African players week in Europe: Superb Ba goal gets Newcastle off to winning start

AFP , Monday 20 Aug 2012

Cameroon-born 16-year-old Fabrice Olinga, meanwhile, became the youngest player to score in the Spanish La Liga when he came off the bench to snatch a late winner for Malaga at Celta Vigo

Peter Odemwingie
West Bromwich Albion's Peter Odemwingie celebrates his penalty goal against Liverpool during their English Premier League soccer match at the Hawthorns, West Bromwich, England, Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012. (Photo: AP)

Senegal striker Demba Ba scored a sublime goal to help Newcastle defeat Tottenham 2-1 on the opening weekend of the English Premier League season.

Nigerian Peter Odemwingie was also on target, converting a penalty as West Brom crushed Liverpool 3-0 in their first match under former Reds assistant manager Steve Clarke.

Cameroon-born 16-year-old Fabrice Olinga, meanwhile, became the youngest player to score in the Spanish La Liga when he came off the bench to snatch a late winner for Malaga at Celta Vigo.



DEMBA BA (Newcastle)

The Senegal striker produced an early contender for goal of the season as he opened the scoring with a sublime strike in his side's 2-1 win over Tottenham at St James' Park. Ba struck in the 55th minute when he controlled Kyle Walker's miscued header before lashing a curling effort into the top corner from the left side of the penalty area.



The Nigeria striker kept his nerve to score a crucial penalty in his side's 3-0 thrashing of Liverpool at the Hawthorns. Albion were leading 1-0 but had missed an earlier penalty when Shane Long's tame effort was saved by Pepe Reina. When Martin Skrtel conceded another penalty in the 64th minute, Odemwingie took over the spot-kick duties and drilled his shot into the net.



The Ivory Coast midfielder helped the Premier League champions start their title defence in familiar fashion with a dramatic 3-2 win over Southampton at Eastlands. City had come from 2-1 behind to beat QPR and take the title on the final day of last season thanks to two stoppage-time goals. Driven on by Toure, they recovered from the same deficit against promoted Southampton thanks to late goals from Edin Dzeko and Samir Nasri.



The Nigeria midfielder gave a typically combative display as the European champions kicked off their Premier League campaign with a 2-0 win at Wigan. Roberto Di Matteo's side scored twice in the first seven minutes and comfortably held the lead, with Mikel excelling in the holding role in front of the defence.


GERVINHO (Arsenal)

The Ivory Coast striker was unable to lift the gloom at the Emirates Stadium after Robin van Persie's exit as the Gunners were held 0-0 by Sunderland. Gervinho played wide on the left of an attacking trio but squandered the few chances that came his way. Arsenal fans, frustrated by van Persie's move to Manchester United and their team's poor performance, responded by booing the players at full-time.





Burkina Faso striker Traore grabbed the equaliser a minute into stoppage time which put Lorient on their way to a come-from-behind 2-1 win at home against champions Montpellier. Montpellier had looked set for victory before 23-year-old Traore's powerful shot from 25 metres and, two minutes later, Jeremy Aliadiere's winner gave the Breton side their first win of the season.



Lille's Ivorian forward Kalou, who arrived on a free transfer following his release from Chelsea this summer, grabbed the equaliser in a 1-1 home draw to Nancy. In front of a sell-out crowd at Lille's impressive new 50,000-seat stadium, the 2011 double winners fell behind to a Djamel Bakar strike but drew level before the break thanks to 26-year-old Kalou's headed effort.


MAX-ALAIN GRADEL (Saint Etienne)

The 24-year-old Ivorian winger slotted home a penalty two minutes into injury time but it was not enough to prevent Saint Etienne falling 2-1 at Toulouse for their second loss in as many games this season.




The 16-year-old made history Saturday when he became the youngest player to score in La Liga, grabbing the only goal as Malaga clinched a 1-0 victory at promoted Celta Vigo. The Cameroon-born forward came on as a substitute to make his league debut and got the 84th-minute winner as the new season got under way.



The Ghanaian midfielder, signed in the summer from relegated Villarreal, scored Espanyol's goal in their 2-1 defeat at Mallorca. Debutant Mubarak superbly controlled a high ball and curled a left-foot shot home in the first half but two Tomer Hemed goals won the game for the home team.



Morocco midfielder El Zhar scored Levante's goal in the 1-1 draw at home to Atletico Madrid. The ex-Liverpool player reacted quickest to a corner on five minutes to sweep the ball home for his first goal of the season.

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