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African players in Europe: Awoniyi, Osimhen snatch match winners

A great weekend for Nigerian stars in Europe saw Taiwo Awoniyi and Victor Osimhen score crucial goals for Premier League strugglers Nottingham Forest and Serie…

A great weekend for Nigerian stars in Europe saw Taiwo Awoniyi and Victor Osimhen score crucial goals for Premier League strugglers Nottingham Forest and Serie A leaders Napoli.

Awoniyi earned Forest a shock 1-0 win over Liverpool – only the second time the two-time European champions have secured maximum points since returning to the top flight this season.

Wearing a protective mask as he recovers from a facial injury, Osimhen delivered a 1-0 triumph for Napoli at Roma and a three-point lead over defending champions AC Milan.

Here are African headline-makers in the major European leagues at the weekend:


TAIWO AWONIYI (Nottingham Forest)

Taiwo Awoniyi
Taiwo Awoniyi

Awoniyi was on Liverpool’s books for six years without playing for them, but he reminded the Reds of his predatory instincts in 55 minutes.

Steve Cook’s cross was turned against the post by Ryan Yates and the Nigerian poked the rebound into an empty net.

ALEX IWOBI (Everton)

Alex Iwobi
Alex Iwobi

The midfielder provided two assists in Everton’s 3-0 win against Crystal Palace.

Iwobi, operating in a more advanced number 10 role, played a precise pass to Dominic Calvert-Lewin for Everton’s opener.

Six minutes from time, with Everton leading 2-0, Iwobi was part of the game’s most eye-catching moment as his sublime backheel teed up Dwight McNeil to score.


The Senegal winger kept his nerve at the death to earn Villarreal a narrow win over Almeria after being sent through by Dani Parejo.

The “Yellow Submarine” were down to 10 men when Jackson struck in the 94th minute to seal a 2-1 victory.

Although the match ended in defeat for Toure and he couldn’t add to his tally of three consecutive goals in Spain’s top flight, the Mali forward still made a good contribution in Almeria’s defeat by Villarreal.

It was his through ball that set up Gonzalo Melero to net the first goal of the game.


The Nigeria forward had already scored decisive goals in both his substitute appearances since returning from a thigh injury but his superb winner in his first start since early September -thrashed home from a tight angle after outmuscling Chris Smalling – came just after he had missed a huge chance one-on-one with Roma goalkeeper Rui Patricio.



Choupo-Moting continued to assuage his side’s post-Robert Lewandowski No.9 concerns, scoring again in the 2-0 win at Hoffenheim.

The Hamburg-born Cameroon forward now has four goals in his past three games for Bayern and will face off against Lewandowski when Bayern meet Barcelona in Spain on Wednesday.

WILFRIED KANGA (Hertha Berlin)
Handed a starting spot for Hertha, the Ivory Coast striker scored an 88th-minute winner to help his team record their first home win of the season.

Kanga’s first goal in Berlin colours netted Hertha a valuable three points as they beat rock-bottom Schalke 2-1.