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HomesportLookman, Okoli add to Mourninho’s woes

Lookman, Okoli add to Mourninho’s woes



LOOKMAN

Nigerian footballers across the globe turned up for their respective teams in Europe last weekend, with several of the strikers hitting target, while the ever-reliable Wilfred Ndidi shockingly posted a below-par outing, reports JOHNNY EDWARD

ENGLAND

Premier League

Alex Iwobi (Everton)

Iwobi provided his second assist of the season as Everton ended their winless run of six games with a hard-fought victory over West Ham at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Neal Maupay scored the game’s only goal just after a drab first half, receiving the ball on the edge of the box from Iwobi, before firing a quick shot on the bounce past a helpless Lukasz Fabianski, in goal for the Hammers, and into the bottom left corner. It was Iwobi’s seventh appearance of the season.

Onyeka (Brentford), Nwaneri (Arsenal)

Arsenal’s Ethan Nwaneri became the youngest ever Premier League player when he came on for Portuguese midfielder, Ferreira Vieira, in additional time of the Gunners 3-0 win over Brentford on Sunday.

Mikel Arteta sent on Nwaneri – a schoolboy midfielder – in the closing moments with his side leading 3-0. Nwaneri – 15 years and 181 days – surpassed Harvey Elliot’s top-flight debut for Fulham, aged just 16 years and 30 days.

Arsenal’s travelling fans greeted Nwaneri’s appearance by singing, “He’s going to school in the morning.”

William Saliba set Arsenal on their way to a sixth win in seven top-flight games this season after the France defender climbed high to head Bukayo Saka’s corner in off the post.

It was 2-0 inside the opening half hour as Brazil forward Jesus, a £45m signing from Manchester City in July, headed Granit Xhaka’s measured chip past David Raya.

Vieira capped a dominant display by marking his first Premier League start since joining from Porto with a goal from 25 yards.

Super Eagles midfielder Frank Onyeka replaced Vitaly Janelt in the 63rd minute of the encounter for his third substitute appearance of the season for Brentford, but couldn’t help as the Bees crumbled at the Gtech Community Stadium.

Ndidi, Iheanacho (Leicester City)

Wilfred Ndidi made his seventh EPL appearance for Leicester City, who lost 6-2 at Tottenham Hotspurs on Saturday, with the Nigerian midfielder culpable of his side’s third goal.

Spurs trailed Youri Tielemans’ early penalty goal, but took advantage of the Foxes’ failings at set-pieces as Harry Kane and Eric Dier nodded home from corners to turn the game around.

James Maddison’s fabulous first-time finish briefly drew Leicester level again, but Ndidi’s error at the start of the second half allowed Rodrigo Bentancur steer Tottenham back in front at the start of the second half before substitute Heung-Min Son stole the show with a scintillating 13-minute hat-trick.

Ndidi was cautioned for a foul on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg 60 seconds later. Ndidi’s countryman Kelechi Iheanacho came on in the 74th minute.

Awoniyi, Dennis (Nottingham Forest), Adarabioyo (Fulham)

Taiwo Awoniyi scored his second goal of the season for Nottingham Forest, who slumped 3-2 to Fulham on Friday.

The strike makes him joint top league scorer with teammates Sam Surridge and Brennan Johnson.

The 25-year-old striker, who is one of the nine forwards called up by coach Jose Peseiro for the international friendly against Algeria in Oran, grabbed the opener for the Tricky Trees in the 11th minute, an advantage they held until half-time.

But Fulham restored parity as they leveled matters courtesy of Tosin Adarabioyo, the English defender of Nigerian decscent, in the 54th minute, before Joao Palhinha added the second two minutes later.

Harrison Reed then drilled home the third for the Cottagers to take control of the clash involving the two promoted sides, before second-half substitute Lewis O’Brien reduced the deficit for the home side in the 77th minute.

Since moving to the City Ground from Union Berlin, Awoniyi has made seven appearances.

His compatriot, Emmanuel Dennis, was an unused substitute in the encounter. Dennis, who was snubbed for the international friendly against Algeria, has made four substitute appearances this season.

 Championship

Troost-Ekong, Okoye, Kalu (Watford)

William Troost-Ekong made his first start (second appearance) of the season for Watford, who were held 2-2 at home by Sunderland on Saturday.

Jewison Bennette’s late equaliser earned the Black Cats a draw at Vicarage Road, which denied Watford a fourth home win of the season.

Keinan Davis tapped in to put the Hornets ahead, before English centre-back of Nigerian descent Aji Alese equalised for the visitors, after his left-footed strike was adjudged to have crossed the line despite Hamza Choudhury’s attempted clearance.

Ex-Hornet Luke O’Nien headed an attempted clearance into his own net to restore Watford’s lead, before Sunderland’s Jack Clarke saw a fine finish ruled out for offside.

But Bennette rewarded the visitors’ late efforts on goal when he controlled a ball on his chest and lashed in a low shot.

Troost-Ekong’s compatriots Samuel Kalu and Maduka Okoye were on the bench.

SPAIN

LaLiga

Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal)

Chukwueze played for 59 minutes before he was replaced by Yeremi Pino in Villarreal’s 1-1 draw at home to Sevilla. The game was his sixth LaLiga appearance of the season.

 Primera Division

Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid)

Super Falcons striker Ajibade was on target as Atletico Madrid began their La Liga season with a 3-1 away victory against Sevilla on Saturday.

Ajibade scored the opening goal in the 34th minute to give Atletico a 1-0 lead at half-time. Sevilla began the second half brighter and got the equaliser 10 minutes later through Inma Gabarro’s header.

However, the Red and White responded six minutes later through Brazilian Ludmila, who dribbled past Sevilla’s defence, before rounding off the goalkeeper to score her first goal of the season.

The striker then sealed her brace in the 69th, taking advantage of a great filtered pass from Santos to make it 3-1.

The 22-year-old played 90 minutes before she was replaced in added time by Andrea Staksova.

ITALY

Serie A

Success, Udogie, Ehizibue (Udinese)

Isaac Success came as a third substitute for Udinese, who defeated former Serie A champions Inter 3-1 at home on Sunday.

While Kingsley Udogie, who was cautioned in the 51st minute made his seventh start of the campaign, Success came on for Beto in the 68th minute.

Their compatriot Kingsley Ehizibue also came on for Roberto Pereyra at the same time for his fourth appearance of the season.

The visitors surrendered an early lead to their hosts after Nicolo Barella’s free-kick was cancelled out by a Milan Skriniar own goal, before late finishes from Jaka Bijol and Tolgay Arslan sealed three points for their rivals.

The result saw Inter not only miss out on the chance to go top of the table, but head into the international break outside the Top Six.

It is the third league defeat this term for Simone Inzaghi’s side, and follows a familiar pattern, where they have scored once and conceded three.

 Lookman, Okoli (Atalanta)

Ademola Lookman and Caleb Okoli started Sunday’s Serie A encounter from the substitute’s bench for Atalanta, who beat Jose Mourinho’s Roma 1-0 on Sunday.

Okoli, 21, was brought on for Giorgio Scalvini, who scored the winner, in the 46th minute, while Lookman substituted Mario Pasalic in the 74th minute. Born in Vicenza, Italy in 2001, Okoli is of Nigerian descent and has represented Italy at U-19, U-10 and U-20 levels but Lookman dumped England for Nigeria at senior level, after helping the country of his birth win a first-ever U-20 World Cup title.

Roma head coach, Jose Mourinho, was seething after his side were denied a penalty in the 55th minute when Nicolo Zaniolo went over under a challenge from Okoli.

Replays suggested both players were grappling at each other’s shirt long before Zaniolo went to ground, and referee Daniele Chiffi waved away the appeals.

Mourinho joined his players in protesting against the decision, running onto the pitch and shouting and pointing at Chiffi, before the referee brandished the red card his way.

Dessers, Okereke (Cremonese)

Cyriel Dessers and David Okereke failed to score for Cremonese, who were thrashed 4-0 at home by Lazio on Sunday.

The Nigerians had an afternoon to forget as they had no effort on target despite playing the full 90 minutes. Their combined goals drought extended to 11 matches after another no-show for their club.

A first half brace from Ciro Immobile and a third goal from Sergej Milinković-Savić on the stroke of half time gave Lazio a 3-0 lead going into the break at the Stadio Giovanni Zini. Pedro Rodriguez then completed the riot in the 79th minute.

GERMANY 

Bundesliga 2

Anthony Ujah (Eintracht Braunschweig)

Striker Ujah bagged a brace for Eintracht Braunschweig, who defeated Karlsruhe 2-1 in Friday’s Bundesliga 2 game.

The former Super Eagles striker broke the deadlock with just one minute left to play in the first half but Karlsruhe were back on level terms thanks to a strike by Marvin Wanitzek in the 54th minute.

Ujah netted the winner for Braunschweig in the 72nd minute. The brace took his tally to four in seven Bundesliga 2 outings this season. He was then taken off with just a minute left to play in the encounter.

The win took Braunschweig out of the relegation zone up to 14th position on eight points in the 18-team league standings.

FRANCE

Ligue 1

Moffi, Bonke (Lorient)

Terem Moffi continued with his fine start to the new campaign, scoring his sixth Ligue 1 goal of the season for Lorient, who defeated Auxerre 3-1 at Stade Abbe Deschamps on Friday.

It is his best ever start to a season since he arrived in Europe in 2016.

The striker doubled his side’s lead in the 36th minute, after Burkina Faso international Dango Ouattara scored the opener in the 15th minute

Enzo Le Fee then made it 3-0 in the 42nd minute, before Auxerre pulled a goal back courtesy of Gauthier Hein in the 50th minute.

Moffi now has scored six goals from eight topflight matches and is ranked third in the Ligue 1 goals-scoring charts, as well as his team’s top scorer.

His countryman, Innocent Bonke, featured for 18 minutes in the encounter, in his seventh appearance of the Ligue 1 season.

Moses Simon (Nantes)

Simon played for before he was replaced by Evann Guessand in the 87th minute of Nantes goalless draw at home to Lens.

Turkey

Ahmed Musa (Sivasspor)

Musa’s first start for Sivasspor was cut short in the 19th minute after he was replaced for Clinton N’Jie in Sunday’s encounter against Ankaragucu. It remains to be seen if he Nigerian captain who was listed for next Tuesday’s friendly against Algeria will be fit enough to feature in the encounter.

Ligue 2

Josh Maja (Bordeaux)

Maja bagged his fifth league goal of the season for Girondin Bordeaux on Saturday in their 2-1 win over Dijon FC.

The Nigerian opened the scoring in the eighth minute via a penalty after a Dijon defender fouled him.

Le Bihan equalised for the visitors in the 71st minute, before Davitashvili netted the winning goal in the 87th minute and ensured maximum points for Bordeaux.

The win took them to the top of the table with 17 points from nine games. Maja has also three assists.

BELGIUM

FIRST Division A

Paul Onuachu (Genk)

Onuachu featured for 80 minutes in Genk’s 1-0 win at home to Gent. The striker, who was replaced by Andras Nemeth, is yet to score this season for the former champions in six league appearances and has been cautioned twice.

 Raphael Onyedika (Club Brugge)

New Eagles invitee, Onyedika, made his first Jupiler Pro League start for Club Brugge against Standard Liege. He was cautioned in his side’s 2-0 defeat. The hardworking midfielder made seven appearances for Brugge since he joined the club on transfer deadline day.

SAUDI ARABIA

SPL

Odion Ighalo (Al Hilal)

Ighalo grabbed his third goal of the season – in four games – as Al Hilal defeated Al-Wehda 3-0 in a Saudi Pro League fixture at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium.

The 33-year-old scored his side’s second goal in the 79th minute after Moussa Marega had put Al Hilal ahead in the 58th minute. With a minute left to the final whistle, Luciano Vietto ensured maximum points for the home side.

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