African players in Europe: Osimhen stars and Mane returns – Capital Sports
PARIS, France, Feb 27 – Leading Serie A scorer Victor Osimhen notched his 19th goal of the season at the weekend as runaway Italian leaders Napoli won 2-0 at Empoli while Sadio Mane made his return for Bayern Munich after a long injury absence that kept him out of the World Cup.
Nigerian Osimhen said he was enjoying the limelight as Napoli close in on a first title since 1990.
“To be considered one of the best strikers in Europe is a huge thing for me, it’s huge motivation,” the 24-year-old said.
Here, AFP Sport highlights African headline-makers in the major European leagues:
HAKIM ZIYECH (Chelsea)
Ziyech was lucky to avoid being sent off on another miserable day for Chelsea as they lost 2-0 at Tottenham.
The Moroccan hit out at Spurs’ Emerson Royal, connecting with the Brazilian’s face. However, after initially being shown the red card, Ziyech was handed a reprieve as the referee downgraded his punishment to a yellow card once he saw a replay of the incident.
EZ ABDE (Osasuna)
The Morocco winger, on loan from Barcelona, scored a brilliant late winner for Osasuna at Sevilla. Ez Abde had his finest moment of the season when he lashed a shot past compatriot Yassine Bounou to snatch a 3-2 victory.
YOUSSEF EN-NESYRI (Sevilla)
After poor early-season form, the Morocco international has clicked. En-Nesyri pulled Sevilla level at 2-2 against Osasuna with a clever finish, his sixth goal in eight games across all competitions.
EL BILAL TOURE (Almeria)
The Malian succeeded where many others have failed this season and sent a rocket of a shot past Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to earn Almeria a 1-0 win over the league leaders.
VICTOR OSIMHEN (Napoli)
Osimhen tapped in his 11th goal in all competitions since the turn of the year in the 28th minute at Empoli to help move Napoli closer to what looks like an inevitable first league title since 1990.
M’BALA NZOLA (Spezia)
Nzola scored twice in his first start in a month in Spezia’s 2-2 draw at Udinese. The Angolan is now on 11 league strikes for the season after putting Spezia ahead in the sixth minute and then levelled on 72 minutes with a neat first-time finish.
SADIO MANE (Bayern Munich)
Mane returned for Bayern off the bench in a 3-0 home win over Union Berlin — his first match for almost four months following a leg injury that ruled him out of the Qatar World Cup. The Senegalese looked sharp in his 25-minute cameo.
ERIC MAXIM CHOUPO-MOTING (Bayern Munich)
Choupo-Moting scored Bayern’s first goal against Union. Kingsley Coman found the Cameroon international with a drifting cross and the former Paris Saint-Germain striker headed over goalkeeper Frederik Ronnow into the net.
TEREM MOFFI (Nice)
The Nigerian scored his first goals for Nice since signing from Ligue 1 rivals Lorient in January, netting twice in a 3-0 win at local rivals Monaco. Moffi also set up his side’s other goal for Khephren Thuram.
ERIC BAILLY (Marseille)
The Ivory Coast defender’s difficult season on loan at Marseille from Manchester United continued as he was run ragged by Kylian Mbappe in a 3-0 defeat by Paris Saint-Germain. The absences of Marseille’s first-choice centre-backs Chancel Mbemba and Samuel Gigot meant Bailly was handed a first start since serving a seven-match ban for a sending-off in a French Cup tie.