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African players in Europe: Sweet success for Salah

Mohamed Salah was among the successful penalty-takers as Liverpool edged Chelsea 11-10 in a shoot-out after a 0-0 draw to lift the English League Cup at the weekend.

The Egypt forward and two-time African Footballer of the Year converted the fifth spot-kick for the Reds, who triumphed when Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga blazed his spot-kick over the crossbar.

Success was particularly sweet for Salah after the disappointment of finishing on the losing side against Senegal this month in an Africa Cup of Nations final also decided by penalties.

Here, AFP Sport highlights Africans who starred in the major European leagues:



Salah, who will captain Egypt against Senegal next month in a play-off to decide which country goes to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, converted the fifth Liverpool penalty. Arrizabalaga had no chance as the leading Premier League scorer this season slammed the ball high into the net.

JEFFREY SCHLUPP (Crystal Palace)

Ghana midfielder Schlupp scored for Crystal Palace in their 1-1 draw against struggling Burnley. The 29-year-old was on hand to poke home Michael Olise’s cross in the ninth minute. Burnley equalised early in the second half when Luka Milivojevic turned the ball into his own net.



The Gabon forward scored his fifth goal in three games for Barcelona to spark a 4-0 thrashing of Athletic Bilbao. Aubameyang volleyed in the rebound to give Barca the lead late in the first half after Gerard Pique’s header came back off the crossbar.



The 22-year-old Ivorian was on target as Sassuolo built on their stunning win over Inter Milan last week with a 2-1 triumph over Europe chasers Fiorentina. Traore opened the scoring in the 19th minute at the Mapei Stadium to take his league tally to three for the season.


Nigerian Okereke has impressed in his first season at Venezia, where he is on loan from Club Brugge, and scored his sixth league goal of the campaign to briefly put his struggling team back into their local derby with Verona before Giovanni Simeone sealed a 3-1 victory with the final goal of his hat-trick.


TAIWO AWONIYI (Union Berlin)

The Nigeria striker ended his goal drought for Union Berlin when he fired home a cross in a 3-1 win over Mainz to score his first goal for his club since early December. The 24-year-old, who helped Nigeria reach the last 16 at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, came off the bench to claim his first goal for Union after blanks in seven previous games.



Mali forward Kone came on as a substitute before grabbing his team a crucial 1-0 win at Brest in their fight to avoid relegation. The 22-year-old, who scored three goals at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, also netted as a sub in Lorient’s 2-0 victory over Lens earlier this month. Kone will now have his eyes on making a full debut for his new club after signing from Norwegian side Sarpsborg.






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