African players in Europe review – Nigerian Brown Ideye bagged a brace as West Bromwich Albion stormed into the FA Cup quarter-finals at the weekend.
Veteran striker Yakubu completed a memorable Cup weekend for Nigerians by scoring the winner as Reading triumphed 2-1 at fellow second-tier club Derby County.
BROWN IDEYE (West Bromwich Albion)
In-form Ideye took his tally to four goals in three games with a double as West Brom crushed West Ham United 4-0 in the FA Cup. The Nigeria striker broke the deadlock by tapping in Craig Dawson’s low cross in the 20th minute and got on the score-sheet again just before the hour with a powerful header from Beninese midfielder Stephane Sessegnon’s deflected cross.
Former Nigeria striker Yakubu, 32, came off the bench to score a late winner as Reading won 2-1 at fellow Championship side Derby County to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals. The former Portsmouth, Middlesbrough and Everton striker struck in the 82nd minute, slamming home with his left foot to open his account for the club.
RUDY GESTEDE (Blackburn Rovers)
Benin international Gestede scored his side’s crucial second goal as Blackburn came from behind to beat Premier League Stoke City 4-1 in the FA Cup fifth round. The 26-year-old netted with a penalty deep into first-half injury time after Geoff Cameron was sent off for impeding Josh King, who finished the game with a hat-trick.
JEFFREY SCHLUPP (Leicester City)
Ghanaian left-sided player Schlupp gave Leicester a glimmer of hope in their FA Cup tie at Aston Villa by setting up a late goal for Andrej Kramaric. Villa were 2-0 up in injury time when Schlupp crossed from the left for Kramaric to power a header past Shay Given, but the home side held on for a 2-1 victory.
ALBERT ADOMAH (Middlesbrough)
Adomah had been one of the stars of Middlesbrough’s shock 2-0 win at Manchester City in the FA Cup’s previous round, but the 27-year-old Ghanaian winger was unable to produce a repeat performance as his side sank to a 2-0 loss at Arsenal. He procured a sight of goal in the 39th minute, by which time Arsenal were already 2-0 up, but his shot was comfortably saved by Wojciech Szczesny.
THIEVY BIFOUMA (Almeria)
Bifouma returned from a fine showing with Congo Brazzaville at the Africa Cup of Nations and continued his hot streak as he teed up Tomer Hemed for his side’s second in a 2-2 draw with David Moyes’s Real Sociedad.
NORDIN AMRABAT (Malaga)
Moroccan striker Amrabat saw his penalty saved by Kiko Casilla six minutes from time to cost Malaga a point at home to Espanyol.
PATRICK EKENG (Cordoba)
Cameroonian midfielder Ekeng had an afternoon to forget as he was shown a straight red card for kicking out at Vitolo as Cordoba slipped to a 3-0 defeat at Sevilla.
GERVINHO (AS Roma)
Roma won once and drew four times consecutively in his absence, so Gervinho’s return following a triumphant Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast could not have come sooner. However, the newly-crowned African champion was ultimately frustrated by Parma’s stubborn defence in a scoreless draw at the Stadio Olimpico which, only thanks to Juventus’s later draw at Cesena, left Roma seven points adrift in the title race.
SEYDOU DOUMBIA (AS Roma)
Days after his arrival in the Italian capital after his triumphant sojourn with Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations, former CSKA striker Doumbia’s Roma debut was memorable, but perhaps for all the wrong reasons. The 27-year-old proved his worth throughout a torrid home game for the Giallorossi but spurned several solid chances to make an impact, including missing a late cross at the back post with the goal at his mercy.
GODFRED DONSAH (Cagliari)
Ghanaian teenager Donsah hit his second goal of the campaign for Cagliari with a fine strike in the 34th minute at Torino, only for the hosts to level a minute later when Omar El Kaddouri controlled and hit a volley to secure a share of the spoils. A precious point for Cagliari following two straight defeats left Gianfranco Zola’s men third from bottom, but only three points behind Atalanta.
SAMUEL ETO’O (Sampdoria)
Eto’o has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons since joining Sampdoria last month — mainly because of a spat with coach Sinisa Mihajlovic over his failure to show up for a training session. The Cameroonian showed glimpses of his former class, with a snap shot that went over late on before he set up Luis Muriel for a late consolation as Sampdoria slumped 2-1 at Chievo to drop to seventh.
ANDRE AYEW (Marseille)
The Ghana forward found himself at the end of a missed Andre-Pierre Gignac chance to tap the ball in from close range in Marseille’s 2-2 draw against Reims. Ayew’s fourth goal of the season had put his side ahead 20 minutes from time in a tough game for OM. But Reims fought back to prevent Marseille from leapfrogging Lyon to reach the top of the Ligue 1. The 25-year old put on an impressive display to prove he had overcome the distress of losing to Ivory Coast in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations. Whether it was on the left wing in the first half or in the heart of the midfield in the second half, Ayew carried his teammates on his shoulders with his fighting spirit and constant activity.
GIOVANNI SIO (Bastia)
The Ivory Coast forward scored his first goal of the season in Bastia’s 2-0 win at Nantes. Sio, 25, put his name on the scoresheet after just 30 minutes against his boyhood club. On loan from Basel, Sio didn’t take too long to settle in Corsica, having arrived just a fortnight ago. He profited from a beautiful pass from Kamano to put his side ahead. Togo’s Floyd Ayite came off the bench to add a second for the visiting side 15 minutes from time, just three minutes after replacing Yannick Cahuzac.
PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Borussia Dortmund)
The Gabon winger profited from a superb pass off the outside of Marco Reus’ boot to score Dortmund’s third goal in a 4-2 home win against Mainz for his eighth of the season. Borussia climbed out of the Bundesliga’s bottom three by fighting back from conceding an early goal and after Neven Subotic and Reus also scored, Aubameyang took his chance in the 71st minute. Having scored twice in Dortmund’s 3-0 win at Freiburg the week before, the Gabon forward produced another impressive display and set up Nuri Sahin for Dortmund’s fourth goal 12 minutes from time.
ASSANI LUKIMYA (Werder Bremen)
The Democratic Republic of the Congo defender headed home Werder Bremen’s opening goal in their 3-2 win at Augsburg to claim their fifth straight victory on a remarkable run which has taken them from 19th to eighth in the Bundesliga. Lukimya nodded in Zlatko Junuzovic’s free-kick on 16 minutes before ex-Chelsea striker Franco di Santo and Czech Republic midfielder Theodor Gebre Selassie added to Bremen’s tally. Augsburg pulled a goal back 11 minutes from time, but Lukimya’s side held on for a win which leaves them just three points short of the European places for next season. Cedrick Makiadi came on late for Bremen as the DR Congo midfielder played his first game since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations.