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African players in Europe: Salah and Keita drive Liverpool towards title

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Paris (AFP) – Liverpool’s confident march towards a first English title since 1990 continued with Mo Salah and Naby Keita both on target in the 3-0 win at Bournemouth. 

Algerian defender Ramy Bensebaini, meanwhile, took the plaudits during Borussia Moenchengladbach’s win over Bayern Munich which kept them top of the Bundesliga. 

And there were other eye-catching contributions from some of the many Africans playing in Europe’s top leagues over the weekend.

ENGLAND

MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)

The Egypt forward was in typically deadly form as Liverpool consolidated their eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a 3-0 win at Bournemouth on Saturday. With Jurgen Klopp’s side already leading by two goals, Salah — who had provided an assist for Naby Keita earlier in the match — wrapped up the points in the 54th minute when he ran onto Keita’s pass and slotted home. It was Salah’s 63rd goal in his 100th Premier League appearance and only Alan Shearer (79), Ruud van Nistelrooy (68) and Sergio Aguero (64) scored more in their first 100 games in the competition. Salah has now scored more Premier League goals against Bournemouth (seven) than any other opponent.

NABY KEITA (Liverpool)

The Guinea midfielder also impressed to help title-chasing Liverpool cruise to victory over Bournemouth. After Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain put Liverpool ahead, it was Keita who made it 2-0 in the 44th minute as he slotted home after Salah set him up with a clever backheel. Keita turned provider for Salah after half-time as Liverpool extended their club record unbeaten run to 33 league games. They have won 15 of 16 Premier League matches this season.

KELECHI IHEANACHO (Leicester)

The Nigeria forward maintained his recent resurgence with an influential display in Leicester’s record-breaking 4-1 win against Aston Villa on Sunday. Iheanacho scored a last-minute winner against Everton last weekend in his first league appearance of the season and he was back in goal-scoring form at Villa Park. Having already set up Jamie Vardy’s opening goal, Iheanacho made a well-timed run to meet James Maddison’s cross and finish from close range. That doubled Leicester’s lead and made it four goals in four appearances in all competitions for Iheanacho this term. 

GERMANY

RAMY BENSEBAINI (Borussia Moenchengladbach)

The Algerian defender, who joined Gladbach from Rennes in August, scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Bayern Munich which ensured Borussia remained top of the table. After converting a corner with a perfectly placed header in the 60th minute to make the score 1-1, Bensebaini converted a penalty deep into second-half injury time to give Gladbach the three points. Bensebaini was cool and calm from the spot — perhaps because he had forgotten that during the week he was nominated as the side’s principal penalty taker and needed to be reminded by a teammate.


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