African players in Europe: Delight for Ziyech and Aubameyang
Paris (AFP) –
Chelsea midfielder Hakim Ziyech and Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored significant goals in the English Premier League at the weekend.
Moroccan Ziyech netted in his first league start for Chelsea as they cruised to a 3-0 win at Burnley while Gabonese Aubameyang ended a five-match goal drought by converting the penalty that sank Manchester United.
Egyptian Mohamed Salah was another African star to score from a spot-kick, equalising for Liverpool, who went on to edge West Ham 2-1 and go top of the table.
Here, AFP Sport rounds up how Africans fared in the major European leagues.
HAKIM ZIYECH (Chelsea)
The playmaker scored his first Premier League goal in his maiden top-flight start to inspire Chelsea's win at Burnley. Ziyech had netted his first goal for the club in their midweek Champions League victory in Krasnodar and he got off the mark in the Premier League as well with a cool finish in the 26th minute against the Clarets.
PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Arsenal)
The former African Footballer of the Year ended his worst league goal drought for six years to seal the Gunners' 1-0 win against Manchester United. Aubameyang had not scored in his previous five league games -- a sequence of futility he last endured at Borussia Dortmund -- but the Arsenal captain got back on track when he converted a 69th-minute penalty at Old Trafford.
MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)
The Egypt forward was involved a penalty controversy as the champions hit back to beat West Ham 2-1 at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp's side trailed before Salah won a 42nd-minute penalty when he tumbled theatrically after being challenged by West Ham and Democratic Republic of Congo defender Arthur Masuaku. Salah slotted in the penalty for his eighth goal this season.
THOMAS PARTEY (Arsenal)
The Ghana midfielder showed why Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was keen to bring him to the Premier League with an influential display in the win at Manchester United. Arteta signed Partey from Atletico Madrid on transfer deadline day after paying his $58 million (50 million euros) release clause. It looks like money well spent after the powerful 27-year-old outplayed United stars Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba.
YOUSSEF EN-NESYRI (Sevilla)
The Moroccan striker scored but could not prevent Sevilla from suffering a third consecutive defeat in La Liga as they lost 2-1 at Athletic Bilbao. En-Nesyri scored his second goal of the season to give Sevilla an early lead at San Mames but Bilbao hit two late goals.
FRANCK KESSIE (AC Milan)
Ivorian Kessie fired the opener after 18 minutes off a Zlatan Ibrahimovic cross for his second league goal this season in a 2-1 win for Serie A leaders AC Milan over Udinese.
SIMEON NWANKWO (Crotone)
Nigeria striker Simy scored five minutes before the break, sending in from an angle for his third goal this season, but promoted Crotone lost 2-1 at home against Atalanta.
MUSA BARROW (Bologna)
Gambian Barrow, 21, scored twice for his first goals this season, including the winner as Bologna came back twice to beat Cagliari 3-2 at home. Barrow equalised just before the break and nailed the winner after 56 minutes.
Ivorian Gervinho got his first league goals this season with a brace, but Inter Milan came back to draw 2-2. Gervinho powered home his first just after the break in the San Siro and then picked up a Roberto Inglese cross for the second on the hour mark.
KALIDOU KOULIBALY/VICTOR OSIMHEN(Napoli)
Senegal defender Koulibaly was furious as Napoli missed the chance to move second after falling to their first home defeat to Sassuolo, 2-0 at the San Paolo Stadium. Osimhen missed chances to reduce the deficit with the Nigerian's offside position resulting in a Kostas Manolas goal being ruled out.
AMINE HARIT (Schalke)
The Moroccan international's curling free-kick was headed in by Finnish teenager Malick Thiaw to give Schalke the lead in a 1-1 draw with Stuttgart. It was the first time Schalke had scored first in a Bundesliga game this season and the first time Harit has directly been involved in a goal since last December. However, Manuel Baum's side are without a win in 23 games.
RAMY BENSEBAINI (Borussia Moenchengladbach)
The Algeria defender launched the attack which led to the winning goal as Borussia Moenchengladbach knocked RB Leipzig off top spot with a 1-0 victory. Bensebaini's bold run from defence allowed him to release Alassane Plea on the wing, and the Frenchman set up Hannes Wolf to score against his old club.
ERIC MAXIM CHOUPO-MOTING (Bayern Munich)
The Cameroon striker made his first league start for Bayern as the champions battled to a 2-1 win at Cologne. With first-choice striker Robert Lewandowski rested ahead of Tuesday's Champions League game against Salzburg, Choupo-Moting started for the first time since joining in October. The Cameroon hitman was booked in the first half and replaced by Joshua Zirkzee after half-time.
NAYEF AGUERD (Rennes)
The Moroccan centre-back powered in a header from a corner to earn Rennes a 2-1 victory over Brest and keep them three points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
HICHAM BOUDAOUI (Nice)
The Algerian midfielder grabbed his first goal of the season for Nice after coming on as a substitute to seal a 3-0 victory at Angers. The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations winner, who missed the first six weeks of the campaign due to injury, stabbed the ball in from the goalline to pinch a goal from Amine Gouiri.
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