Eboue gets off the mark for Arsenal

AFP, Monday 11 Apr 2011

African players' review following weekend matches in Europe




The Ivory Coast defender scored his first goal this season to help Arsenal beat Blackpool 3-1 at Bloomfield Road on Sunday. Eboue ran onto Andrei Arshavin's pass and smashed in a powerful strike that gave Richard Kingson no chance. It was his first Premier League goal since he scored against Blackburn in March 2009.


The Ivory Coast striker has now scored just once in his last 13 apperances after being held without a goal in Saturday's 1-0 win over Wigan at Stamford Bridge. Drogba started ahead of Fernando Torres but struggled to make an impact in the 90 minutes, leaving Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti with a tough call as he decided whether to play both forwards against Manchester United in the Champions League on Tuesday.


The Nigeria midfielder was substituted at half-time after a lacklustre display in his side's 1-0 win over Wigan at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. With Chelsea struggling to breakdown the league's bottom club, Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti sent on Yossi Benayoun in place of Mikel and Chelsea eventually found a winner through Florent Malouda.


The Nigeria striker scored his 11th goal of the season as Albion secured a crucial 3-2 victory at Sunderland on Saturday. With Albion trailing 1-0, Odemwingie struck in the 29th minute with a cool finish from Jonas Olsson's cross and then provided assists for Youssuf Mulumbu and Peter Scharner's goals in a win that lifts Roy Hodgson's team clear of the relegation zone.


The Congo midfielder bagged his side's second goal in their 3-2 victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday. Mulumbu scored in the 54th minute from Peter Odemwingie's pass to equalise for the visitors, who eventually took the points thanks to Paul Scharner's winner.

ASAMOAH GYAN (Sunderland)

The Ghana striker's barren run without a goal for Sunderland stretched to five matches after Saturday's 3-2 defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion. Gyan scored in Ghana's recent 1-1 draw against England at Wembley, but his last club goal came back in February in a loss to Tottenham.




Lille were badly hit by the sending off of Ivorian striker Gervinho after 37 minutes for a foul on Monaco's Adriano, as the ten-man French league leaders fell 1-0 at the Riveria side to just their fourth defeat of the season.


Benjamin Moukandjo played a key role in Monaco's 1-0 success over Lille. An early effort from the 22-year-old Cameroonian striker was deflected out but he helped set up South Korea's Park Chu Young to score after 12 minutes in a crucial victory which ensured his team move out of the relegation zone.


Kenyan striker Dennis Oliech netted the equaliser to put relegation candidates Auxerre 1-1 with visiting Saint Etienne after a pass from Moroccan midfielder Kamel Chafni from the right wing after 42 minutes. The game finished 2-2 as Auxerre remain third from bottom.


Gabon international striker Aubameyang scored his first goal for European hopefuls Saint-Etienne and their second of the night in a 2-2 draw at Auxerre following a pass from Emmanuel Riviere.



SEYDOU KEITA (Barcelona)

After Almeria took the lead in the second half, Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola was forced to bring on some more familiar faces, like Keita, and the team began to create a greater threat eventually winning 3-1. In the mid-week Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk he produced a solid performance and scored the fourth goal in the 5-1 win.


Espanyol 'keeper Carlos Kameni had little to do in a scoreless draw against Hercules but he was solid when he needed to be and the only worrying moment for Espanyol was when he blocked a Javier Portillo shot and knocked it back into play and was lucky to pick up the rebound.




A now permanent fixture in the Milan first team, the Ghana midfielder produced a critical contribution to the league leaders' 2-1 win at Fiorentina. Boateng escaped down the right onto a Zlatan Ibarhimovic through-ball to send an inch perfect cross for Pato, who slotted the winning goal. Boateng was substituted late on with Milan leading 2-0.

SAMUEL ETO'O (Inter Milan)

The Cameroon captain had a quiet game in the 2-0 win over Chievo and was even sacrificed before the end of the game. He had had few chances and no notable shots on goal at that stage but it still seemed likely that coach Leonardo had replaced him to give him a breather with a view to resting him ahead of Wednesday's Champions League second leg clash away to Schalke 04.



The Ghana midfielder was involved in the most controversial moment of his side's 2-1 defeat at home to Roma that hit their Champions League qualification hopes. Asamoah jumped up to challenge for a ball that gently brushed his arm before going in. It was disallowed for a handball, however television replays clearly showed that Asamoah's handball was due to being fouled by Simone Perrotta. Not only did Udinese have a potential winner chalked off and they were denied a penalty, but Roma went straight up the other end and scored the winner with the last kick of the match.


DIDIER YA KONAN (Hanover 96)

Ivory Coast striker Didier Ya Konan netted his 13th league goal of the season after converting a penalty at the end of the first-half in Hanover's 2-0 win at home to ten-man Mainz which put his side third in the German league.


Senegal striker Papiss Demba Cisse netted a second-half penalty to claim his 20th goal in his 27th league match of the season on Saturday to become the Bundesliga's top-scorer. The 25-year-old has scored in each of his last three games and his side went on to enjoy a 3-2 win over Hoffenheim which leaves them eighth in the table.

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