African players in Europe: Traore maintains hot scoring streak
Paris (AFP) –
Bertrand Traore maintained a hot scoring streak with his third goal in four matches, but could not prevent Aston Villa suffering a 2-1 Premier League away loss to Manchester United at the weekend.
The 25-year-old wide attacker from Burkina Faso is blossoming in his first full season with the Villains after moving from Ligue 1 outfit Lyon.
Other African scorers in England were Ghanaian Jeffrey Schlupp for Crystal Palace in a 2-0 home win over Sheffield United and Moroccan Romain Saiss for Wolves in a 3-3 draw at Brighton.
Here, AFP Sport rounds up the performances of African stars in the major European leagues:
BERTRAND TRAORE (Aston Villa)
Traore netted with a cool finish under United goalkeeper David De Gea in the 58th minute at Old Trafford. However, his equaliser was followed by Bruno Fernandes' winner for United three minutes later.
HAKIM ZIYECH (Chelsea)
The Morocco winger made his first appearance in a month after returning from injury, but Chelsea still slipped to a chastening 3-1 defeat against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge. Ziyech had been sidelined since suffering a hamstring issue during a win over Leeds. The 27-year-old former Ajax star played for 64 minutes against City, but was unable to lift Chelsea's flagging form with four losses in their last six league games.
SAMUEL CHUKWUEZE (Villarreal)
The Nigerian winger has spent much of the campaign being used as a substitute but played a key role in Villarreal's 2-1 win over Levante. Chukwueze had already drawn an excellent save from goalkeeper Aitor Fernandez before picking out Gerard Moreno on the edge of the box as the Spain international netted his team's second goal.
FRANCK KESSIE (AC Milan)
Ivorian midfielder Kessie slotted in a penalty on 15 minutes as AC Milan held onto top spot in Serie A with a 2-0 win over midtable Benevento. Kessie has scored five league goals this campaign for unbeaten Milan, bettered only by his performance during the 2018/19 season when he netted seven times.
ACHRAF HAKIMI (Inter Milan)
Moroccan defender Hakimi grabbed the final goal, a left-footed shot into the bottom corner with three minutes to go, in a 6-2 rout of lowly Crotone, as Inter Milan stayed one point behind AC Milan. It was his fifth goal of the season since moving from Real Madrid.
WILFRIED SINGO (Torino)
Ivorian defender Singo opened the scoring in the eighth minute as Torino moved off the bottom of the table and out of the relegation zone with their first win in two months, 3-0 at struggling Parma. Captain Andrea Belotti teed up 20-year-old Singo for just his second league goal for the club since joining in 2018.
TAIWO AWONIYI (Union Berlin)
Liverpool loanee Awoniyi has scored in his last three league games, capping another impressive display with a goal and assist in a 2-0 win over Werder Bremen to leave Union Berlin fifth in the Bundesliga. The Nigeria international passed to Sheraldo Becker, who fired home on 12 minutes, then doubled Union's lead 16 minutes later by tapping the ball over the line to leave him with five goals and two assists this season.
EDMOND TAPSOBA (Bayer Leverkusen)
The Burkina Faso defender was left with his head in his hands after scoring an own goal as Bayer Leverkusen crashed to a 2-1 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt, denting their title hopes. Leverkusen looked to have bounced back from their last-gasp 2-1 home loss to Bayern Munich a fortnight ago as they took an early lead in Frankfurt. But after Amin Younes equalised, Tapsoba turned Daichi Kamada's cross into his own net midway through the second half as Leverkusen dropped to third having been first in mid-December.
KASIM ADAMS, KEVIN AKPOGUMA, IHLAS BEBOU, ISHAK BELFODIL (Hoffenheim)
A quartet of Africans featured as Hoffenheim conceded three goals during a catastrophic first half performance in a 3-1 defeat by Freiburg. After Hoffenheim struggled to cope with losing Nigeria defender Akpoguma and Germany midfielder Sebastian Rudy to early injuries, Senegal centre-back Adams turned the ball into his net to leave his side 3-0 down at the break. Togo winger Bebou restored pride with a second-half consolation goal, set up by Algeria's Belfodil, to leave Hoffenheim 13th.
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