ROUND-UP: Africans in the EPL – week 4
A great week for the African contingent in the English Premier League, with Bakary Sako grabbing the headlines as his goal sunk Champions Chelsea at home.
Ravi Pahalwani rounds-up the performances of African players in the English Premier League for Africa Football Shop.
The first game of the week saw young DR Congo defender Chancel Mbemba come up against Arsenal, in a rather good defensive showing from Newcastle, the young defender stood out as with some crucial tackles and blocks with one dazzling run which brought the crowd of its feet, BBC awarded him the Man of the Match.
We move to the Vitality Stadium where Bournemouth and Leicester City played a 1-1 draw. Ivorian Max Gradel was looking to make his mark in the EPL and Algerian Riyad Mahrez was looking to build on his great start to the season. But it was the Ivorian who had an impact in this game with an assist for Wilson for the first goal of the game. Mahrez was subbed off early in the 2nd half to accommodate a second striker.
A good week for Africans continued at Stamford Bridge with Malian striker Bakary Sako scoring the first goal of the game against the champions, Crystal Palace went on to win that game thanks to a late goal from Joel Ward to make it 2-1 to the visitors after Radamel Falcao equalised for the hosts. Both John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses both did not feature for Chelsea.
The African goal scoring continued at Anfield with Senegalese striker Diafra Sakho scoring the third and final goal in a historic 3-0 win. West Ham’s midfield was bossed by his compatriot Cheikhou Kouyate.
Yaya Toure was at his immaculate best against Watford controlling the whole game from midfield. There was a much awaited Manchester City debut for young Nigerian Kelechi Ihenacho who came onto the pitch for Sergio Aguero in the last minutes of the game. Fellow Nigerian Odion Ighalo played 72 minutes for Watford while Allan Nyom played full throttle receiving a caution on the 43rd minute.
Nigerian Brown Ideye was an unused substitute in West Brom’s away win at Stoke and has since then joined Greek side Olympiacos. On the other side of the pitch, Mame Biram Diouf who was in good form heading into this week but was unable to get on the score sheet this time for Stoke City.
Spurs midfield power house, Nabil Bentaleb played the whole game in a 0-0 draw against Everton at White Hart Lane. Ivory Coast striker Arouna Kone was subbed of in the 83rd minute after a fairly decent game from the striker.
Senegalese winger Saido Mane continued the good African record this week racking in two assists for Southampton in a comfortable 3-0 win against Norwich.
The last game of the week topped of a great week for Africans with a man of the match performance from Andre Ayew scoring the equaliser against Manchester United at the Liberty Stadium. Bafatimbi Gomis finished of an Andre Ayew pass to seal a 2-1 win for Swansea City.