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Too Good, Too Bad: How African stars performed in Europe last weekend

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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.

Partey scored a screamer against Spurs (Photo Credit: Arsenal FC)

Partey scored a screamer against Spurs (Photo Credit: Arsenal FC)

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.

Too Good

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 was in superb form for Atletico Bilbao(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Inaki Williams was in superb form for Atletico Bilbao(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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.

Ademola Lookman was the difference for Atalanta (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Ademola Lookman was the difference for Atalanta (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The goal was Lookman’s second Serie A goal of the 2022-23 campaign.

Too Bad

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.

Ghana and Agax midfielder, Mohammed Kudus (Photo Credit: Ajax FC)

Ghana and Agax midfielder, Mohammed Kudus (Photo Credit: Ajax FC)

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 .

Sports

Cameroonian FA boss, Samuel Eto’o apologises for attacking Algerian cameraman during World Cup

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Football legend and current President of the Cameroonian Football Federation (FECAFOOT), Samuel Eto’o, has apologised for violently attacking an Algerian cameraman and Youtuber influencer outside a stadium at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

A video of the assault had gone viral on Tuesday where the former Real Madrid and Barcelona star was seen hitting the cameraman in the face after he had requested for an interview with the Cameroonian football boss shortly after Brazil’s 4-1 victory over South Korea in a second round match which was played on Monday.

However, following serious backlash and condemnation from football fans and officials, the former forward took to his official Twitter page to tender an apology.

“On last 5 December, after the Brazil-South Korea match, I had a violent altercation with a person who was probably an Algerian supporter,” Eto’o wrote.

“I would like to apologise for losing my temper and reacting in a way that does not match my personality. I apologise to the public for this unfortunate incident.

“I pledge to continue to resist the relentless provocation and daily harassment of some Algerian supporters. Indeed, since the Cameroon-Algeria match on 29 March in Blida, I have been the target of insults and allegations of cheating without any evidence.

“During this World Cup, Cameroonian fans have been harassed and pestered by Algerians on the same subject. I would like to mention that the scenario of Algeria’s defeat was cruel but perfectly in line with the rules and ethics of our sport.

“All the appeals made by the Algerian Football Federation to the competent jurisdictions have been rejected. I, therefore, call on the Algerian authorities and Federation to take responsibility to put an end to this unhealthy climate before a more serious tragedy occurs,” he added.

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Sports

Qatar 2022: Morocco make history with World Cup win over Spain

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The Atlas Lions of Morocco gave Africa a quarterfinals berth at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar after beating Spain 3-0 in a penalty shootout on Tuesday.

The two teams played out a 0-0 draw at full and extra time and had to be separated by the luci of penalties.

Moroccan goalkeeper, Yassine Bounou, was the hero of the match by saving two of Spain’s penalty kicks from Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets while Pablo Sarabia hit the post with the Spanish first kick.

The North Africans who have been the biggest surprise of the tournament, will next face either Portugal or Switzerland.

Morocco, the last African side left in World Cup 2022 went against all bookmakers prediction by beating the star studded Spain team to reach the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time in their history.

Though Luis Enrique’s side had almost 70 percent of the ball in the first 45 minutes, the Africans were not deterred as they held firm and stuck to their game plans which frustrated the talented Spanish team.

Morocco is also the only team from outside Europe or South America at the Qatar World Cup to make it to the last eight.

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