African players in Europe: Salah ends five-match goal drought


Mohamed Salah ended a five-match goal drought by scoring as third-placed Liverpool crushed Arsenal 4-0 at the weekend in the English Premier League. 

After scoring in 10 consecutive matches, the Egyptian failed to find the net in three matches for his club and two for his country before notching the third goal against the Gunners.

Salah is the leading Premier League scorer this season with 11 goals, four more than fellow Liverpool forward Sadio Mane and Jamie Vardy from Leicester City.

Here, AFP Sport highlights Africans who starred in the major European leagues at the weekend.


He played a central role as the Merseysiders struck twice in four minutes from counter-attacks at Anfield. With his side already 2-0 ahead, Salah turned in Mane’s cross for his 16th goal in as many games for Liverpool this season.

SADIO MANE (Liverpool)

Mane found himself at the centre of a touchline row between Reds boss Jurgen Klopp and Arsenal counterpart Mikel Arteta after he escaped a booking for leading with his arm when crashing into Takehiro Tomiyasu. The Senegalese star then scored the opening goal by heading home a Trent Alexander-Arnold free-kick.


The Senegal forward had a match to remember in a 4-1 win over Manchester United that proved to be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s last game as manager of the struggling English giants. With the match scoreless, Sarr’s weak penalty effort was saved by David de Gea. After Kiko Femenia’s follow-up goal was ruled out for encroachment into the box, Sarr’s retaken penalty was also saved. But just before half-time, the 23-year-old coolly slotted past the goalkeeper from the edge of the box to give Watford a 2-0 half-time lead.


The Ghanaian teenager dedicated his sensational double at Genoa to his mother. The 18-year-old is the first player born in 2003 to score in Serie A, and he did so in style. Afena-Gyan opened the scoring in a 2-0 win with a smart first-time finish but saved his party piece for stoppage time, curling home a beautiful shot.


Nigerian Okereke struck the only goal to earn Venezia a 1-0 win at Bologna. It was the second time in as many games that he was the match-winner, having netted the third goal in a 3-2 victory over Roma before the international break. 


Osimhen suffered multiple face fractures following a thudding clash of heads during Napoli’s 3-2 defeat at Inter Milan. The Nigeria striker is expected to be out for at least a month, which is dreadful news for Napoli, who will then likely lose their star forward for the Africa Cup of Nations in January.


Awoniyi scored his eighth Bundesliga goal this season to set Union up for a 2-0 Berlin derby win over Hertha. Awoniyi picked up a loose ball and buried it into the bottom corner. The Nigerian also extended a curious record — by making way for Sheraldo Becker eight minutes from time he became the only Bundesliga player to be substituted in each of the first 12 games of a season.


The Mali captain scored his first Bundesliga goal in Hoffenheim’s 2-0 win over RB Leipzig. The 25-year-old headed the ball into the empty net for his side’s opener after goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi misjudged a first-half corner. 


The Senegalese winger scored twice as bottom side Metz recovered from two goals down to salvage a 3-3 draw at home to Bordeaux. Nguette came on as a first-half sub and bagged his first goals since last December following a persistent thigh injury.


A first league goal of the season from Diarra paved the way for Monaco’s comeback in a 2-2 home draw with Lille. The Senegalese international drilled home a powerful strike just before half-time but didn’t return after the break due to a knee problem.