How Nigerian players fared in Europe last weekend

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Last weekend, action returned to the various leagues across Europe and beyond after the recent international break.

Several Nigerian players were in the thick of action, doing their thing for their various clubs even though some were denied playing time for varying reasons.

PREMIUM TIMES takes you across the world to see how Nigerian players fared abroad in the past weekend.

England

The first point of call is the English Premier League where two Nigerian players; Victor Moses and Victor Anichebe were quite outstanding in the weekend games.

Moses produced a Man-of-the-Match display on Sunday as he helped Chelsea to the top of the EPL log.

Fresh from his heroics with the Super Eagles, Moses continued his fine start to the season with Chelsea, making his sixth consecutive start for the Blues in their 1-0 defeat of Middlesbrough.

The Nigeria international was only replaced in the 90th minute

Meanwhile, there was no improvement in the situation of John Obi Mikel as the Nigeria Captain was totally snubbed again while youngster Ola Aina was also not listed..

At the Stadium of Light, Anichebe’s resurgence continued for Sunderland, as he scored a brace to help the Black Cats to a 3-0 win over Hull City.

The Nigerian had also scored in the penultimate weekend away to Bournemouth

Switching over to Selhurst Park, Kelechi Iheanacho, despite his impressive record against Crystal Palace, was relegated to the bench all through Manchester City’s 2-1 win over the Eagles.

It was Yaya Toure that grabbed the headlines in that game; as he returned with a bang with the two goal that sealed victory for the Citizens.

And at Vicarage Road, Odion Ighalo and Ahmed Musa came up against each other as Watford hosted Leicester. Ighalo’s Watford won 2-1; the striker was an unused substitute, while Musa came off the bench in the 78th minute for the Foxes.

Also at Old Trafford, another Nigeria international, Alex Iwobi, was missing in action for Arsenal as they forced Manchester United to a 1-1 draw. The 20-year-old remained on the bench all through, while Chuba Akpom was not listed.

Going down to the Championship, in-form Sone Aluko saw his Fulham side held to a 1-1 draw at home by Sheffield Wednesday, with the Nigeria international playing all through but firing blanks.

At Ewood Park, Nigeria international, Hope Akpan, wasn’t listed for Blackburn in their 3-2 defeat of Brentford while at Preston, Dominic Iorfa played the entire duration for Wolves in their goalless draw. Super Eagles goalkeeper Carl Ikeme remains out injured.

France

In the French Ligue 1, it was another tale of defeat for former Nigeria captain Vincent Enyeama as Lille were piped 1-0  by Lyon, with the 34-year old seeing action as usual.

Italy

In Serie A, Nigeria youth international, Orji Okonkwo, made his debut for Bologna when he came off the bench in the 89th minute in their 3-1 win over Palermo.

Also in Serie A, Joel Obi was introduced in the 72nd minute in Torino’s 2-0 defeat of Crotone.

Germany

In the Bundesliga, Super Eagles defender Leon Balogun could only get a cameo role as he was introduced in stoppage time in Mainz’s 4-2 win over Freiburg.

Spain

Super Eagles invitee, Uche Agbo, played all 90 minutes for Granada in their 1-1 draw at Valencia, but was shown a late-minute yellow card for head-butting an opponent.

Belgium

Moses Simon started for Gent against Mouscron and lasted the entire duration but fired blanks in their 2-0 victory. Rabiu Ibrahim was an unused substitute, while Anderson Esiti was not listed.

Also, Genk were 2-0 winners over Eupen, and Wilfired Ndidi was in action for the whole game for the victors, while Henry Onyekuru fired blanks in Eupen’s loss despite playing all 90 minutes. Anthony Bassey also played the entire duration for Eupen, but George Jamabo was not listed.

There was also no place for Nigerian defender, Elderson Echiejile, in the backline of Standard Liege who were beaten 2-1 by KV Mechelen.

Turkey

Former Dolphins forward Emem Eduok played all 90 minutes for Kasimpasa, but fired blanks in their 2-2 draw with Kardemir Karabuk.

At Fenerbahce, Emmanuel Emenike was an 85th minute entrant in their 2-0 defeat of rivals Galatasaray, but didn’t find the back of the net.

Kenneth Omeruo’s club Alanyaspor were beaten 2-0 by Aminu Umar’s Osmanlispor but interestingly, neither of them was listed by their respective clubs.

Holland

In the Eredivisie, former Nigeria youth international, Abdul Ajagun, scored a spectacular goal for Roda in their 1-1 draw with AZ Alkmaar, and lasted the entire duration; while Fred Friday was an unused substitute for Alkmaar.

Another former youth international, Taiwo Awoniyi, was an unused substitute for NEC as they were pounded 5-0 by Ajax FC.

Former Super Eagles striker Bartholomew Ogbeche was only introduced in stoppage time for Willem II as they held PSV to a 0-0 at home.


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