Paris (AFP) – African stars were involved in the good, bad and ugly across the major leagues of Europe at the weekend.
Naturalised Malian Fousseni Diabate bagged a brace on his debut for Leicester in a 5-1 FA Cup rout of lower league Peterborough.
Want-away Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Gabon was booed by Borussia Dortmund fans as he performed poorly on his Bundesliga recall.
Democratic Republic of Congo and West Ham defender Arthur Masuaku was hit with a six-match ban after spitting at an opponent in a shock 2-0 cup defeat by Wigan.
ARTHUR MASUAKU (West Ham)
It is questionable how much longer the left-back will be at the club after being sent off and receiving a six-match ban for spitting in their 2-0 defeat by third-tier Wigan. The 24-year-old France-born defender-cum-midfielder — who has opted to play for the Democratic Republic of Congo despite being capped at age-limit level by France — was described as “despicable” by Hammers manager David Moyes after spitting at Nick Powell.
FOUSSENI DIABATE (Leicester)
Diabate, 22, made an immediate impact for his new club after signing from second-tier French outfit Gazelec Ajaccio this month. The France-born Mali under-23 international grabbed a double in their 5-1 dismantling of third-tier Peterborough on his debut.
KELECHI IHEANACHO (Leicester)
The Nigerian international finally made an impression after failing to catch the eye since his move from Manchester City last August. A superb double — the second an excellent volley — may have given the 21-year-old the confidence boost he needed as there is no question of his talent.
MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)
Found himself an unwitting participant in one of the several prolonged video assistant referee (VAR) incidents that overshadowed the Reds’ 3-2 home defeat by West Brom. The Egyptian forward went down under slight contact from Jake Livermore and, after prolonged VAR study, referee Craig Pawson awarded a penalty. Following a delay of more than three minutes, Roberto Firmino’s spot-kick thundered off the crossbar and bounced clear. The focus on VAR obscured the fact that when Salah pounced to give Liverpool hope of a draw 12 minutes from time, it was his 25th goal in just 32 appearances for the Merseysiders.
WILFRED NDIDI (Leicester)
Iheanacho’s international team-mate produced a solid display after coming on as a 64th-minute substitute and the 21-year-old midfielder was rewarded with a goal right at the end.
THOMAS PARTEY (Atletico Madrid)
The Ghanaian international is enjoying his best season in an Atletico Madrid shirt and the 24-year-old capped a fine second-half display from Diego Simeone’s side by tapping in the third in a 3-0 beating of lowly Las Palmas. Partey has become a fixture in the Atletico first team this season after coming through the youth system, and the goal was his fifth in all competitions.
IBRAHIMA MBAYE (Bologna)
Senegalese defender Mbaye accidently turned the ball into his own net after failing to clear off the line to gift Napoli an equaliser after Bologna had taken the lead. Bologna lost 3-1 to stay 12th with Napoli going back to the top of Serie A.
JOEL OBI/MBAYE NIANG (Torino)
Nigeria’s Obi and Senegal’s Niang scored in the first half as Torino eased past 10-man bottom club Benevento 3-0. Forward Niang scored his third league goal of the season on 40 minutes with midfielder Obi sealing the win just before the break.
KWADWO ASAMOAH (Juventus)
Ghana midfielder Asamoah was at the centre of the action in the champions’ 2-0 win over nine-man Chievo, whose Samuel Bastien was sent off on 36 minutes after two yellow cards in just two minutes, both for fouling Asamoah. Coach Massimiliano Allegri substituted the Ghanaian after he was yellow-carded.
PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Borussia Dortmund)
The want-away Gabon striker was booed by home fans each time he touched the ball in a poor display as Dortmund laboured to a 2-2 draw with Freiburg. Aubameyang returned to the starting line-up after being dropped for the last two games amid speculation of a move to Arsenal. He headed over with his only goal attempt.
AMINE HARIT (Schalke 04)
The Morocco midfielder claimed his third goal of the season by slotting home a first-half penalty in Schalke’s 2-0 win at VfB Stuttgart. Harit drilled home a 19th-minute spot-kick after Bayern Munich-bound midfielder Leon Goretzka was fouled.
KEVIN-PRINCE BOATENG (Eintracht Frankfurt)
The Ghana midfielder nudged home Timothy Chandler’s cross from close range to give Frankfurt the lead in a 2-0 win at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach. It was his fourth league goal this season.
KEITA BALDE (Monaco)
Senegal international Balde struck in only the fourth minute for Monaco in their 2-2 draw with fellow Champions League hopefuls Marseille with a cool finish after latching onto a loose ball outside the area. It was the 22-year-old’s sixth league goal for the French champions since joining from Lazio in the close season, as he looks to secure a place in Aliou Cisse’s Senegal World Cup squad.
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