African footballers week in Europe: Boateng is the prince of Milan

AFP, Monday 24 Oct 2011

Substitute Kevin-Prince Boateng snatched a 14-minute hat-trick at the weekend as AC Milan came from three goals behind to defeat Lecce 4-3 in an Italian Serie A thriller

Kevin-Prince Boateng
Kevin-Prince Boateng

The Ghana midfielder scored with two left-foot drives and a right-foot effort from closer range to shift media reports of his nocturnal exploits into the background.

It was a great weekend for Ghanaians as midfielder Andre Ayew—a son of the legendary Abedi 'Pele' Ayew—bagged a brace for Marseille in the French Ligue 1 with younger brother Jordan creating the first goal.

 

ENGLAND

 

GERVINHO (Arsenal)

The Ivory Coast striker scored his second goal for Arsenal in a 3-1 win over Stoke at the Emirates Stadium. Gervinho, a close-season signing from Lille, struck in the 27th minute with a cool finish from Aaron Ramsey's pass.

 

DIDIER DROGBA (Chelsea)

The Ivory Coast forward was sent off as Chelsea suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat against west London neighbours QPR. Drogba was dismissed for an ugly two-foot lunge on Adel Taarabt just before half-time at Loftus Road. Drogba's first red card since March 2010 left Chelsea down to nine men after Jose Bosingwa's earlier dismissal.

 

YAYA TOURE (Man City)

The Ivory Coast midfielder helped Manchester City record their biggest win at Manchester United for 85 years as Roberto Mancini's side routed the champions 6-1. City moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League thanks to two goals apiece from Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko, while Sergio Aguero and David Silva were also on the scoresheet in United's largest Premier League defeat.

 

DEMBA BA (Newcastle)

The Senegal striker drew a blank for the first time in four matches in Newcastle's 1-0 win over Wigan at St James' Park. Ba had scored five goals in his previous three appearances but he was taken off in the 68th minute and the Magpies eventually grabbed a late winner through Yohan Cabaye.

 

CHRISTOPHER SAMBA (Blackburn)

The Congo Brazzaville defender couldn't stop Rovers crashing back to the bottom of the Premier League after a 2-1 defeat against Tottenham at Ewood Park. Samba's side were beaten by two Rafael van der Vaart goals.

 

FRANCE

 

ANDRE AYEW (Marseille)


Ghana international Ayew scored both goals and missed a penalty as Marseille registered only their second win of the season with a 2-0 victory at home to Ajaccio. Ayew's 21st-minute spot-kick was repelled by Ajaccio goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, who also saved his follow-up, but the 21-year-old broke the deadlock minutes later with a right-foot volley from younger brother Jordan's flick-on. Ayew doubled OM's lead four minutes into the second half, heading in Mathieu Valbuena's cross to take his tally for the season to four league goals.

 

YOUNES BELHANDA (Montpellier)

Morocco playmaker Belhanda was the inspiration behind Montpellier's 3-1 win at Caen, which allowed Rene Girard's side to consolidate second place in the table. Belhanda teed up Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa's headed 14th-minute opener with a right-wing free-kick and claimed his team's third and final goal 11 minutes from time by converting a low cross from right-back Garry Bocaly.

 

MOUSSA SOW (Lille)

The Senegalese international striker, last season's Ligue 1 top scorer, sparked his side's fightback as they came back from 1-0 down to win 3-1 at home to Lyon and climb to third place in the table. Sow cancelled out Jimmy Briand's opener for OL with an inventive backheel in first-half injury time—his fourth league goal of the campaign—and then teed up Joe Cole for Lille's third goal in the 83rd minute.

 

GERMANY

 

DIDIER YA KONAN, SOFIAN CHAHED (Hanover 96)

Ivory Coast striker Ya Konan came off the bench for the final 10 minutes for goal-scorer Mohammed Abdellaoue and showed some good touches in Hanover 96's shock 2-1 win over German league leaders Bayern Munich. Tunisia defender Chahed also came on for the last 20 minutes with his defence barely holding on as Hanover secured the win which lifts them to fourth in the table and ended Bayern's 13-match unbeaten run.

 

ITALY

 

KEVIN-PRINCE BOATENG (AC Milan)

The Ghana midfielder came off the bench at half-time to score the quickest hat-trick in 10 years in Italy and turn around a game his team looked certain to lose. Milan went into the break 3-0 down to Lecce but Boateng's hat-trick in a 14-minute spell brought them level before Mario Yepes notched the winner. It was the perfect response from Boateng who had come under fire in the local press for his nocturnal exploits. His first two goals were both rasping left-foot drives, similar to the one he scored in midweek in the Champions League against BATE Borisov while he added the third with a close-range right-foot finish that sneaked inside the near post.

 

RODNEY STRASSER (Lecce)

The Sierra Leone star was part of a midfield that for 45 minutes dictated the match against the champions before being overrun in the second period. Strasser was powerful, energetic and determined against his former employers but could do nothing in a second period in which he and his team-mates chased shadows as Milan came back from 3-0 down to win 4-3.

 

MEHDI BENATIA (Udinese)

The Morocco international is fast becoming one of the hottest defensive properties in Serie A. Not only did he score a crucial late goal against Atletico Madrid in midweek to break the deadlock and set Udinese on the way to a Europa League win but he was a rock at the back on Sunday as his team went top. Benatia has been the fulcrum of a defence that has conceded just one goal in seven games in the league this season.

 

SPAIN

 

FREDERIC KANOUTE (Sevilla)

The veteran Malian striker was a second-half substitute against Barcelona at the Nou Camp and got a late red card after becoming involved in an argument with Cesc Fabregas. With the scoreline blank, a penalty was awarded in injury time and the tension seemed to go to the head of the normally composed Kanoute. He kicked the ball away from the penalty spot and then grabbed the Barca player around the neck which led to his dismissal.

 

AROUNA KONE (Levante)

The Ivory Coast striker has been a key player in Levante's excellent start to the season which has seen them go top of the La liga table following a 3-0 win at Villarreal. Kone set up Juanlu Gomez for his second goal after a good run down the wing, and then scored the third himself with a powerful finish into the top of the net.

 

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