African players’ goal trail in Europe
PARIS (AFP) – Africans blazed a goal trail around Europe at the weekend with Ivorian Arouna Kone snatching the Levante goal that sent the superstars of Real Madrid tumbling to defeat.
Retired Mali star Frederic Kanoute and Nigeria Ikechukwu Uche were also on target in La Liga, striking the goals that brought victory to Sevilla and promoted Granada respectively.
Togolese Emmanuel Adebayor for Tottenham and Nigerian Ayegbeni Yakubu for Blacburn bagged a brace each on their home debuts in the English Premiership and Malian Cheick Diabate and Tunisian Issam Jemaa were among the French Ligue 1 marksmen.
EMMANUEL ADEBAYOR (Tottenham)
The Togo striker scored twice on his home debut as Spurs thrashed nine-man Liverpool 4-0 at White Hart Lane. Adebayor, on loan from Manchester City, struck in the 68th minute with a clever flick over Pepe Reina after the Liverpool goalkeeper spilled Jermain Defoe’s shot and the former Arsenal star — who also scored on his first appearance for Spurs at Wolves last weekend — added the final goal with a powerful close-range volley in stoppage time.
AYEGBENI YAKUBU (Blackburn)
The Nigeria forward marked his Blackburn debut with two goals in a dramatic 4-3 win over Arsenal that lifted his side off the bottom of the Premier League. Yakubu, who joined from Everton on transfer-deadline day, scored Blackburn’s 25th-minute equaliser when he steered in David Hoilett’s pass and then struck again in the 59th minute to put Rovers 3-2 up with a close-range effort from Steven Nzonzi’s shot.
The Ivory Coast striker scored his first goal for Arsenal but couldn’t stop the troubled Gunners slumping to a 4-3 defeat at Blackburn. Gervinho opened the scoring in the 10th minute when he cleverly slid his shot past Paul Robinson from Alex Song’s pass, but Arsene Wenger’s side then crumbled and are now fourth bottom of the table.
CHEIK TIOTE (Newcastle)
The Ivory Coast midfielder provided the cross that led to Leon Best’s goal in a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa. Alan Pardew’s side were trailing to Gabriel Agbonlahor’s first-half goal when Tiote whipped over a cross that Best headed goalwards. Shay Given saved his initial effort but Best tucked home the rebound to preserve Newcastle’s unbeaten record.
YAYA TOURE (Man City)
The Ivory Coast midfielder played for 90 minutes but couldn’t stop City squandering a two-goal lead in their 2-2 draw against Fulham at Craven Cottage. Two goals from Sergio Aguero put City in control by the 46th minute but Fulham scored twice in the second half and Roberto Mancini’s side are now two points behind leaders Manchester United.
ANDRE AYEW (Marseille)
Ghana star Ayew was introduced as a half-time substitute in Marseille’s game at Lyon but was unable to help his side overturn a 2-0 deficit. The 21-year-old brought enterprise and penetration to the left-hand side of the OM attack but his efforts were in vain as the 2010 champions sank to the foot of the table for the first time since August 2005.
CHEICK DIABATE (Bordeaux)
Giant Mali international striker Diabate found the target twice for Bordeaux but still finished on the losing side as his team threw away a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 at Toulouse. The 23-year-old opened the scoring in the 19th minute, scuffing home from close range after his initial effort had been blocked, before making it 2-0 with a fine 25-yard drive seven minutes before half-time.
ISSAM JEMAA (Auxerre)
Tunisia forward Jemaa, a close-season signing from relegated Lens, opened his account for his new club with the first goal in a 1-1 draw against Caen. Jemaa neatly finished a through-ball from team-mate Eduouard Cisse in the 32nd minute, only for Benjamin Nivet to draw the visitors level on the stroke of half-time.
PAPISSE CISSE (Freiburg)
Senegal striker scored his fifth goal of the season, but it proved to be no more than a consolation effort in the 2-1 home defeat to VfB Stuttgart. Having told Freiburg he wants to leave, the 26-year-old has been given a salary increase and the promise that he can leave Freiburg next summer if he wishes, according to sporting director Dirk Hufner.
DIDIER YA KONAN & KARIM HAGGUI (Hanover 96)
Ivory Coast striker Ya Konan scored his first goal of the German league season when he netted the winner in Hanover’s 2-1 victory over defending champions Borussia Dortmund. After Dortmund took a 1-0 lead midway through the first half, Hanover captain and Tunisia defender Haggui crashed home his header on 87 minutes to level. With the Dortmund defence reeling, Ya Konan fired home to give Hanover their third win of the season on 89 minutes.
KWADWO ASAMOAH (Udinese)
The Ghanaian arrived home from Thursday’s Europa League win against Rennes of France to discover that his house had been burgled, and numerous valuables stolen. However, he put that behind him by starting in his side’s 2-0 triumph against Fiorentina that made it two league wins out of two for the team that finished fourth in last season’s Serie A.
CHRISTIAN OBODO (Lecce)
Nigerian midfielder Obodo played a key role for Lecce as the southern club emerged from their visit to Bologna with an impressive 2-0 win. The 27-year-old is back in Serie A on loan from Udinese after spending last season with Torino, and his experience could prove crucial in helping the traditional strugglers in their battle to beat the drop.
JOEL OBI CHUKWUMA (Inter Milan)
The 20-year-old Nigerian midfielder started the match against Roma but was unable to make much of an impression in a game which fizzled out to a 0-0 draw. Chukwuma’s frustrating evening ended early with a 62nd-minute subsitution. His replacement, Brazilian Jonathan, had the best last chance but his volley took a deflection out for a corner.
AROUNA KONE (Levante)
Kone made a major impact in only his second game for Levante by scoring the goal that beat Real Madrid 1-0. The striker arrived in the summer from Sevilla as a last-minute replacement for Felip Caicedo. A one-year loan deal for the Ivory Coast player was arranged in the final week of the transfer window and the player has fitted in straight away.
FREDERIC KANOUTE (Sevilla)
His best days maybe behind him but the veteran Malian striker can still play an important role for Sevilla this season and he showed that with the only goal in a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad. After a spell playing in England with West Ham and Tottenham, Kanoute moved to Sevilla in 2005 where he has received most acclaim for his languid style of football.
IKECHUKWU UCHE (Granada)
The Nigerian striker was signed by Villarreal for an undisclosed fee from Real Zaragoza in the summer and immediately loaned out for the season to promoted Granada. Villarreal must be regretting the decision after they lost to the La Liga new boys 1-0 with the 27-year-old scoring his first goal for his new employers in the 55th minute to secure the win.