African players in Europe

The European leagues in Spain, where Zouhair Feddal helped Real Betis in their quest for a European qualification place, and Italy resumed after the festive break and there was cup action in England and France.

Here is a look at some of the key performances from Africans playing in Europe:

ENGLAND
JORDAN AYEW (Crystal Palace)

The Ghana striker was unable to stop his Premier League side crashing to a shock 1-0 FA Cup third-round defeat against second-tier Derby on Sunday. Ayew has scored five times this season to establish himself as Palace’s main central striker, but he was held without a goal as the Eagles bowed out at their Selhurst Park home. Chris Martin scored Derby’s first-half winner and, adding insult to injury for Palace, they had captain Luka Milivojevic sent off after kicking out at Tom Huddlestone

FRANCE
ERIC MAXIM CHOUPO-MOTING (PSG)

The 30-year-old Cameroon forward made the most of a rare start for PSG, who rested a host of big stars, as he scored in the 6-0 French Cup round of 64 rout of sixth-tier amateurs Linas-Montlhery. The former Schalke and Stoke player was on target for the last of the goals, three minutes from time.

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SPAIN
ZOUHAIR FEDDAL (Real Betis)

Feddal earned Real Betis a hard-earned point against Alaves on Sunday as his second-half equaliser secured them a 1-1 draw in La Liga. The Moroccan rose high to head in Nabil Fekir’s cross 10 minutes after half-time for his first goal of the season, which cancelled out Aleix Vidal’s early strike for Alaves. A point at Mendizorroza means Betis are seven points adrift of the European places and have now gone three games without a victory.

ITALY
AMADOU DIAWARA (Roma)

Guinean Diawara came up short in midfield as AS Roma’s Champions League push was stalled with a 2-0 home defeat to Torino. Coach Paulo Fonseca blamed a problem in midfield as the Romans’ unbeaten five-match run in the league ended. “There were difficulties in the first phase of build-up, with Amadou Diawara and Jordan Veretout,” explained Fonseca. It made for a disappointing afternoon for Diawara who said: “We were not good enough at moving around enough to create space to work in.”

VANGUARD

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