Bailly shackles Salah to end Egyptian's goal rush
Ivorian Eric Bailly succeeded where so many English Premier League defenders have failed by stopping Egyptian Mohamed Salah from scoring as Africans starred in the major European leagues.
Joint Premier League leading scorer Salah failed to score for the first time in eight starts as his Liverpool side fell 2-1 away to Manchester United at the weekend.
Bailly, starting for the first time since November after injury, turned a cross from Senegal's Sadio Mane into his own net, but United had already built a two-goal advantage.
PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Arsenal)
Aubameyang netted his third goal in six Arsenal appearances as the Gunners eased the mounting pressure on Arsene Wenger with a routine 3-0 win over Watford. The Gabon striker once again rekindled his relationship with former Borussia Dortmund team-mate Henrikh Mkhitaryan as Aubameyang finished off the Armenian's through ball.
JORDAN AYEW (Swansea City)
Ayew was shown a straight red card just 11 minutes into Swansea's trip to Huddersfield Town for raising his studs in a challenge with Jonathan Hogg. However, the Ghanaian was bailed out by an amazing rearguard action by the remaining 10 men to secure a 0-0 draw and edge closer to survival.
ERIC BAILLY (Manchester United)/SADIO MANE, MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)
Despite scoring an own goal, Bailly impressed on his first start since November as United edged past Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford. United boss Jose Mourinho heaped praise on the Ivorian for his physical and mental strength to overcome picking up an injury, although he turned Mane's cross into his own net in the second half. Bailly marshalled a United defence that kept Premier League joint-top scorer Salah quiet as the Egyptian failed to score in a match he started for the first time in eight games.
RIYAD MAHREZ, KELECHI IHEANACHO (Leicester City)
Mahrez and Iheanacho both grabbed a goal and an assist as Leicester rubbed more salt into West Brom wounds with a resounding 4-1 win at the Hawthorns. Jamie Vardy's spectacular volley from Mahrez's long-range pass brought the Foxes level before Mahrez put the visitors in front from Iheanacho's through ball. The Nigerian then scored his first Premier League goal for Leicester when his downward header nestled in the bottom corner.
SERGE AURIER (Tottenham Hotspur)
Ivorian full-back Aurier set the seal on Spurs' 4-1 win at Bournemouth by heading in just his second goal for the club in stoppage time.
SULLEY MUNTARI (Deportivo)
The veteran Ghanaian midfielder started his second La Liga game for Deportivo but could not prevent Clarence Seedorf's side losing 2-0 at Girona. Former AC Milan and Inter star Muntari, 33, joined Depor as a free agent last month but the former Champions League semi-finalists are in dire straits. They lie five points from safety having taken just one point from six games since Seedorf's appointment.
KHOUMA BABACAR (Sassuolo)
Senegalese striker Babacar slotted in a penalty after 31 minutes to cancel out Mirco Antenucci's goal minutes earlier for SPAL as the relegation-threatened teams shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
KALIDOU KOULIBALY (Napoli)
Senegal defender Koulibaly proved he is not infallible as he struggled as Napoli lost top spot in Serie A following a goalless draw at Inter Milan. Koulibaly, 26, made unusual errors and almost conceded an own goal in the second half. "It's a pity because we played well, we only lacked a goal," said Koulibaly.
SALIF SANE (Hanover)
Having served a suspension last weekend, the Senegalese defender returned to action in style, scoring a brilliant first-half equaliser in Hanover's 3-1 defeat by Augsburg. From the edge of the penalty area, Sane fizzed a sweetly struck half-volley into the bottom corner.
KEVIN-PRINCE BOATENG (Eintracht Frankfurt)
The former Ghanaian international praised his team-mates after Eintracht suffered a dramatic late defeat against Borussia Dortmund. "It was a learning curve today, but we did brilliantly," said Boateng after Michy Batshuayi's last-minute goal snatched a 3-2 win for Dortmund. Boateng nearly scored with a brilliant back-heel flick and remained dangerous throughout the second half.
FIRMIN MUBELE (Toulouse)
The Democratic Republic of Congo forward notched his first goal for Toulouse in a 2-1 defeat by Marseille. Mubele stabbed in an equaliser from close range off a cross by Guinea international Issiaga Sylla. It was his sixth goal of the season, but his first since a January loan move from Rennes.
© 2018 AFP