The last weekend was a mixed bag for African soccer stars in their various European clubs with some of them churning out superlative performances while some could not live up to expectations.
Across different leagues in England, the Bundesliga, La Liga, the Belgian Jupiler League, the Serie A and even the EFL Championship, African players strutted their stuff and Africannewswatch brings you a review of the continent’s best and worse performers of the last weekend.
Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal/Egypt)
Arsenal and Egyptian midfield star, Mohamed Elneny tops the Too Good list after he helped the Gunners maintain her unbeaten run in the English Premier League and remain top of the table with a 2-1 defeat of Fulham on Saturday.
The 30-year-old Egypt international made the matchday squad as a replacement for Ghanaian star Thomas Partey who picked up a thigh injury during the warm up.
Elneny lived up to what was expected of him as he did not disappoint by putting up a solid display to help the team come from behind to beat their opponents following an Aleksandar Mitrovic goal.
Elneny put up a man of the match display as goals from captain Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Meghalaes to put the Cottagers to the sword.
The mercurial midfielder successfully completed 50 passes, 98 percent of them accurate, including 54 touches and with Partey still sidelined, could be in line for another start when Arsenal welcome Aston Villa on Wednesday at the Emirates Stadium.
Brian Brobbey (Ajax/Ghana)
Brian Brobbey gave his chances of breaking into the Ghanaian team a huge lift when he led Ajax to a comfortable 2-0 victory against Utrecht at the Stadion Galgenwaard on Sunday in their Eredivisie fixture.
After strike partner Steven Berghuis had put the perennial Dutch champions ahead, the 20-year-old Brobbey got the second goal for the home side shortly after.
The Ghanaian prospect who has scored two goals from four appearances with two assists, after opening his goal account in Ajax’s of 3-2 victory against Fortuna Sittard on August 6.
Albert Adomah (Queens Park Rangers/Ghana)
Albert Adomah was the star for Qyeens Park Rangers as he scored in a decisive goal as QPR defeated Watford in their EFL Championship game played at the Vicarage Road on Saturday.
The 34-year-old Black Star international who previously played for Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa, has featured in every game for QPR in this campaign, snatched a late winner as QPR handed Watford its first defeat of the season to stun the vociferous home crowd
Joseph Paintsil (Genk/Ghana)
Another Ghanaian international who made the Too Good list was ageless John Paintsil who scored one goal and provided an assist as Genk trounced RFC Seraing 4-0 in a Belgian Jupiler League fixture on Saturday.
Mike Tresor Ndayishimiye had opened the scores for Genk after receiving a split pass from Paintsil before the Black Star grabbed the second of the night in the fixture played at the Stade du Pairay.
So far, Paintsil has scored three goals from six appearances with two assists. He scored his first two goals against AS Eupen on August 6 when he grabbed a brace in a 4-2 victory.
Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich/Senegal)
After a blistering start for his new club, the Senegalese forward had a game to forget as Bayern Munich managed to hold Borussia Monchengladbach to a 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.
Though Mane had a goal disallowed after he hit the back of the net in the 35th minute after connecting a cross from Thomas Muller, but the goal was ruled out for offside after referee Daniel Schlager reviewed the build-up using VAR.
The former Liverpool star was subbed off for Serge Gnabry in the 68th minute after he could not replicate the form that has seen him score three goals for his Bundesliga club.
Edouard Mendy (Chelsea/Senegal)
The Senegalese safe hands also makes the Too Bad list yet again as he failed to keep a clean sheet as Chelsea managed to defeat Leicester City 2-1 at the Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
After his calamitous howler against Leeds United the previous week, Mendy failed to be as stellar as he has always been in the past as Harvey Barnes breached his net in the 66th minute after Raheem Sterling had grabbed a brace.
Since the new season kicked off, the Afcon winner has managed only one clean sheet which came in the 1-0 victory against Everton at Goodison Park on the first day of the season.
Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace/Ghana)
Jordan Ayew endured a frustrating afternoon as Manchester City came from two goals down to thrash Crystal Palace 4-2 courtesy of an Erling Haaland’s hat trick on Saturday at Etihad Stadium.
Patrick Vieira ‘s men had raced into a 2-0 lead by half-time after an own goal from John Stones and a header from Joachim Andersen the Citizens roared back and turned the match on its head in the second half through Bernardo Silva and Haaland to complete the comeback.
Ayew was saved from his myseries in the 74th minute when he was replaced by Jean-Philippe Mateta.
Too Good, Too Bad: How African stars performed in Europe last weekend
With the return of football after the international break, African stars plying their trade in Europe returned to action for their clubs with bags of mixed results.
Some picked up where they stopped and gave man of the match performances while others could not live up to their high expectations.
Arsenal’s Ghanaian midfielder, Thomas Partey stood out of the bunch when the Gunners took on North London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur where he scored a beautiful screamer to put the league leaders ahead.
Nigerian star, Alex Iwobi once again, showed Everton fans that his season is no flash in the pan as he was instrumental to Frank Lampard’s men coming back from one goal down to defeat Southampton 2-1.
Apart from action in the EPL, African players were also in action in top European leagues like the Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A, Dutch Eredivisie, and the Ligue 1.
Africannewswatch brings you review of some of the good and the bad of African players in Europe last weekend.
Thomas Partey – Arsenal
Ghana international, Thomas Partey was the cynosure of all eyes when he returned to action at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal took on their eternal rivals, Tottenham, in a North London derby on Saturday which saw the Gunners thrash the Whites 3-1.
The 29-year-old was on hand to give the Gunners the lead when he curled home an effort from 25 yards which whizzed past Hugo Lloris to nestle in the top corner.
Further goals by Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka sandwiched Harry Kane penalty goal which had cancelled out Partey’s opener, ensuring Arsenal claimed the derby bragging rights.
Interestingly, Arsenal have won every match Partey has featured in this season and his injury-induced absence was felt as Arsenal suffered their only defeat of the season, a 3-1 against Manchester United.
Alex Iwobi – Everton
Nigerian midfield star, Alex Iwobi picked up where he stopped before the international break when he put up another man of the match performance as Everton ran out deserved 2-1 winners away to Southampton.
The Arsenal youth product who scored against Algeria in an international friendly, had his third assist of the season as he had a hand in Everton’s winning the goal scored by Dwight McNeil.
Sadio Mane – Bayern Munich
Sadio Mané ended his goal drought for Bayern Munich in the 4-0 drubbing of Bayer Leverkusen at the Allianz Arena on Saturday, after going over six matches without a goal.
The Teranga Lion’s vice captain grabbed the third goal, his fourth in the league, in the one sided match after Leroy Sane and Jamel Musiala had put the Bavarians in front.
The win also ended Bayern’s four match winless run in the Bundesliga.
Inaki Williams – Athletic Bilbao
New Ghana international, Inaki Williams who made his international debut against Brazil during the international break, returned to his club with a goal and an assist Athletic Bilbao defeated UD Almeria 4-0 in a La Liga match on Saturday.
The 28-year-old former Spain youth international celebrated his international call up with the opening goal for Bilbao after he was set up by his brother, Nico Williams, who also set up Oihan Sancet to double Bilbao’s lead.
Inaki then turned provider with a clever assist to brother Nico, who scored the third.
Ademola Lookman – Atalanta
In the Italian Serie A, Nigerian winger, Ademola Lookman was the hero for Atalanta as the pipped Fiorentina 1-0 on m Sunday.
The Nigerian international returned to action after the Algerian friendlies and got the only goal on the hour mark at the Gewiss Stadium, beating Fiorentina goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano with a simple tap in off an assist by Luis Muriel.
The goal was Lookman’s second Serie A goal of the 2022-23 campaign.
Taiwo Awoniyi, Emmanuel Dennis – Nottingham Forest
The duo of Taiwo Awoniyi and Emmanuel Dennis were at the receiving end when Nottingham Forest suffered a 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Leicester City who grounded out their first EPL win of the season on Monday.
While Awoniyi was on from the start and hit the woodwork in the first half, Dennis was a second half substitute but even his presence could not change The Reds fortunes as they suffered their fifth straight defeat.
Mohammed Kudus – Ajax
Ghana international, Mohammed Kudus could not replicate the form that saw him scoring in three straight Eredivisie matches, as he failed to extend that run of as Go Ahead Eagles held Ajax to a surprise 1-1 draw at home at the Johan Cruyff Arena on Saturday.
Kudus who started from the bench, was brought on by coach Alfred Schreuder for Ghana-eligible Brian Brobbey with seven minutes left on the clock and could not find the target.
Prior to the fixture, he had scored against Cambuur in a 4-0 win, Heerenveen in the 5-0 victory and the 2-1 defeat against AZ Alkmaar. In between the league matches, he was on target against Rangers and Liverpool in the Champions League.
Samuel Chukwueze – Villarreal
Nigerian winger, Samuel Chukwueze was quite disappointing as Villarreal were held to a 0-0 draw by Cardiz at the Nuevo Mirandilla Stadium where his La Liga goal drought in the 2022-23 La Liga campaign continued.
Chukwueze who was left in the bench for 83 minutes was brought on for his seventh league match of the season as a replacement for Nicolas Jackson, but he put every foot wrong and could not add any impact for the Yellow Submarines .
CAF strips Guinea of 2025 AFCON hosting rights over insecurity
Troubled West African country, Guinea, has been stripped of the 2025 African Nations Cup (AFCON) hosting rights by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), over insecurity fears and the country’s inability to assure the football governing body it can upgrade its facilities in time for the tournament.
CAF President Patrice Motsepe, who made the announcement on Saturday after a visit to Conakry where he held meetings with military leader, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, said the decision to take away the hosting rights from Guinea was taken way back in July.
Motsepe also said CAF will call for fresh bids because “Guinea will not be ready to host the event in 2025”, with the assurance that a “fair and consistent” process in the race to replace Guinea as hosts of the 2025 African Cup of Nations will be followed.
Back in March, Doumbouya had appointed a new organising committee after removing the one inaugurated by the regime he overthrew and issued a decree declaring the organisation of the 2025 CAN “of national interest and priority”.
Following rumours in August that the hosting rights may be taken away from Guinea, former Nigerian Football Federation boss, Amaju Pinnick, had hinted that Nigeria would bid to host the competition.
Meanwhile, Algeria, Senegal and Morocco have already indicted their intentions to bid for the 2025 AFCON tournament.
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