession.



The Ghana midfielder helped his side to a 2-0 victory at Chievo that keeps them on course for Champions League qualification for only the second time. He was one of the crucial players in controlling midfield and ensuring the visitors didn't suffer too many nervous moments. He even got forward to score the clinching second goal, only his second of the season, with an unstoppable 25-yard 'missile' that swerved around the goalkeeeper.



The Algeria midfielder had a decisive role in the 2-0 victory at Puglia neighbours Bari that secured Lecce's Serie A place for next season. Mesbah crossed for Brazilian Jeda to head the opening goal. He also showed his versatility by playing in midfield in the first half and at full-back after the break.




The seasoned Mali striker scored a brace as Sevilla defeated Real Sociedad 3-1 to stay in the hunt for a Europa League place. Kanoute, 33, scored on 53 and 60 minutes to take his season's tally to 11 league goals.


KALU UCHE (Almeria)

The Nigerian striker scored a fifth-minute opener as relegated Almeria gave their home fans something to cheer about with a 3-1 victory over Real Mallorca. Uche, 28, collected a pass from Pablo Piatti to open the scoring early on with his sixth league goal of the campaign.

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