AfroBallers rounds up the performances of African stars in the FA Cup and the major European leagues:
MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)
Salah ended Liverpool’s goal drought by scoring twice, but it was not enough to lift the gloom for Jurgen Klopp’s men as they fell to United in the fourth round. Salah looked more like his old self with a composed chip over Dean Henderson to open the scoring and then fired home from close range to make it 2-2 early in the second half. Despite his recent struggles, the double took Salah’s tally to 19 goals in 28 games this season.
YVES BISSOUMA (Brighton)
Mali international Bissouma scored one of the goals of the round in the FA Cup with a blistering long-range strike into the top corner as Brighton beat Blackpool 2-1.
BERTRAND TRAORE (Aston Villa)
Traore’s fine form continued with his fourth goal in six games as Villa kickstarted their charge for a place in Europe next season with a 2-0 Premier League win over Newcastle. The Burkinabe stroked home Villa’s second, off the underside of the bar, as Dean Smith’s men rose to eighth with two games in hand over most of the sides above them.
YOUSSEF EN-NESYRI (Sevilla)
The Morocca forward scored his second hat-trick in four games as Sevilla dispatched Cadiz 3-0. En-Nesyri hit Cadiz twice in four minutes towards the end of the first half before making it three shortly after the hour. En-Nesyri has scored seven goals in his last four matches, including a hat-trick against Real Sociedad.
FRANCK KESSIE (AC Milan)
Ivory Coast midfielder Kessie was responsible for Atalanta being awarded a penalty after elbowing Josip Ilicic in the face. Slovenian Ilicic stepped up to score his side’ss second goal from the spot eight minutes after the break as Serie A leaders Milan fell 3-0 to suffer just their second defeat this season.
Nigerian Simy pulled a goal back for rock-bottom Crotone in a 2-1 defeat to Fiorentina. The 28-year-old headed in after 66 minutes for his seventh goal this campaign.
KEITA BALDE (Sampdoria)/GERVINHO (Parma)
Senegal winger Balde found the net for the third time in eight games this season, sending in the second goal from a angle in a 2-0 win over Parma. Ivorian Gervinho missed chances to get second-last Parma back on track as their winless run stretched to 10 games.
VICTOR OSIMHEN (Napoli)
Nigerian attacker Osimhen played for the first time since November 8 after suffering a shoulder injury and later testing positive for coronavirus. The 22-year-old came off the bench but failed to make an impact as sixth-placed Napoli fell 3-1 to Hellas Verona.
SILAS WAMANGITUKA (VfB Stuttgart)
The Democratic Republic of Congo winger returned from a one-game suspension in style, scoring his 10th goal this season to give Stuttgart an early lead against local rivals Freiburg, who recovered to win 2-1.
TAIWO AWONIYI (Union Berlin)
The Nigerian played the full 90 minutes for the first time in six games as Union Berlin slumped to a 2-1 loss at Augsburg. Awoniyi, on loan this season from Liverpool, grabbed his third assist of the campaign when he set up Marcus Ingvartsen for a first-half equaliser.
TINO KADEWERE (Lyon)
Zimbabwe forward Kadewere took his Ligue 1 tally to nine when he struck twice in Lyon’s 5-0 thumping of local rivals Saint-Etienne to keep his side in touch with leaders Paris Saint-Germain. The 25-year-old tapped in the opener in the 16th minute before confidently rolling home the fourth following good work from Memphis Depay.
FARID BOULAYA (Metz)
Boulaya was on the scoresheet as Metz made sure that Raymond Domenech continued his winless start at the helm of Nantes. The Algerian international fired home the second of a 2-0 home win in stoppage time after earlier setting up Aaron Iseka’s first-half opener with a deft chipped pass.