Sunday, January 29 2023

Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha raised his Premier League goal tally to three this season with a brace in a 3-1 victory over Aston Villa at the weekend.

The Ivory Coast international was hailed by manager Patrick Vieira, a 1998 World Cup winner with France, after adding to his goal at Liverpool five days earlier.

“He got his fire inside him that I don’t want him to lose because that makes him the great player that he is. He had a fantastic game,” said Vieira.

Here, AFP Sport highlights African headline-makers in the major European leagues at the weekend:

ENGLAND

WILFRIED ZAHA (Crystal Palace)

Zaha cancelled out Ollie Watkins’ early strike for Villa before putting Palace ahead by finishing the rebound after his second-half penalty was saved. He was also involved in the build-up to Jean-Philippe Mateta’s goal.

EDOUARD MENDY, KALIDOU KOULIBALY (Chelsea)

The Senegal duo endured a disastrous time as Chelsea were shocked 3-0 at Leeds. Goalkeeper Mendy took too long to clear a Thiago Silva back-pass and was caught in possession trying to turn away from Brenden Aaronson, who tapped into the empty net. Koulibaly was red-carded on 84 minutes for a needless second booking.

SPAIN

PATHE CISS (Rayo Vallecano)

Senegalese midfielder Ciss scored his side’s second goal in a 2-0 victory at Espanyol. The 28-year-old, who is yet to make an international appearance, played the majority of his career in the Portuguese and Spanish second tiers before joining Rayo last season.

ITALY

VICTOR OSIMHEN (Napoli)

Nigerian Osimhen netted his second goal in as many games as Napoli thumped promoted Monza 4-0 to maintain a fast start to the campaign. With the match creeping into first-half stoppage time and the hosts a goal ahead, Osimhen latched on to a pass from Cameroon international Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and surged towards goal before drilling home.

ISMAEL BENNACER (AC Milan)

Bennacer opened his account for the season with the leveller in a hard-fought 1-1 draw for champions Milan at Atalanta. The Algeria international took advantage of a napping Atalanta defence to cut inside into the area and crash home a curling shot.

GERMANY

SADIO MANE (Bayern Munich)

Senegalese Mane scored two goals and had another one chalked off for handball in a 7-0 demolition of Bochum. Mane now has four goals in four games for Bayern and finished the round joint top of the Bundesliga scoring charts.

FRANCE

ACHRAF HAKIMI (Paris Saint-Germain)

Paris Saint-Germain continued their rampant start to the season with a 7-1 victory at Lille. Moroccan defender Hakimi surged into the box on 39 minutes, shrugged off Ismaily’s challenge to reach a Neymar pass and slid the ball past goalkeeper Leo Jardim to net PSG’s goal.

SAIF-EDDINE KHAOUI (Clermont)

Tunisian Khaoui scored the only goal as Clermont continued their strong start with a 1-0 win over struggling Nice to climb to fifth in Ligue 1. In the fifth minute, Neto Borges crossed and Nice defender Jordan Lotomba jumped to head the ball but missed and distracted centre-back Dante, who swung a wild boot at the ball, deflecting it to Khaoui, just in front of the penalty spot. The Tunisian coolly rolled a shot inside the far post.

bur-dl/jc

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