Lookman, Awaziem, Ejuke shine

Lookman, Awaziem, Ejuke shine


Nigerian players endured a dull weekend across Europe as Cyriel Dessers continued his domestic goals drought and Moses Simon’s Nantes suffered a 4-1 thrashing at Monaco, while David Okereke, Terem Moffi and a host of other strikers were denied.

Only two strikers found the back of the net as Joe Aribo, Paul Onuachu, Ademola Lookman, defenders Chidozie Awaziem and Matthew Sorinola recorded goals, write JOHNNY EDWARD and PETER AKINBO


Aribo, Edozie (Southampton), Iwobi (Everton)

Joe Aribo scored his second goal of the season for Southampton, who suffered a 2-1 loss at home to Everton at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday.

The 25-year-old midfielder broke the deadlock in the 49th minute, rifling home into the far corner from inside the box to put his side ahead.

Anglo-Nigerian Saints forward, Sam Edozie, on loan from Manchester City, replaced Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Iwobi’s side responded almost immediately, when they grabbed the equaliser in the 52nd minute when Conor Coady slammed the ball in from close range.

The Toffees went ahead two minutes later with Dwight McNeil’s thumping near-post finish off an assist from Iwobi. It was his third assist of the campaign and 23rd in the Premier League.

The game saw Aribo win three aerial duels. He enjoyed a passing accuracy of 66.7 per cent and also made one key pass and registered two shots, including one shot on target. Defensively, he made three clearances and a total of five tackles.

Iwobi, on the other hand, had three key passes with a passing accuracy of 75.6 per cent and one interception.

The victory extended Everton’s unbeaten run to six games, with a second successive win lifting Frank Lampard’s side to 11th in the table, while Saints slipped to 15th after a fourth defeat in five games.

After the defeat, Aribo and his teammates face a tough task when they visit Manchester City Oct 8, while Everton will be banking on Iwobi to pile more misery on Tottenham, who lost 3-1 to London rivals Arsenal on Saturday in their next league game.

Frank Onyeka (Brentford)

Onyeka made a cameo appearance for Brentford, who drew goalless at Bournemouth. The midfielder replaced Baptiste with six minutes left to play in what was his sixth appearance of the season.

Ethan Nwaneri (Arsenal)

There was no space for Nwaneri in Arsenal’s side that outclassed Tottenham 3-1 in a north London derby at the Emirates on Saturday. Nwaneri became the Premier League’s youngest ever player at 15 years and 181 days when he came on for the Gunners against Brentford a forthnight ago.

Leon Balogun (QPR)

Balogun made his fourth start of the season for Queens Park Rangers, who extended their unbeaten run in the English Championship to three games, following a 2-1 win over Bristol City 2-1 at Ashton Gate on Saturday.

The Nigerian was caught ball-watching as former QPR forward Nahki Wells got in front of him to half the deficit in the 61st minute. Stefan Johansen and Tyler Roberts had shot the R’s 2 goals up.

The win sees QPR move to fifth on the English Championship log with 18 points, six points behind leaders Sheffield United.

Chuba Akpom (Middlesbrough)

Akpom came on for Duncan Watmore at half time as Middlesbrough lost by a lone goal to Coventry City, their first win of the campaign.

Sorinola (Swansea), Ajayi (West Brom)

Sorinola, a British wing-back of Nigerian decent, scored his first goal of the season to put Swansea ahead at half-time, but Jake Livermore drew hosts West Brom level two minutes after the restart. Grady Diangana completed the turnaround in the 65th minute. Substitute Olivier Ntcham equalised for Swansea, before Michael Obafemi fired home on 89 minutes as Swansea snatched all three points from the Baggies with a 3-2 win.
Super Eagles defender Seni Ajayi was not listed by the Baggies for the tie.

Maduka Okoye (Watford)

Okoye was an unused substitute in Watford’s 4-0 win at Stoke City on Sunday. The goalkeeper will definitely need to do more to impress manager Rob Edwards as he has struggled to break into the first team recently.


Terem Moffi (Lorient)

Nigerian striker Moffi was caged despite being on the pitch for 86 minutes on Sunday.

Moffi featured for the ninth time this season in Ligue 1, but was limited to just two shots, one of which he managed to get on target.

He was later substituted for Ibrahima Kone, minutes before Lorient found the winner through birthday boy, Theo Le Bris.

Moses Simon (Nantes)

It was a performance and day to forget for Simon and his Nantes teammates after a heavy defeat at Monaco on Sunday.

Nantes were thrashed 4-1 by Monaco in the one-sided affair.

France international Wissam Ben Yedder was unplayable after scoring a hat-trick, with Simon expertly caged.

The 27-year-old was on the pitch for over an hour, created just one chance, and made a single key pass before he was subbed off.


Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal)

Chukwueze made a cameo appearance on his return from injury for Villarreal, who were held goalless by 10-man Cadiz on Saturday.

The winger, who pulled out of Nigeria’s international friendlies against Algeria last Tuesday, replaced Nicolas Jackson in the 83rd minute.

The 23-year-old is yet to score in LaLiga this season, but has an assist in seven appearances.

Kelechi Nwakali (Ponferradina)

Midfielder Nwakali was helpless in this tough fixture against Deportivo Alaves, despite playing the full 90 minutes on Sunday. The 24-year-old picked up a yellow card in the 61st minute of the game as Ponferradina fell 3-1.


Aina (Torino), Osimhen (Napoli)

Ola Aina came on as a 74th substitute for Lazaro in Torino’s 3-1 loss at home to Napoli, who were without recuperating talisman, Victor Osimhen.

Andre-Frank Anguissa bagged a brace in the opening 15 minutes, followed by a Kvicha Kvaratskhelia solo strike. Torino fought back with Antonio Sanabria and had several second-half chances, as well as more possession, but could not make hay.

Okereke, Dessers (Cremonese)

Cremonese continued their winless start to the 2022/23 Italian Serie A season after playing a 1-1 draw at the Via del Mare on Sunday.

David Okereke picked up a yellow card and conceded a penalty in the 40th minute as Cremonese sought to stem Lecce’s push for an equaliser.

Cyriel Dessers came on for goals scorer Dabuel Ciofani in the 65th minute as Cremonese chased the result.
However, the striker ended up being only a passenger for the 25 minutes he played.

Dessers had no shots, managing only two touches.

The former Genk striker however played one key pass, and attempted a cross but also lost possession once during the match.

Ademola Lookman (Atalanta)

Atalanta are still top of the table with Napoli, after squeezing past Fiorentina with Ademola Lookman’s goal, laid on a silver platter by Luis Muriel in their fixture on Sunday.

Atalanta found the breakthrough when Muriel gathered a throw-in with his back to goal, turned to squirm between Lorenzo Venuti and Martinez-Quarta at the by-line and pulled it back for Nigerian forward Lookman to tap in from six yards.


Ejuke (Hertha Berlin), Akpoguma (Hoffenheim)

Tricky forward Chidera Ejuke continued his impressive displays at the Olympiastadion, and his contribution proved to be decisive on Sunday.

Hoffenheim needed a win to leapfrog Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich and climb to third, while Hertha Berlin aimed to preserve their four-game unbeaten run.

Andre Kramaric put Die Kraichgauer in front after 25 minutes off an assist from Ozan Kabak.

However, Hertha had other ideas, and they restored parity 12 minutes later. Ejuke teed up Dodi Lukebakio with a beautiful pass, and the Belgian forward took his chance, sending the ball into the bottom left corner of Oliver Baumann’s goal.

The forward recorded 50 touches and a 93.1 pass accuracy, before he was substituted in stoppage time.
Nigerian defender Akpoguma was introduced into Hoffenheim’s defense in the 81st minute to add some solidity.

It ended 1-1 at Olympiastadion. And the result takes Hertha to 14th on the Bundesliga table. Hoffenheim sit fifth, three points adrift of league leaders Union Berlin.


Adewale Sapara (Portimonense)

Sapara made his first appearance of the season for Portimonense, who lost 1-0 to Vizela on Saturday. He was cautioned six minutes after replacing Ewerton in the 71st minute of the encounter – his second yellow card at the club. It was his fifth substitute appearance for the club since he arrived in January.


Onyekuru, David (Adana Demirspor)

Nigerian duo, Henry Onyekuru and Babajide David, failed to add to their goals tally for Adana Demirspor, who drew goalless with Galatasaray on Saturday.

Onyekuru, was replaced in the 69th minute by his countryman Babajide David.

Both forwards have not scored in their last six league games.

Onyekuru has scored twice with two assists this term, while David has a goal and an assist.


Paul Onuachu (Genk)

Genk striker Onuachu ended his six-game goals drought on Saturday, when he scored his first goal of the season in their 2-1 win over Oostende.

He drew his side level in the 25th minute after they had trailed Oostende for 21 minutes through a third-minute strike by Fraser Hornby.

Daniel Munoz sealed the win for Genk with two minutes left to play.

The win extends Genk’s unbeaten streak to nine games this season — eight wins and a draw. They currently occupy second place with 25 points, two points behind leaders Royal Antwerp. Last season, Onuachu scored 21 goals in 35 league fixtures for his side.

Victor Boniface (Union St.Gilloise)

Boniface was not part of the goal scorers for Union St.Gilloise, who thrashed Oud-Heverlee Leuven away on Saturday in his seventh start for the club.

The 21-year-old forward, who was cautioned in the 34th minute before he was replaced by Jose Rodriguez six minutes from time, has scored thrice in nine games across all competitions for the Belgians.


Chidozie Awaziem (Hajduk Split)

Defender Chidozie Awaziem grabbed the headlines on Sunday afternoon with his match-winning performance for Hajduk Split against Rijeka.

Awaziem’s goal decided the game, which gave Hajduk Split all three points away from home to climb up to second in the Croatian first division.

The defender benefited from a mix-up in the Rijeka box to score his second goal of the season. Rijeka’s defence reacted clumsily to a cross from the right and the ball bounced to Mikanovic, who found Awaziem to fire home into the bottom left corner.