African Footballer of the Year Sadio Mane scored the goal that brought
Liverpool victory at Norwich and moved the Reds closer to a first English
league title in 30 years.
The 27-year-old Senegalese came off the bench to strike on
78 minutes and break the resistance of the gallant home side in the lively
Gabonese Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ivorian Nicolas Pepe
of Arsenal were other African scorers in the Premier League at the weekend.
PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG/NICOLAS PEPE (Arsenal)
Pepe teed up Aubameyang for his 17th goal of the season with
a towering header to open the floodgates in Arsenal’s 4-0 win over Newcastle.
The Ivorian then found the net himself with a trademark left-foot finish and
set up another goal late on for Alexandre Lacazette as the Gunners returned to
winning ways after four straight draws.
SADIO MANE (Liverpool)
Mane scored the only goal in Liverpool’s 1-0 win at Norwich
to continue their relentless run towards the Premier League title. He was
making his comeback from a hamstring injury, but showed no signs of rustiness
by controlling Jordan Henderson’s through ball with his right foot then firing
home with his left.
JOSEPH AIDOO (Celta Vigo)
Ghanaian Aidoo found himself lined up against a stellar cast
of strikers as he played on the right side of Celta Vigo’s back three at Real
Madrid. Real recalled Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale but Aidoo and the defence
conceded only two goals to earn a draw in Madrid and keep just above the
relegation zone. Aidoo came within a finger nail of making an even bigger
splash. In the final minute of the first half he outjumped the Real defence at
a corner and smashed a header toward the far corner of the goal, only to be
denied by a world-class save from Thibaut Courtois.
Ivorian forward Gervinho returned for Europa League hopefuls
Parma, tapping in on 25 minutes in a 1-0 victory over Sassuolo, for his fifth
goal this season. The 32-year-old had been exiled from the first team and
dropped for four games after trying to force a move to Al Sadd, the Qatari club
coached by former Barcelona star Xavi.
ACHRAF HAKIMI (Borussia Dortmund)
The Morocco wing-back again proved why he is one of Dortmund’s
most potent forces going forward with two assists in a 4-0 drubbing of
Eintracht Frankfurt. The 21-year-old, on loan from Real Madrid, spotted captain
Lukasz Piszczek free on the edge of the area to give Dortmund a first-half
lead. Hakimi then claimed his ninth league assist this season just after the
break, getting in behind the defence to square for Norwegian teenager Erling
Braut Haaland to score his ninth goal in six games.
JAMILU COLLINS (Paderborn)
The Nigeria defender failed to stop bottom side Paderborn
losing 2-1 at home to Hertha Berlin after deflecting a shot by Brazilian
striker Matheus Cunha into the net. At 1-1 in the second half, Collins was on
the goalline when Cunha hit a shot with the side of his foot, which cannoned
off the defender.
VICTOR OSIMHEN (LILLE)
Nigerian international Osimhen gave Lille a 51st-minute lead
against second-placed Marseille, pouncing onto Jonathan Bamba’s pass to beat
goalkeeper Steve Mandanda for his 13th goal of the season, the same number as
PSG’s Brazilian superstar Neymar. However, their Champions League rivals hit
back with two goals in two second-half minutes to earn the three points.