PARIS (AFP) – Goals were aplenty for African players in Europe at the weekend, notably in England where Samuel Eto’o grabbed a hat-trick for Chelsea against Manchester United.
Back-to-form Emmanuel Adebayor had a brace in Tottenham’s 2-0 win over Swansea, while Yaya Toure was on target for Manchester City in the 4-2 victory over Cardiff.
SAMUEL ETO’O (Chelsea): The veteran Cameroon striker did something no Chelsea player had done for nearly 50 years by scoring a hat-trick against Manchester United in the title-chasers 3-1 win over the Premier League champions at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. That feat more than justified Blues boss Jose Mourinho’s decision to start him instead of Spain’s Fernando Torres.
YAYA TOURE (Manchester City): The Ivory Coast midfielder was in fine form, scoring in a 4-2 win at home to Cardiff that maintained City’s title challenge. At 2-1 the game was still in the balance when Toure started and finished a move that put the result beyond doubt in the 76th minute at Eastlands.
EMMANUEL ADEBAYOR (Tottenham Hotspur): Revitalised since Tim Sherwood succeeded Andre Villas-Boas as Spurs manager, the Togo striker scored twice in a 3-1 victory at Swansea that took his personal goal tally to five in six Premier League games as the London club advanced to the brink of the Champions League places.
WILFRIED BONY (Swansea): Signed in the pre-season from Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem the Ivory Coast forward twice nearly broke the deadlock against Spurs. First he shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box and then went closer still when his 30-yard strike beat Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris only to rattle the France international’s crossbar. By the time he did score his seventh league goal this season, it was too late for the Swans who lost 3-1.
IKECHUKWU UCHE (Villarreal)
Nigerian striker Uche continued his stunning form with his sixth goal in his last three league games as Villarreal moved into fourth place by beating Almeria 2-0 on Sunday.
RICHMOND BOAKYE (Elche)
Ghanaian Boakye came off the bench to provide an assist for Javi Marquez to score Elche’s second goal as they eased their relegation fears with a 2-0 win over Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.
PAPE DIOP and and Simao (Levante)
Midfielders Diop and Simao played the full 90 minutes and as Levante held league leaders Barcelona to a 1-1 draw on Sunday.
Both men played a key role in restricting Lionel Messi’s impact on his first league start of 2014 as Barca dropped points for just the fourth time this season.
ADAMA BA (Bastia)
The attacking midfielder scored the only goal of the game as Bastia inficted a second consecutive defeat on Bordeaux. Malia midfielder Sambou Yatabare started the move sending Florian Raspentino scampering away down the wing to square for the unmarked Ba to slot home.
The left sided player struck the second goal for Montpellier, his first for the club in a crucial 2-0 win over Sochaux on Saturday. The Abidjan born player who began his career with Ivory Coast capital club ASEC Mimosas in 1999 before embarking on a career in France joined Montpllier in 2013 after three seasons at Paris Saint-Germain.
The Ivory Coast player was in outstanding form in Roma’s 3-0 win over Livorno that maintained the capital side in second place in Serie A. He constantly had the visiting defence under pressure and the only black mark against his name was his inability to get on the scoresheet.