African stars Mohamed Salah and Youssef en-Nesyri experienced mixed outcomes at the weekend while maintaining their reputations for scoring consistently in Europe.
Egyptian Salah raised his season tally to 22 goals by equalising with a penalty for Liverpool, but his team slumped 4-1 to Premier League leaders Manchester City for a third consecutive home defeat.
Moroccan En-Nesyri bagged his 17th goal of the season to complete a 3-0 La Liga triumph for Sevilla over Getafe, who finished with 10 men after Togolese Djene Dakonam was sent off.
Here, AFP rounds up the performances of African stars in the major European leagues:
MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)
The two-time African Footballer of the Year could not stop the Premier League champions suffering a hugely damaging loss to Manchester City. Trailing to Ilkay Gundogan’s opener at Anfield, Liverpool drew level in the 63rd minute when Salah accelerated on to Trent Alexander-Arnold’s pass and was dragged down by Ruben Dias. Salah picked himself up to blast the penalty high into the roof of the net, but it was only a temporary reprieve for Liverpool.
PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Arsenal)
The Gabon forward was unable to rescue Arsenal as Aston Villa claimed a 1-0 win. Aubameyang came off the bench in the 59th minute with Arsenal behind at Villa Park. Arsenal’s captain was making his second appearance since returning to the squad following a prolonged absence due to his mother’s illness. Aubameyang, who has only eight goals this term, looked rusty and could not convert Nicolas Pepe’s cross as Arsenal slumped to a second successive defeat.
YOUSSEF EN-NESYRI, MUNIR EL HADDADI (Sevilla) / DJENE DAKONAM (Getafe)
En-Nesyri netted as Sevilla picked apart 10-man Getafe. Before the game, En-Nesyri had been presented with the league’s player of the month award for January and was on target again at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, adding a late third goal for Sevilla. The floodgates had opened after Getafe defender Dakonam was sent off in the second half for a nasty challenge on Lucas Ocampos. Morocco forward El Haddadi put Sevilla in front soon after by sidefooting in a pass.
MUSA BARROW (Bologna)/GERVINHO (Parma)
Gambian forward Barrow scored twice as Bologna won 3-0 against Parma to move away for the drop zone into 13th place. Barrow headed in a Nicola Sansone free-kick after 15 minutes and added a second a quarter of an hour later for his sixth goal in all competitions this season. Ivorian Gervinho missed chances to pull lowly Parma into the game.
KEITA BALDE DIAO (Sampdoria)
Senegal international Keita struck with 10 minutes to go to rescue a point for Sampdoria in a 1-1 draw at Benevento after last week’s loss to champions Juventus. The former Lazio and Inter Milan player finished off a cross from substitute Mikkel Damsgaard for his fourth goal this season.
AMINE HARIT (Schalke)
The Morocco midfielder could not stop Schalke succumbing to a 3-0 home defeat by RB Leipzig. Harit wept openly when Schalke were knocked out of the German Cup by Wolfsburg in midweek, and there was more misery as the Bundesliga’s bottom club fell to their fifth defeat in six games.
EMMANUEL DENNIS (Cologne)
The Nigerian forward made just his second Bundesliga appearance as struggling Cologne snatched a shock 2-1 away victory at local rivals Borussia Moenchengladbach. Dennis joined Cologne on loan from Club Brugge in January and scored in a German Cup defeat to Regensburg last week.
IHLAS BEBOU (Hoffenheim)
The Togo striker scored his fourth goal of the season in Hoffenheim’s 3-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt, equalising two minutes into the second half only for the visitors to net twice.
IDRISSA GANA GUEYE (Paris Saint-Germain)
The Senegal midfielder is no longer a first pick for PSG under new coach Mauricio Pochettino, but Neymar’s stomach upset worked to Gueye’s advantage. With Neymar only fit enough for the bench, Gueye started and played 90 minutes as PSG beat Marseille 2-0 to stay three points behind leaders Lille.
JOHN BOYE (Metz)
The Ghanaian captain of Metz scored an own goal that condemned his side to a 1-0 loss at Saint-Etienne. It was a first defeat in seven games for Metz who, with eight African players in their starting line-up, could have gone into the European places with a win.