ROUND-UP: Africans in the EPL – Week 23
A great week for the African contingent in the English Premier League with a host of goals and crucial performances coming from them.
Africa Football Shop’s EPL correspondent Ravi Pahalwani reports.
The EPL weekend started off with a bang at Carrow Road where Norwich faced Liverpool in an epic clash. The game ended 5-4 to the visitors after a 93rd minute Adam Lallana goal. Norwich took the lead first after a great back-heal goal by Dieumerci Mbokani. Sebbastian Bassong was also on the score-sheet as his late goal seemed to have sealed a draw in the 90th minute before Adam Lallana broke Norwich hearts. Kolo Toure continued to feature in Liverpool’s back-line in the absence of first choice centre backs.
Leicester City’s dream season continued as they returned to the top of the league after a comprehensive 3-0 win at home against Stoke City. Riyad Mahrez was an influential figure for the home side as they eased past the Potters. Mame Biram Diouf started for Stoke City in the absence of star man Arnaoutovic but failed to make any significant impact. Peter Odemwingie also featured for Stoke coming off the bench in the 65th minute.
Southampton stunned Old Trafford with a last gasp win courtesy of an 87th minute goal by new signing Charlie Austin, heaping more pressure on manager Louis Van Gaal. Victor Wanyama had an excellent game for the visitors in holding midfield with some crucial tackles and interceptions. Manchester United target Sadio Mane also featured for Southampton.
Sunderland left it late to claim a point at home against Bournemouth after Patrick Van Aanholt cancelled Benik Afobe’s opener. Sunderland’s new signing Dame N’Doye was an unused substitute.
Odion Ighalo rediscovered his scoring touch with a winning goal for Watford making him the league’s third highest scorer and also helping his team to a 2-1 win against Newcastle. Allan Nyom came on late for Watford. Chancel Mbemba played full throttle for the Toons, picking up a yellow card in the process.
Manchester City came from behind twice against West Ham to share the spoils in a highly entertaining game. Strikers for both the sides; Enner Valencia and Sergio Aguero notched up braces against their names at Upton Park.Alex Song and Chekhou Kouyate were crucial in midfield for West Ham keeping tabs on the likes of Keven De Bruyne and David Silva. Yaya Toure played the full 90 minutes of Manchester City while Kelechi Iheanacho came off the bench to set up Sergio Aguero’s second goal of the night. Victor Moses returned from injury for the hammers but had to settle for the bench this week.
Swansea handed Everton a shock defeat with a deserved 2-1 win. Andre Ayew both scored and assisted for the Swans in a man of the match performance to help Swansea climb four points above the drop zone. Arouna Kone was an unused sub for Everton while Modou Barrow was the same for Swansea City.
Chelsea did the double over Arsenal with a 1-0 win courtesy Diego Costa. John Obi Mikel continued to start for Chelsea and did not fail to deliver once with a solid performance in midfield. Baba Rahman and Bertrand Traore were unused substitutes for Chelsea. Arsenal’s new Egyptian signing Mohamed Elneny was unused substitute as well.