African Players in Europe: Brilliant Zaha Rescues Struggling Palace
The Abidjan-born 24-year-old scored seven minutes into stoppage time as Palace came from two goals behind with Ghanaian Andre Ayew among the West Ham scorers.
Zaha struck the winner when Palace stunned defending champions Chelsea this month for their only league victory this season.
MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)
The Egyptian has been outstanding for Liverpool since joining the club in the transfer window, netting nine goals in all competitions. But he suffered a rare blip when his weak first-half penalty was saved by Huddersfield’s Jonas Lossl. Salah was grateful to his team-mates as three second-half goals spared his blushes.
WILFRIED ZAHA (Crystal Palace)
The Ivory Coast winger secured what could prove to be one of the most valuable points this season for Crystal Palace psychologically as they forced a draw in the dying seconds. West Ham looked home and dry as they entered the seventh minute of time added on but Zaha had other ideas, levelling the match at 2-2 with a piece of individual brilliance.
ANDRE AYEW (West Ham)
The Ghanaian star, who joined the Hammers in August 2016, has done little to justify his hefty transfer fee but he showed why Slaven Bilic thought it worth bringing him on board when he put West Ham 2-0 up in the first half against Palace with a stunning 20-yard strike.
CEDRIC BAKAMBU (Villarreal)
Bakambu’s free-scoring form was brought to an end by Atletico Madrid’s famously mean defence, but Villarreal did escape the Wanda Metropolitano with a 1-1 draw to extend their unbeaten run against Atletico to five games. The Democratic Republic of Congo striker’s best chance came in the first period
when Stefan Savic showed great pace to recover and deny Bakambu a clear run on goal.
KWADWO ASAMOAH (Juventus)
Ghanaian Asamoah was instrumental in Gonzalo Higuain’s double in a 2-0 win for champions Juventus at AC Milan. Asamoah linked up with Paulo Dybala to pass to Higuain, who broke the 100-goal barrier with 101 goals in Serie A.
ACHRAF LAZAAR (Benevento)
Moroccan Lazaar scored for Benevento in a 5-1 loss to Lazio — just the fourth goal of the season for the Serie A tailenders, who notched up their 11th straight defeat since the season began.
IHLAS BEBOU (Hanover 96)
The Togo striker became a favourite with Hanover fans after scoring twice in a shock 4-2 win over Borussia Dortmund. The 23-year-old, who grew up in Germany, showed terrific pace, and profited from dreadful Dortmund defending, to finish off counter-attacks on 40 and 86 minutes. Dortmund’s star Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failed to score for the third straight game.
NABIL BENTALEB (Schalke 04)
Algeria’s ex-Tottenham Hotspur midfielder netted his third goal of the season when he converted a first-half penalty in the 1-1 draw at home to Wolfsburg.
NABY KEITA (RB Leipzig)
The Guinea midfielder picked up a foot injury in Leipzig’s 2-0 defeat at Bayern Munich, but hopes to be fit for Wednesday’s Champions League game at Porto. Keita, who put in an impressive display, limped off on 86 minutes after a kick from Spain international Thiago Alcantara.
KEITA BALDE (Monaco)
The 22-year-old Senegalese international scored one of the second-half goals as defending champions Monaco defeated Nantes 2-0. Balde, a former Lazio player, was called up to replace the injured Radamel Falcao and he took his chance when Brazilian left-back Jorge delivered a ball into the box that was met by Joao Moutinho with a cushioned header down for the Senegal striker to finish.