African players in Europe: Ivorian Lago stuns Real Madrid


Paris (AFP) – Ivorian Junior Lago stole the show among Africans in the major European leagues at the weekend by snatching the La Liga winner for Real Mallorca against Real Madrid.  

Forward Lago struck the only goal of the match after seven minutes to give Mallorca a first home win since 2006 over the record 13-time European champions.

His goal also lifted the club out of a crowded relegation zone to 14th place after a third win in nine league matches this season.

ENGLAND

SADIO MANE (Liverpool)

The Senegal winger was denied a goal by VAR in a 1-1 draw at bitter rivals Manchester United. With Liverpool trailing to a Marcus Rashford goal, Mane thought he had equalised when he slotted home moments later. But the goal was reviewed by VAR and showed Mane had controlled the ball with his hand. Liverpool are six points clear of Manchester City after their 17-match winning league run ended.

WILFRIED ZAHA (Crystal Palace)

The Ivory Coast forward remains without a goal this season after drawing another blank in his side’s 2-0 loss to Manchester City. Zaha has gone 10 games in all competitions without finding the net. He was embroiled in a pre-season dispute with Palace after they refused to bow to his wish for a transfer amid interest from Arsenal and Everton.

WILFRED NDIDI (Leicester)

The Nigeria midfielder delivered another influential performance as the Foxes beat Burnley 2-1 on an emotional day at the King Power Stadium. With Leicester paying tribute to former owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha one year after his death in a helicopter crash outside Leicester’s ground, rock-solid Ndidi’s tireless tackling laid the foundations for Leicester’s latest success that has taken them to third in the Premier League.

SPAIN

JUNIOR LAGO (Real Mallorca) 

Lago will go down in Real Mallorca folklore after his stunning strike secured his team a surprise 1-0 victory over Real Madrid. Lago hit the net finishing a driving run down by cutting inside and finding the far corner with a brilliant, bending finish. 

KARL TOKO EKAMBI (Villarreal)

Cameroonian Toko Ekambi scored the winner as Villarreal won 1-0 at Espanyol. He pounced for his third goal of the season after Espanyol goalkeeper Diego Lopez spilled a deflected shot, leaving the forward a simple finish from three yards.

ITALY

KHOUMA BABACAR (Lecce)

Senegalese forward Babacar scored for promoted Lecce in a 2-2 draw against AC Milan when he missed a penalty but turned in the rebound after an hour in the San Siro. Babacar went off with cramp 10 minutes from time.

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