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Brilliant Boufal ends long goal drought

Moroccan Sofiane Boufal spectacularly ended a nine-month goal drought by scoring the late winner as Southampton edged West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at the weekend.

He beat five opponents in the English Premier League match before sliding a shot into the bottom-right corner to earn the “Saints” a third league win in nine matches this season.

Democratic Republic of Congo sharpshooter Cedric Bakambu lifted his Spanish La Liga goal haul to eight by opening the scoring for Villarreal in a 4-0 rout of Las Palmas.

ENGLAND

SOFIANE BOUFAL (Southampton)

The winger scored one of the goals of the season as Southampton beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0. On as a substitute, he collected the ball midway inside his own half in the 85th minute and beat five Albion players before sliding a shot into the net.

MAME BIRAM DIOUF (Stoke City)

Led his side’s second-half fightback against Bournemouth, but the Senegal forward’s 63rd-minute goal could not prevent his side suffering a 2-1 defeat.

OUMAR NIASSE (Everton)

Did what he could after coming on as a second-half substitute to try to turn the tide for Everton against a rampant Arsenal at Goodison Park, with the Senegal forward scoring a stoppage-time goal after a defensive mix-up between Nacho Monreal and Petr Cech. But there was still time for Alexis Sanchez to make it 5-2 to the Gunners.

SPAIN

FAYCAL FAJR (Getafe)

Moroccan Fajr opened his goal account for Getafe in spectacular fashion by blasting home a dipping volley from outside the area to put the Madrid side in the lead at Levante. Jose Luis Morales levelled four minutes later to leave both sides rooted in mid-table.

CEDRIC BAKAMBU (Villarreal)

Bakambu’s hot streak in front of goal continued as the DR Congo striker slammed in the opener from a narrow angle to kick off Villarreal’s 4-0 rout of Las Palmas to move into the top six. Only Lionel Messi has scored more La Liga goals this season than Bakambu, who has eight, including six in his last three league matches.

ITALY

BASTOS (Lazio)

Angolan defender Bastos scored a rare goal for Lazio in a 3-0 win over Cagliari after an amusing incident before the game when one of his children, who had accompanied him as a child mascot, refused to leave the pitch and was caught on camera being dragged away. “It was the son of Bastos and he went on to the pitch with his daddy, but then didn’t want to leave. I told him to bring the boy more often, seeing as he even scored a goal!,” said Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi.

KHOUMA BABACAR (Fiorentina)

Senegalese striker Babacar came on as a second-half substitute and it took him just a minute and a half to score on 47 minutes against tailenders Benevento. Babacar made the most of a Jordan Veretout cross, and then earned a penalty that Cyril Thereau converted on 66 minutes to seal a 3-0 victory as rivals Benevento became the first club to fail to score a point in nine games in the Italian championship.

GERMANY

SALOMON KALOU (Hertha Berlin)

The Ivory Coast veteran netted a penalty for Hertha at the second attempt in a 1-1 draw at Freiburg. After Freiburg took the lead in the second-half, Kalou fired a 77th-minute penalty attempt over the bar, but made amends minutes later by drilling home after Davie Selke was fouled in the area and Hertha were awarded a second spot-kick.

NABY KEITA (RB Leipzig)

Guinea’s Liverpool-bound defensive midfielder was involved in the build-up to Marcel Sabitzer’s winner in Leipzig’s 1-0 win at home to VfB Stuttgart. Keita made inroads into the Stuttgart defence before passing to Timo Werner, who laid the ball off for Sabitzer to beat Stuttgart’s Germany goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler with a superb shot from 22 metres.

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Borussia Dortmund)

Gabon’s hot-shot striker had a frustrating afternoon in front of goal in Dortmund’s 2-2 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt which left Borussia top of the table only on goal difference from Bayern Munich. Aubameyang had only three shots on goal as last season’s top scorer in the Bundesliga again failed to hit the back of the net after also drawing a blank in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Cyprus’ APOEL in the Champions League.

FRANCE

KEITA BALDE (Monaco)

Balde netted his first goal since a 30 million euros ($35.9 million) summer move to Monaco as the reigning French champions eased to a welcome 2-0 victory at home to Caen in Ligue 1. Balde got the opener midway through the first half to break his duck for his new side. After being played through by Thomas Lemar and holding off his marker, he slotted past Caen’s veteran goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre. His signing was made to help fill the void left by Kylian Mbappe, the teenage sensation who was allowed to join PSG on an initial loan deal.


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