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Monday, June 24, 2024

African players in Europe: Osimhen in seventh heaven

Nigerian Victor Osimhen extended his run of scoring in Serie A to seven consecutive matches as runaway leaders Napoli beat Sassuolo 2-0 at the weekend.

The forward, who has reportedly attracted the attention of Manchester United, is the leading league scorer with 18 goals.

Napoli have an 18-point advantage over Inter Milan as they chase a third Italian title and the first since 1990.

Here, AFP Sport highlights African headline-makers across Europe:

ENGLAND
MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)

The Egypt striker may not have been on the scoresheet himself but more than played his part as Liverpool got back into the hunt for a top-four place after ending Newcastle’s 17-game unbeaten Premier League run with a 2-0 win at St James’ Park. Liverpool were already ahead when Salah produced a well-judged ball over the top in the 17th minute that allowed the onrushing Cody Gakpo to slot past stranded Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope with a cool finish.

SPAIN
TINO KADEWERE (Real Mallorca)

The Zimbabwean, on loan from Lyon, notched his first La Liga goal for eighth-placed Mallorca to open the scoring in a 4-2 La Liga home victory over Villarreal. The losers second goal came from Nigerian Samuel Chukwueze.

ITALY
VICTOR OSIMHEN (Napoli)

The Nigerian hit the woodwork before doubling the lead on 33 minutes. His powerful shot on the turn beat Sassuolo goalkeeper Andrea Consigli at his near post.

GERMANY
ERIC MAXIM CHOUPO-MOTING (Bayern Munich)

Bayern striker Choupo-Moting scored a first-half equaliser, but it was not enough to stop his side suffering a surprise 3-2 loss at Borussia Moenchengladbach. Reduced to 10 men after just eight minutes and needing an extra defender, Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann left Choupo-Moting on the pitch, removing veteran forward Thomas Mueller instead. The decision was vindicated on 35 minutes when the Cameroon international whacked in a perfect cross from Alphonso Davies.

FRANCE
HABIB DIALLO (Strasbourg)

The Senegalese scored both goals for his side in a 2-1 win over bottom club Angers that took Strasbourg out of the Ligue 1 relegation zone. Diallo now has 12 league goals this season, a tally that is one more than Lionel Messi and includes six in eight games in 2023. The 27-year-old helped Senegal win the Africa Cup of Nations last year but did not go to the World Cup in Qatar.

CHANCEL MBEMBA (Marseille)

The powerful 28-year-old Democratic Republic of Congo international centre-back has been an outstanding signing for Marseille since arriving from Porto ahead of this season. He scored his side’s equaliser as they came back to win 3-2 at Toulouse.

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