ROUND-UP: Africans in the EPL – Week 15
Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez grabbed the headlines with a superb hatrick to take Leicester to the top of the English Premier League.
Africa Football Shop‘s EPL correspondent Ravi Pahalwani reviews all the action.
Wilfried Bony had a game to forget as Manchester City dropped to third in the table after their fourth defeat of the season at the Britannia Stadium as a spirited Stoke side cruised to a 2-0 victory. Young Nigerian Kelechi Iheanacho was brought on in the 60th minute hoping to continue his run of good displays but failed to make any impact. Mame Biram Diouf was an unused substitute while Yaya Toure missed the game through injury.
Odion Ighalo scored a late goal to help Watford earn another three points against Norwich City. The striker now has nine goals in the Premier League, fourth highest scorer in the league behind Jamie Vardy, Romelu Lukaku and Riyad Mahrez. Allan Nyom continued to martial the Watford defence who kept another clean sheet as the game ended 2-0 in favor of Watford. Sebastien Bassong lasted the entire game for the Canaries while DR Congo duo Youssouf Mulumbu & Dieumerci Mbokani started from the bench. The latter was introduced after the break.
Victor Moses had a good 20 minutes against Manchester United at Old Trafford giving Matteo Darmian a run for his money before pulling his hamstring and was brought off. Cheikhou Kouyate also featured for the Hammers in a good midfield performance, but the game ended with a rather tame 0-0 scoreline.
Leicester City hit-man Riyad Mahrez was back on the score-sheet with a bang this following a great hat-trick away at Swansea as Leicester continue to defy the odds to remain at the top of the EPL. This takes the Algerian’s tally to ten goals for the season. Ghanaian Jeffrey Schlupp lost his place in the Foxes starting 11 but was brought on with just a minute of normal time remaining. Andre Ayew played full throttle for the Swans while Gambian Modou Barrow entered proceedings with 27 minutes to go.
Idrissa Gueye, Jordan Ayew and Rudy Gestede all started for Aston Villa hoping to get some points on the board with just five points to their name after fourteen games as they took on Southampton away. They seemed to have the points in the bag after an early goal from Joleon Lescott before an equaliser by not so prolific Oriol Romeu, the game ended 1-1 at St Mary’s. Both Saido Mane & Kenyan Victor Wanyama started for the Saints with the Senegalese making way on the 83rd minute.
Chelsea were looking to build on their two successive clean sheets as Ghana left back Baba Rahman got the nod in front of Cesar Azpilicueta in the Chelsea back line against new comers Bournemouth. In a game largely dominated by Chelsea, the newcomers shocked the Stamford Bridge crowd with a late goal from substitute Glen Murray to end the game 1-0 to heap to the champion’s miseries. Burkina Faso youngster Bertrand Traore was introduced with just seven minutes to the end of the match.
The last game of the week saw two inform teams and goal scorers go head to head when Everton welcomed Crystal Palace to Goodison Park with Yannick Bolasie and Romelu Lukaku both in fine goal scoring form. The latter was able to get on the score-sheet to earn a draw for the home team as the game ended 1-1. Pape Souare also featured for the Eagles in a good defensive display while Arouna Kone also started for Everton.