African players in Europe: Salah helps Liverpool back to top

By AFP

The victory lifted Liverpool to 79 points, two more than defending champions Manchester City, who have a game in hand.

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FOOTBALL

There were no African scorers in the English Premier League at the weekend, but Egyptian Mohamed Salah played a key role in the goal that took Liverpool back to the top.

His last-minute header was fumbled by Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and the ball struck defender Toby Alderweireld before rebounding into the net to give the Reds a 2-1 win.

The victory lifted Liverpool to 79 points, two more than defending champions Manchester City, who have a game in hand.

ENGLAND

MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)

He came to Liverpool's rescue with a crucial contribution to the last-gasp goal that sealed a 2-1 win over Tottenham. With just seconds left at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp's side were being held to a draw that would have left them behind Premier League leaders Manchester City on goal difference. But Salah met Trent Alexander-Arnold's deep cross with a far-post header that was fumbled by Tottenham goalkeeper Lloris. The loose ball bounced onto Alderweireld and rebounded into the net for an own goal that sent Liverpool top as they chase a first English title since 1990.

WILFRIED ZAHA (Crystal Palace)

Zaha failed to play for Ivory Coast while he was on international duty and the 26-year-old was a doubt for the game with Huddersfield due to concerns over a hamstring problem. How Huddersfield must have wished he had not taken the field, as he tormented their defence. His marauding runs mesmerised the Terriers' back four and eventually something had to give, with Juninho Bacuna bringing him to ground and conceding a second-half penalty. Luka Milivojevic tucked it away and the Eagles were on their way to an invaluable 2-0 win that boosted their survival bid and condemned Huddersfield to relegation.

YVES BISSOUMA (Brighton)

The Seagulls are in danger of having their Premier League wings clipped and will need players such as Bissouma to up their game if they are to dodge relegation. The 22-year-old Ivory Coast-born Mali midfielder was at fault for the only goal in Brighton's derby defeat against fellow strugglers Southampton. He lost possession eight minutes into the second half and Saints made the most of it with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg finishing the move.  

SPAIN

KARL TOKO EKAMBI (Villarreal)

In-form Cameroon striker Toko Ekambi put Villarreal ahead just 11 minutes into a clash at fellow strugglers Celta Vigo, who overcame an early two-goal deficit to triumph 3-2. It was the third goal for Ekambi in two La Liga matches after his brace helped defeat Rayo Vallecano.

THOMAS PARTEY (Atletico Madrid)

Ghana midfielder Partey netted six minutes from time to complete a 4-0 triumph for second-placed Atletico Madrid at Alaves, who are three spots lower in the table. His goal came from a 20-metre strike into the top corner.

ITALY

GERVINHO (Parma)

Gervinho put Parma ahead after eight minutes at home against Atalanta, with Matteo Scozzarella pouncing on a Mario Pasalic error and allowing the Ivorian to break through to slot in his 10th league goal this season. But Parma, seven points above the drop zone, lost 3-1 to suffer a 14th defeat in 29 games.

JEREMIE BOGA/KHOUMA BABACAR (Sassuolo)

France-born Ivorian international Boga came on as a substitute and scored his second goal in as many games for Sassuolo, but they fell to a 2-1 defeat at Bologna. Senegalese teammate Babacar's handball gifted Bologna the opening goal from a penalty in the 68th minute. Boga equalised from a tight angle in the second minute of injury-time, only for Bologna to grab the winner four minutes later.

GERMANY

AMADOU HAIDARA (RB Leipzig)

The Malian midfielder scored his first Bundesliga goal as Leipzig rampaged to a 5-0 win over Hertha Berlin. Having joined Leipzig from Red Bull Salzburg in January, Haidara has been injured for much of the last few months and made only his second appearance for his new club against Hertha. He crowned it with a goal, popping up to smash home Leipzig's fifth.

ISHAK BELFODIL (Hoffenheim)

The Algerian international was the star of the show as Hoffenheim cruised to a 4-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen. The 27-year old found the bottom corner with an elegant finish to give Hoffenheim an early lead. He then had a goal ruled out for offside before smashing in his side's third in the second half.

FRANCE

BRICE SAMBA (Caen)

Monaco suffered a shock home defeat by Caen, who climbed off the bottom of Ligue 1 thanks to a 1-0 win in which goalkeeper Samba, from Congo Brazzaville, emerged as the hero with a string of excellent saves to help the Normandy side embark on a late bid to avoid relegation.