Paris (AFP) – Youssef en-Nesyri became the first African to score a La Liga hat-trick this season, giving sixth-place Sevilla a 3-2 victory over Real Sociedad as they seek only a second league title and first since 1946.
The treble from the 23-year-old Moroccan lifted his season league tally to eight, three behind Golden Boot frontrunner Lionel Messi of Barcelona.
African Footballer of the Year winners Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane of Liverpool and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal all scored in the FA Cup.
Here, AFP Sport rounds up the performances of African stars in the FA Cup and major European leagues:
SADIO MANE, MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)
Mane and Salah got back to scoring form in a 4-1 win over a youthful Aston Villa side decimated by a coronavirus outbreak at the club. Jurgen Klopp took the chance to rest many of his other stars, but Mane and Salah started and combined for three of the English champions’ four goals at Villa Park. Mane’s powerful header opened the scoring before a three-goal burst at the start of the second half turned the FA Cup third round tie decisively in Liverpool’s favour. Another looping header from the Senegalese took his tally for the season to nine before Salah’s calm finish rounded off the scoring.
PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Arsenal)
Aubameyang scored just his second goal from open play in 11 games as the holders needed extra time to see off Newcastle 2-0. The Gunners’ captain has struggled for form since signing a lucrative new three-year deal in September, but could not miss when presented with an open goal from Kieran Tierney’s low cross late on to double Arsenal’s lead.
YOUSSEF EN-NESYRI (Sevilla)
The Moroccan grabbed a hat-trick to give Sevilla a thrilling 3-2 victory over Real Sociedad. He scored twice in the first seven minutes, the second after a brilliant, weaving run. A frantic start saw Real level at 2-2 but En-Nesyri struck again at the near post early in the second half.
FRANCK KESSIE (AC Milan)
Ivorian midfielder Kessie slotted Milan’s second goal, from the penalty spot after 36 minutes, in a 2-0 win over Torino to extend their Serie A lead to three points. Torino goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu denied Kessie a second from close range before the break. Kessie has now scored six league goals this campaign, bettered only by his 2018/19 performance when he scored seven.
ACHRAF HAKIMI (Inter Milan)
Moroccan full-back Hakimi scored a superb second goal for second-placed Inter Milan after 63 minutes in a 2-2 draw at Roma. The 22-year-old former Real Madrid player blasted in a curling shot that clipped the underside of the crossbar for his sixth goal this campaign. Hakimi was substituted with eight minutes to go after taking a knock and Inter conceded a late goal to drop three points behind AC Milan.
HAMED JUNIOR TRAORE (Sassuolo)
Ivorian Traore provided the through ball that allowed Gregoire Defrel to brilliantly finish off and equalise for seventh-placed Sassuolo in an eventual 3-1 defeat at champions Juventus.
AMINE HARIT (Schalke 04)
The Morocco forward provided three assists for American teenager Matthew Hoppe to claim a hat-trick before capping an outstanding display by scoring the final goal in a 4-0 hammering of Hoffenheim, which ended Schalke’s miserable run of 30 league games without a win — one short of the Bundesliga record.
TAIWO AWONIYI (Union Berlin)
After scoring in his previous three league games, the Liverpool loanee had an effort disallowed and won a free-kick which led to a goal in a 2-2 draw at home to Wolfsburg. Awoniyi was brought down on the edge of the area, which saw Wolfsburg forward Maximilian Arnold sent off and resulted in a free-kick that Robert Andrich drilled home.
SILAS WAMANGITUKA (VfB Stuttgart)
The Democratic Republic of Congo winger claimed his eighth league goal this season after finishing off a counter-attack in Stuttgart’s 4-1 win at Augsburg. Wamangituka rounded off a sweeping move as Stuttgart picked up their first victory in four league games to climb to 10th.
BOULAYE DIA (Reims)
The France-born Senegal international striker, who worked as an electrician when a professional football career seemed unlikely, continues to star for Reims and scored twice – including from a penalty – in their 3-1 home win over Saint-Etienne. Dia now has 12 goals for the season, putting him top of the scorers’ charts alongside Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe.
TEREM MOFFI (Lorient)
The 21-year-old Nigerian striker continues to make an impact at Lorient, where he scored in a third straight game, in his struggling team’s 2-1 defeat at Bordeaux. It was a fourth goal this season for Moffi, who joined newly-promoted Lorient last summer from Belgian side Kortrijk, having previously played in Lithuania.
HABIB DIALLO (Strasbourg)
Strasbourg’s record signing when recruited from Ligue 1 rivals Metz just before the last transfer window closed in October, Diallo was brought in to score the goals that would keep his new club in the division. The 25-year-old netted the only goal in a 1-0 win at Lens and the Senegal forward already has seven goals in 13 games.
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