African footballers week in Europe: Senegal's Moussa helps Lille win French league title

AFP, Monday 23 May 2011

African predators were razor sharp around Europe at the weekend with Senegalese Moussa Sow scoring the goal that earned Lille a 2-2 draw at Paris Saint Germain and the French Ligue 1 title.

Moussa Sow
Lille's Moussa Sow (Photo: Reuters)

Sow tops the French goal charts having netted 22 times—once more than Kevin Gameiro from Lorient—with one round left and the club from the northern city have an unassailable six-point advantage over Marseille.

Emmanuel Adebayor and Somen Tchoyi grabbed hat-tricks, Pierre Webo and Seydou Doumbia bagged a brace apiece and Stephane Sessegnon, Andrew Ayew and Frederic Kanoute were also on target.


 SOMEN TCHOYI (West Brom) 

The Cameroon midfielder scored his first Premiership hat-trick to spark a remarkable revival from Albion in a 3-3 draw at Newcastle. The Baggies looked beaten when they trailed 3-0 early in the second half but Tchoyi gave them a lifeline in the 62nd minute and then lashed in a superb strike nine minutes later. He completed the comeback when he dived to head home Jonas Olsson's cross in the final minute.


The Ivory Coast midfielder helped City secure third place in the Premiership with a 2-0 victory at Bolton. Toure played 90 minutes as goals from Joleon Lescott and Edin Dzeko ensured FA Cup winners City secured automatic qualification for the Champions League group stages ahead of Arsenal.


The Nigeria midfielder was caught by a nasty foul in the incident that saw Seamus Coleman sent off in the Blues' 1-0 defeat at Everton. Coleman had already been booked when he fouled Mikel with a reckless lunge that forced referee Peter Walton to show a red card to the midfielder.


The Senegal midfielder gave an influential display as the Latics avoided relegation with a 1-0 win at Stoke. Roberto Martinez's side needed a win and other results to go their way to climb out of the bottom three and they got what they needed thanks to Hugo Rodallega's 78th-minute winner.

ASAMOAH GYAN (Sunderland)

The Ghana striker inspired the Black Cats as he returned from a hamstring injury in a 3-0 victory at already-relegated West Ham. Gyan had been sidelined for a month with the problem, but he played 72 minutes of an easy win at Upton Park.


The diminutive Benin midfielder claimed his third goal in five matches for the Black Cats with a 25-yard shot after a solo run as the visitors cantered to victory at West Ham. Manager Steve Bruce is thrilled with his 9.7 million dollars signing from Paris Saint Germain. "He will be a big hit for us next season—I'm convinced of that," he predicted.


The Congo defender led Blackburn to Premiership survival as his side sealed their place in the top flight next season with a 3-2 win at Wolves. Rovers captain Samba helped his side into a 3-0 lead and even Wolves' late fightback couldn't trouble Steve Kean's men, who finished four points above the relegation zone.



The Senegal striker claimed the goal that secured the league title for Lille in their 2-2 draw at Paris Saint-Germain. The former Rennes hitman slid home a low cross from Mathieu Debuchy in the 59th minute, with Mathieu Bodmer equalising for the hosts 14 minutes later. It was Sow's 22nd league goal of the season, putting him one ahead of Lorient's Kevin Gameiro in the battle to finish top Ligue 1 scorer.


Ivory Coast international forward Gervinho, scorer of the winning goal in the 1-0 victory over Sochaux that took Lille to the brink of the title, produced a rather subdued performance against PSG. Despite several purposeful raids down the left flank, he frequently found his route to goal blocked by the imposing figure of Paris centre-back Mamadou Sakho.

ANDRE AYEW (Marseille)

The Ghana forward was the dominant player at home against Valenciennes for the first hour, equalising in the 34th minute following a 40-metre free-kick from Mathieu Valbuena. He started to flag, though, in the second half due to his all-out efforts as the visitors hit back to equalise, effectively ending Marseille's title challenge.



Following his Michael Jackson moonwalk performance last week at Milan's title party, the Ghana midfielder was back on the pitch against Udinese. Restored in the trequartista position behind the front two, Boateng got forward well and had a couple of good chances from Antonio Cassano passes. With the first he shot just over the bar and with the second he was inches away from making contact from close range. But he tired as the match wore on and pettered out into a 0-0 draw.


The Morocco midfielder was given another chance at the trequartista position behind the front two in the continuing absence of Wesley Sneijder. He looked more comfortable there than he has done on the left of midfield and even hit the bar with one effort.


The Algeria centre-back had the inenviable task of trying to keep Pato and Antonio Cassano quiet and although the latter did cause problems by dropping deep and finding space, neither got much of a sniff at goal. Benatia, as he has been all season, was a wall at the back as Udinese got the clean sheet that guaranteed their progression to the Champions League.


The Ghana midfielder did not have much of a chance to impress in a game in which Milan often controlled possession in the centre of the park. He had few chances to burst forward and was often forced to simply chase.



Togo striker Adebayor scored his first hat-trick for Real Madrid as his side triumphed 8-1 against Almeria. Adebayor, 27, played what could be his last match for Madrid and the treble was a timely reminder of his qualities as Real decide whether to make his loan move from Manchester City permanent.


The veteran Mali striker scored his 12th league goal of the season as Sevilla won 3-2 at Espanyol to clinch fifth place and a Europa League spot. The 33-year-old made it three goals in two games with the second on the chime of half-time.

PIERRE WEBO (Real Mallorca)

Cameroon forward Webo scored a brace to make it four goals in his last three league matches, but it was not enough as Real Mallorca crashed 4-3 at home to Atletico Madrid. Webo, 29, struck on 71 and 90 minutes to reach 11 league goals for the season and finish top scorer at the club.



The Ivorian scored in each half to give army club CSKA a 2-1 Russian Cup final victory over second division Alania Vladikavkaz in the ancient city of Yaroslavl north-east of Moscow. Doumbia opened the scoring with a low shot on 13 minutes and headed the winner midway through the second half off a cross from Japanese star Keisuke Honda.

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