ROUND-UP: Africans in La Liga – Week 23
Chelsea loanee Christian Atsu enjoyed an impressive debut in La Liga scoring Malaga’s second goal in a 3-0 win over Getafe at the Estadio La Rosaleda.
Below is a wrap of African performers as La Liga entered week 23 by Fiifi Forson.
Atsu breaming with confidence on his debut collected a pass from Charles before scoring with a crossing shot. The winger was taken off in the 46th minute after sustaining a hamstring injury in the rectus femoris of the quadriceps in his right leg. Atsu is expected to undergo test to know extent of the injury.
Veteran Cameroon goalkeeper Carlos Kameni was in post for Malaga and kept his ninth clean sheet of the season. Arthur Boka also lasted the entire duration for the host. However, Mehdi Lacen started for away side but was replaced by Álvaro Várquez couple of minutes after recess. Staying with Getafe, Ghana international midfielder Bernard Mensah failed to make a cameo.
Moroccon attacking midfielder Youssef El-Arabi scored but it wasn’t enough to salvage a point for struggling Granada against Real Madrid who won 2-1.
El-Arabi replaced Barral in 58th minute and made an instant impact two minutes later. He pounced onto a pass from Rochina to slot home to become the joint top scorer in Granada’s La Liga history with 34 goals. The game also featured 20-year-old Nigerian attacker Isaac Success.
Ghana Black Stars target Iñaki Williams was shown a red card in Athletic Bilbao’s barren draw with Villarreal at San Mamés Barria (Bilbao). Williams picked up a second yellow card for a foul on Trigueros in the 90th minute. Cédric Bakambu kept his place in line up for the visitors whilst injured Eric Bailly did not make the trip.
There was no Manucho Gonçalves as Rayo Vallecano impressively dealt with Las Palmas, who gave Mubarak Wakaso game time, 2-0 at home. Wakaso’s compatriot Thomas Partey made his first full appearance in Atletico Madrid’s 3-1 home win over Eibar.
Elsewhere, Rachid Aït-Atmane set up Sporting Gijon only goal in a 1-1 with Fajr Fayçal’s Deportivo La Coruna. Cameroon youngster Daniel N’Di did quite well in midfield for Gijon. However, Spanish born Equatorial Guinea midfielder Omar Mascarell fail to come off the bench for home team.
Zouhair Feddal Simão Junior and Nabil Ghilas’ Levante suffered a not too surprising 2-0 defeat against league leaders Barcelona as the Catalan giants tighten their grip at the summit. Sofiane Feghouli returned to the starting eleven of Valencia as the Mestalla outfit suffered a narrow defeat at Real Betis. Senegal midfielder Alfred N’Diaye who has been a revelation this campaign had a fantastic game. He won five tackles and completed two dribbles as well as been rated 7.7 overall by whoscored.com.
In the last game of Match day 23, Senegal midfielder Papa Kouly Diop featured but his compatriot Mohammad Sylla was unused as Espanyol suffered embarrassing five nil defeat against Real Sociedad.