African players in Europe: City no match for Mane and Salah
Defending champions Manchester City have become the latest English Premier League club that could not contain irresistible Liverpool attackers Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
Mane scored his seventh league goal this season and Salah his sixth as the Reds overcame the champions 3-1 at Anfield to take an eight-point lead 12 rounds into the season.
The dynamic duo now adjust their sights to 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying with Senegalese Mane confronting Congo Brazzaville and Egyptian Salah taking on Kenya this week.
MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)
Headed home Liverpool’s second — from a pinpoint cross by Andrew Robertson — early on to leave Manchester City rocking. The 27-year-old is a nemesis for most clubs, but he has a special knack against City at Anfield, scoring for the third time in four home league games against Pep Guardiola’s outfit.
SADIO MANE (Liverpool)
He is even outstripping Salah in the scoring stakes when it comes to goals at Anfield, or any other Premier League player since August 2018. The 27-year-old forward’s header for the third of Liverpool’s goals was his 22nd at home in that period.
MAHMOUD ‘TREZEGUET’ HASSAN (Aston Villa)
Was one of Villa’s rare bright lights in a disappointing 2-1 loss to midlands rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers. The 25-year-old Egyptian caused the Wolves defence some concerns down his flank and deservedly got on the score sheet in stoppage time.
WILFRED NDIDI (Leicester)
Gave an assured performance in midfield for the high-flying 2016 champions in the impressive 2-0 win over Arsenal. The 22-year-old Nigerian came close to scoring in the second half with his shot from outside the area beating the goalkeeper but cannoning off the bar.
YOUSSEF EN-NESYRI (Leganes)
En-Nesyri earned bottom La Liga club Leganes a morale-boosting 1-1 draw by scoring a late equaliser against high-flying Real Sociedad. The Moroccan striker rose to head home in the 78th minute after Mikel Merino had given the Basque outfit the lead.
OMAR COLLEY (Sampdoria)
Gambia defender Colley has proved central to new coach Claudio Ranieri’s plans for Sampdoria. The 27-year-old was solid as the Genoa side went a second straight game without conceding a goal for the first time this season by drawing 0-0 at home against Atalanta. “When you build a house, you do it from the ground up, and accordingly with the defence,” said Ranieri.
KHOUMA BABACAR (Lecce)
Senegalese striker Babacar missed a penalty which would have pulled promoted Lecce level at 2-2 against Lazio. It was the second time this season the on-loan Sassuolo player missed from the spot. Lecce fell 4-2 to sit just a point above the relegation zone.
KALIDOU KOULIBALY (Napoli)
Senegal defender Koulibaly made a decisive goal-line clearance on the hour to deny Genoa a goal as 2018/2019 Serie A runners-up Napoli settled for a 0-0 draw at home — their fourth league game without a win.
FRANCK KESSIE (AC Milan)
Kessie was dropped for a second straight match as struggling Milan fell 1-0 at Juventus. The Ivory Coast international has reportedly fallen out with new coach Stefano Pioli for turning up late to training and giving under-par performances. Milan Director of football Frederic Massara insisted: “This is simply a technical choice… we are convinced that Franck will soon be able to return to the player that we know.”
ACHRAF HAKIMI (Borussia Dortmund)
After his two stunning goals in midweek inspired a fightback win over Inter Milan, the Morocco right-back struggled as Dortmund were thumped 4-0 at Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. Hakimi, who was fantastic in inspiring the 3-2 win over Inter, left Robert Lewandowski unmarked to head home the hosts’ first goal and was out of position for their second by Serge Gnabry in a poor display by Dortmund’s back four.
DENIS BOUANGA (Saint-Etienne)
The Gabon winger scored the match-winner for Saint-Etienne in a 3-2 victory at Nantes after equalising earlier. Bouanga has netted five goals in 13 Ligue 1 appearances this season.
LEBO MOTHIBA (Strasbourg)
Mothiba ended a five-month goal drought by bagging a brace as Strasbourg romped to a 4-1 home win over Nimes. The South African forward scored in each half for his first Ligue 1 goals since May.