African Footballers in Europe
Riyad Mahrez was outstanding once again for pacesetters Leicester in England and Wahbi Khazri made an effective full debut for Sunderland.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a quiet day for Borussia Dortmund in Germany, but Floyd Ayite hit a brace for Bastia against Troyes in France.
Youssef El Arabi and Christian Atsu were both among the goals in Spain for their clubs Granada and Malaga
RIYAD MAHREZ (Leicester City)
The Algeria winger enhanced his player-of-the-season credentials by inspiring Leicester to a stunning 3-1 victory at title rivals Manchester City that took them five points clear. Mahrez crossed for Robert Huth to put Leicester ahead in the third minute and stylishly scored the visitors’ second goal early in the second half — his 14th of the campaign — by beating Nicolas Otamendi and Martin Demichelis before slamming a right-foot shot past Joe Hart.
YAYA TOURE (Manchester City)
Toure endured the ignominy of being hauled off in the 52nd minute as his side’s title hopes were dented by Leicester. News of Pep Guardiola’s impending arrival as manager will not have been greeted favourably by the Ivorian, who left Barcelona for City in 2010 after falling out of favour under the former Spain midfielder, but he did little to advance his cause in a limp display.
WAHBI KHAZRI (Sunderland)
A £9 million ($12.8 million, 11.8 million euros) January signing from Bordeaux, the Tunisia playmaker marked his full debut with a crucial assist as second-bottom Sunderland came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Liverpool. Khazri teed up the visitors’ 89th-minute equaliser with a neat pass into the feet of Jermain Defoe, who rolled Mamadou Sakho before thrashing a shot home.
VICTOR WANYAMA (Southampton)
Kenya midfielder Wanyama set up Maya Yoshida for the only goal in Southampton’s 1-0 win over West Ham United, but was later sent off for the third time this season. The former Celtic player helped on a cross from Senegalese team-mate Sadio Mane in the ninth minute, enabling Yoshida to steam in and score. But he was sent off nine minutes into the second half for scything down Dimitri Payet in the centre circle.
JOEL MATIP (Schalke 04)
With his Cameroon team-mate Eric Choupo-Moting playing up front, centre-back Joel Matip was in defence as goals by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Johannes Geis and Alessandro Schoepf sealed Schalke’s 3-0 win over Wolfsburg. The 24-year-old is out on contract at the end of the season, but Schalke’s team manager Horst Heldt hopes to extend his contract in the coming days.
PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Borussia Dortmund)
The Bundesliga’s top-scorer had a rare off day in second-placed Borussia Dortmund’s uninspiring 0-0 draw at Hertha Berlin. Gabon star Aubameyang, who has netted 20 league goals, managed just 11 touches in his 71 minutes and failed to create a single shot on goal before being taken off.
FLOYD AYITE (Bastia)
The French-born Togo international midfielder scored both of his team’s goals in a 2-0 win over rock-bottom Troyes to lift Bastia two points clear of the drop zone. Ayite now has six goals in Ligue 1 this season.
YOUSSEF EL ARABI (Granada)
Moroccan forward El Arabi came off the bench to register his eighth goal of the season with Granada’s goal in a 2-1 defeat at home to Real Madrid.
CHRISTIAN ATSU, CARLOS KAMENI (Malaga)
On-loan Chelsea midfielder Atsu scored just 24 minutes into his Malaga debut in a 3-0 win over Getafe. The Ghanaian coolly slotted home his side’s second from close range, whilst Cameroonian ‘keeper Kameni kept his ninth clean sheet of the season.
GODFRED DONSAH (Bologna)
Fiorentina looked to be heading for another Serie A win when Federico Bernardeschi hit his maiden goal for La Viola after 59 minutes of play at Bologna, but the hosts had other ideas. Ghanaian midfielder Donsah used his physique to his advantage, striding confidently into the right side of the area where he held the ball up well before delivering a pinpoint cross for Emanuele Giaccherini to slam first-time past Ciprian Tatarusanu.
MOHAMED SALAH (Roma)
Salah was his usual, creative self in a 2-1 win over Sampdoria on Sunday. The Egyptian notably cut a great ball back for Stephan El Shaarawy to balloon over from 12 yards. Just before the hour, Salah was in the move again when Miralem Pjanic shaved the post for the hosts, who were lucky to hold on for a third successive win.