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African players in Europe: Mane bags brace, Fati scores again


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Paris (AFP) – Established star Sadio Mane and the emerging 16-year-old Ansu Fati both scored as they shared the limelight among Africans in the top European leagues at the weekend.

Senegal’s Mane boosted hopes of succeeding Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah as African Footballer of the Year with a brace in a Premier League comeback win over Newcastle United. 

Guinea-Bissauan Fati, the teenager taking La Liga by storm, notched his second goal in as many matches to set up Barcelona for victory over Valencia.

ENGLAND

SADIO MANE/MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)

Mane sparked Liverpool into action against Newcastle once he was switched to the left of the formidable front three. The Magpies were leading at that stage, but once the tactical switch was made shortly before the half hour they were run ragged, largely by the Senegalese. Mane scored twice before the break to turn the tide and maintain his extraordinary record of Liverpool never losing a Premier League home game when he is among the goals, winning 33 and drawing two. Egyptian Salah then scored his fourth goal of the campaign.

MOUSSA DJENEPO (Southampton)

The young Mali international has quickly settled into the Premier League after a close-season move from Standard Liege. Having opened his account for the Saints against Brighton prior to the international break, the 21-year-old scored the only goal of the game at Sheffield United with a cracking individual goal.

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Arsenal)

Aubameyang struck twice in quick succession in the first half against Watford to take his season tally to five in as many games. However, the Gabon international’s contribution was not enough for all three points as the Gunners collapsed after the break and had to hang on for a 2-2 draw.

SPAIN

ANSU FATI (Barcelona)

The teenager from Guinea-Bissau continued the remarkable start to his senior career at Barcelona by scoring inside two minutes on his full debut. Fati went on to assist Frenkie de Jong’s seventh-minute goal as the reigning La Liga champions romped to a 5-2 win over Valencia.

ITALY

KALIDOU KOULIBALY (Napoli)

Senegalese defender Koulibaly put his own-goal howler against Juventus behind him by helping Napoli keep a clean sheet for the first time this season with a 2-0 win over Sampdoria. “We wanted to win without taking goals and to convince on the first try in front of our fans: done,” Koulibaly wrote on Twitter after Napoli had conceded seven goals in their two previous games.



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