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African players in Europe: Salah, Mane score as season starts


Paris (AFP) – African superstars and former Liverpool teammates Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane scored at the weekend as new league seasons dawned in Europe.

Egyptian Salah scored on the opening day of the Premier League for a sixth straight season to salvage a 2-2 draw for Liverpool at Fulham.  

Senegalese Mane, who left Anfield for Bayern Munich during the close season, netted as the reigning German champions ran riot at Eintracht Frankfurt to triumph 6-1 in the Bundesliga. 

Here, AFP Sport highlights some of the Africans who created headlines at the weekend:

ENGLAND

MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)

He helped rescue a point for the 2022 runners-up as they were unexpectedly held to a 2-2 draw by promoted Fulham. Jurgen Klopp’s men were still behind with 10 minutes left when a long ball towards substitute Darwin Nunez caused panic among the Fulham defenders. The ball eventually fell kindly to Salah, who netted from close range.

MOHAMMED SALISU (Southampton)

It was a match to forget for the Ghanaian defender and his Saints team-mates as they suffered a 4-1 hiding at Tottenham Hotspur despite scoring the opening goal. Spurs were 2-1 ahead when, just after the hour mark, the off-balance Salisu made the game safe for the London club by turning a cross from South Korean Son Heung-min into his own net.

GERMANY    

SADIO MANE (Bayern Munich)

Reigning African Footballer of the Year Mane picked up where he left off in Liverpool colours, scoring on his Bundesliga debut as Bayern thrashed UEFA Europa League title-holders Eintracht. Mane, who also scored in the German champions’ 5-3 Super Cup win over RB Leipzig, helped assuage those Bayern fans who are concerned their side may be toothless up front after the loss of Poland forward Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona.

FRANCE

ACHRAF HAKIMI (Paris Saint-Germain)

The Morocco defender gave a  plausible impersonation of Usain Bolt as he dashed forward, received a pass from Neymar and slammed the ball into the net for the second goal as PSG began their Ligue 1 title defence with a 5-0 hammering of hosts Clermont. It was a masterclass of anticipation by the former Real Madrid full-back. 

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