… Osimhen scores again as Napoli open seven-point gap
… Youngster Sor makes Genk debut
Super Eagles duo Victor Osimhem and Paul Onuachu continued their brilliant goals form for their clubs on Sunday. In all, it was a fair outing for Nigerian stars in Europe, who helped their clubs clinch vital wins over the weekend. Here, ANTHONY NLEBEM and ABIODUN ADEWALE x-ray how the top Nigerian footballers, male and female, performed for their clubs
Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
After failing to score in Napoli’s defeat to Inter in the first game of the year, Osimhen got back to scoring ways as the league leaders returned to winning ways in a 2-0 victory away at Sampdoria on Sunday.
The Nigeria international broke the deadlock in the 19th minute to put the visitors ahead after Matteo Politano failed to convert from the spot just six minutes into the encounter.
The strike was the Nigerian’s 10th league goal of the 2022/23 campaign and Luciano Spalletti will be banking on the 24-year-old as they seek to win the league title for the first time in over three decades.
Napoli are top of the table with 44 points, seven points ahead of Juventus, who currently occupy the second position.
Onuachu, Sor (Genk)
It was a Sunday to remember for Nigerian duo Paul Onuachu and Yira Sor as both players were on the winning side as Genk defeated Club Brugge 3-1 in a match-day 19 clash of the Jupiler Pro League on Sunday.
Onuachu marked his 100th Belgian Pro League appearance with a fine strike as he latched onto Joseph Paintsil’s cross to send a first-time effort past Simon Mignolet in the Brugge goal.
It was the forward’s 14th goal in 15 games this season and has notched up 71 goals in 100 games with six assists since he arrived at the club three years ago from Denmark.
Meanwhile, Sor was introduced into the game in the 88th minute as manager Wouter Vrancken gave the youngster his debut appearance since joining Genk from Slavia Prague.
Sor joined in the celebrations at the final whistle as Genk took a giant step towards winning their first league title since 2019.
Brugge’s Raphael Onyedika was not listed for the game after he copped an injury.
Chukwueze played the full 90 minutes for Villarreal as they upset LaLiga champions Real Madrid 2-1, their second LaLiga loss this season, with Chukwueze putting on an outstanding display for Quique Setién’s squad.
The win helped Villarreal progress to fifth place in the LaLiga standings and won their first match against Real Madrid since 2018.
Isaac Success (Udinese)
Forward Success was in action for Udinese Calcio in their 1-0 loss to Juventus at theAllianz Stadium.
The Nigeria international played 70 minutes but was unable to assist the White and Blacks to clinch a victory or a draw.
Udinese will be looking to grab all three points when they host Bologna January 15 in the Serie A.
Chuba Akpom (Middlesbrough)
Akpom continued his impressive goalscoring form for Middlesbrough, who lost 5-1 to Brighton in an FA Cup game played at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.
The 26-year-old forward scored with a towering header – his 14th of the campaign – six minutes after Pascal Gross had put Brighton ahead, slotting home after Solly March’s effort was saved by Zac Steffen.
Hosts Middlesbrough reached the quarter-finals last season but were thoroughly outplayed this time, as Brighton progressed to the fourth round.
Iheanacho, Ndidi (Leicester City)
Kelechi Iheanacho was the match winner for Leicester City who edged past the Football League’s bottom club Gillingham in the FA Cup third round at Priestfield Stadium.
The Foxes were limited in chances and frustrated in the first half by a well-organised Gillingham side.
But the Nigerian managed to fire home Kasey McAteer’s drilled cross four minutes before the hour mark for his second goal of the season.
His compatriot Wilfred Ndidi came on for Nampalys Mendy with nine minutes left to play.
Okoye, Troost-Ekong (Watford)
Okoye made his second Cup appearance for Watford, who lost 2-0 to Reading on Saturday.
Kelvin Abrefa opened the scoring after his looping cross flew over Okoye and went in off the far post just before half-time.
Shane Long settled the tie for Paul Ince’s side late on with a well-placed low strike past Okoye from just inside the box to earn Reading a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Super Eagles assistant captain and Watford defender William Troost-Ekong was also in action in the fourth round FA Cup clash at the Car Leasing Stadium.
Bobby Adekanye (Go Ahead Eagles)
Adekanye seems to be settling well in the Dutch league with Go Ahead Eagles.
Although GAE sit 10th in the Eredivisie, Adekanye has been an integral part of the team, and he continued that on Saturday with a goal and an assist in their 2-0 win over Sittard.
Adekanye assisted the first goal of the game for Bas Kuipers in the 21st minute before getting his goal just before half time to double GAE’s advantage.
The Ibadan-born forward lasted 63 minutes, but his involvement was enough to seal all the points for them.
Before the match-day 15 game, Adekanye had registered two goals and two assists for GAE.
Since his exit from Liverpool, Adekanye has had stints in Italy, Spain and Netherlands in search of regular first team football.
David Kasumu (Huddersfield)
London-born central midfielder Kasumu was involved for 74 minutes as Huddersfield were beaten 3-1 in the fourth round of the English FA Cup by Preston.
It was his first FA Cup appearance for Huddersfield, having joined them on a three-year-deal last summer. The 23-year-old neither scored nor assisted a goal in the game but was booked in the 59th minute before he was substituted 15 minutes later.
Kasumu has made seven appearances for Huddersfield in the Championship this season and is yet to register a goal or an assist.
His current market value according to the transfer market is €400k.
Moses Simon (Nantes)
Winger Simon featured in the first half of Nantes’ Coupe De France 2-0 away win over Virois. The duration was however top brief for Simon to impress as he was taken off at the start of the second half.
Simon has featured prominently for Nantes this season and is their top scorer with five league goals and two assists.
Asisat Oshoala (Barcelona Women)
Asisat Oshoala picked up her New Year up from where she left the previous year as she opened scoring for FC Barcelona Femeni in their 4-0 thrashing of Sevilla Women.
She also turned provider for her teammate, Claudia Pina, to add the second goal in the 33rd minute.
Second half substitute, Salma Paralluelo rounded up the scoring for Barcelona Women
Raheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid Women)
With four goals to her name already this season, Super Falcons forward, Rasheedat Ajibade, resumed the new year in search of more goals for Atletico Madrid Women as they came up against Granadilla Tenerife Women away from home.
The game however ended in a 1-1 draw, with Ajibade getting into the referee’s book as early as the 19th minute.
Marta Cardona opened the scoring for Atletico in the first half of the game before Perez Gonzalez equalised for Tenerife in the second half.
Femi Azeez (Reading)
British player of Nigerian descent Azeez was in action as he helped the Royals to a comfortable win over Watford in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Andy Carroll replaced Azeez in the 70th minute as Reading progressed to the next round of the FA Cup.
Aribo, Edozie (Southampton)
Midfielder Joe Aribo was in action for the Saints in their 2-1 win over Crystal Palace in the fourth round of the FA Cup at Selhurst Park
The Nigeria international was impressive with his passes and was dangerous before he was substituted in the 87th minute by Ibrahima Diallo.
The win earned Southampton a place in the FA Cup fourth round.
Samuel Edozie, a 19-year-old British footballer of Nigerian descent, was also in action and played for 80 minutes before coming off for Kyle Walker-Peters.