African players week in Europe: Ghana's Ayew, Nigeria's Ighalo lead African charge

AFP , Monday 25 Jan 2016

Ghana's Andre Ayew and Nigerian Odion Ighalo were on target in the English Premier League at the weekend as Cameroon international Dani Ndi scored his first La Liga goal for Sporting Gijon

African players week in Europe
Dortmund's Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (L), Swansea City's Ghanaian striker Andre Ayew (C) and Watford's Odion Ighalo (R)


Andre Ayew (Swansea)

The Ghana striker struck the winner in Swansea's 2-1 win away to Everton as the Swans moved four points clear of the relegation zone when his deflected shot beat Tim Howard.

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)

The Algeria winger set the seal on Premier League leaders Leicester's 3-0 win at home to Stoke when a brilliant piece of individual skill saw him weave his way into the box and guide the ball to John Ulloa, who scored from the close-range chance.

Odion Ighalo (Watford)

Ighalo claimed his seventh goal in seven league games at Vicarage Road just after the break with the Nigerian striker also setting up Northern Ireland defender Craig Cathcart for the second ten minutes later in the Hornets' 2-1 win over Newcastle.

Sebastien Bassong (Norwich)

The Cameroon defender thought he had scored the equaliser for Norwich when he grabbed the Canaries' fourth goal in the 92nd minute only for Adam Lallana to give Liverpool a dramatic 5-4 victory with a 95th-minute goal at Carrow Road.


Youssef El Arabi (Granada)

Moroccan striker El Arabi fired home his sixth goal of the season in Granada's vital 3-2 win over Getafe to lift them out of the relegation zone.

Dani Ndi (Sporting Gijon)

Cameroon international Dani Ndi scored his first La Liga goal with a simple header from close range as Sporting thrashed Real Sociedad 5-1 to boost their survival hopes.


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund)

Africa's player of the year failed to get on the scoresheet in Dortmund's 3-1 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach despite a string of chances. It was only the fifth league match this season that the star has failed to score but he remains the league's top scorer with 18 goals.

"We played well, even if I'm no so happy with my performance," said Aubameyang. "As long as we get the three points, everything is okay."

Joel Matip (Schalke 04)

With the Royal Blues eager to extend his contract, the Cameroon defender headed his side into a fourth-minute lead from a corner in Schalke's 3-1 defeat at home to Werder Bremen. It was the 24-year-old's third goal of the season.

Anthony Ujah (Werder Bremen)

The Nigeria striker scored his eighth goal of the season in the 89th-minute of Werder Bremen's shock win at Schalke. The 25-year-old tapped home a final pass from his captain Clemens Fritz. Despite the win, Bremen remain in the relegation places and third from bottom.


Cheick Diabate (Bordeaux)

The Mali striker grabbed his third goal in three games as Bordeaux scored twice in the last six minutes in a 2-2 draw at Nantes. The 27-year-old found the target in the 84th minute with a header from close to the penalty spot to beat Remy Riou in the Nantes goal. Riou had earlier kept out another Diabate header.


Mohamed Salah (Roma)

Salah was handed a new role away to champions Juventus on Sunday, but the Egyptian – more used to playing on the flank in Rudi Garcia's 4-3-3 – was less effective in the 3-4-1-2 deployed by new coach Luciano Spalletti. The Egyptian's usually pacey game was absent, although it was a frustrating performance all round from both sides before Paulo Dybala snatched the win for Juve 13 minutes from the end. Salah breathed a sigh of relief when he gave away possession cheaply in midfield only for defender Daniele De Rossi to come to the rescue with a block from Sami Khedira's drive into the box.

Keita Balde (Lazio)

With Miroslav Klose and Felipe Anderson both starting on the bench against Chievo, Keita was given a rare start for Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico, and after a largely positive performance the Senegalese striker finally made his mark with his team's fourth goal – in the sixth minute of added-on time – as Stefano Pioli's men enjoyed a 4-1 win. It was his third goal in 16 Serie A appearances this season.

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