ROUND-UP: Africans in La Liga – week 2
It was a great weekend for Isaac Success, El-Arabi and Cedric Bakambu as they found the net for their respective clubs in the Spanish La Liga.
Here’s a comprehensive review of performances of the continent’s representatives in Spain by Africa Football Shop correspondent Enoch Forson.
Democratic Republic of Congo forward Cédric Bakambu needed just 25 minutes to win the hearts of the vociferous Villarreal fans as he scored two goals from two shots in the Yellow Submarines 3-1 home victory over Espanyol. Ivorian center back Eric Bailly lasted the entire duration of the game, earning a yellow card in the process.
Elsewhere, Granada had Morocco’s Youssef El-Arabi and Nigeria’s Isaac Success to thank for producing two goals as the Nazaries claimed their first victory of season away at the expense of Getafe who had Algerian international Mehdi Lacen in their fold but Ghanaian midfielder Bernard Mensah absent . Thievy Bifouma who’s on loan at Granada from Espanyol replaced Rubèn Rochine on the hour mark.
Nabil El Zhar came on as a 54th minute substitute, Zouhair and Nabil Ghilas featured yet could not propel Levante to victory against Las Palmas at home. Simão Junior due to the red card he received in the previous game was sidelined.
Equatorial Guinea midfielder Omar Mascarell played 22 minutes of Sporting Gijon’s goalless draw against Real Sociedad while Sofiane Feghouli returned to action after missing the opening game due to suspension but was unable to prevent Valencia from dropping two points at home following a pulsating one all draw with Deportivo La Coruna.
Yet to recover from injury, Spanish born Ghanaian Iñaki Williams missed Athletic Bilbao’s defeat at Eibar. His compatriot Thomas Partey was left out of Atletico Madrid squad that impressively dispatched Sevilla 3-0.
Rayo Vallecano were humiliated away from home 3-0 by Celta Vigo at the Estadio de Balaidos in Vigo. Rayo forward Manucho picked up a yellow card on the 61st minute and was subsequently substituted with 18 minutes left to end the encounter whereas Alhassane Bangoura played full throttle for the away side.
Experienced Cameroon goalkeeper Carlos Kameni put up a splendid performance in goal, keeping the arguably the best attacking trio (Messi, Suarez and Neymar) in the world at bay as Malaga lost 1-0 to Barcelona at the Nou Camp. Nordin Amrabat was replaced by Charles with Ivorian defender Arthur Boka watching the game from visitors bench.