•Striker surpasses Obafemi Martins’ Serie A feat with 12th goal of the season
• Lookman, Aribo also on target, Okoye helpless in Sparta loss
Napoli striker Victor Osimhen snatched a goal and an assist against Fiorentina in the Italian Serie A on Sunday, to lead Nigeria’s performers in the top leagues of Europe at the weekend. However, winger Moses Simon saw his Europa dream go up in smoke in France, write JOHNNY EDWARD and KELVIN EKERETE
Lookman, Iheanacho (Leicester City)
Ademola Lookman was on target on his return to the starting line-up in Leicester City’s 2-0 win over Crystal Place in an English Premier League outing on Sunday.
The Nigeria international opened the scoring for Leicester in the 39th minute after being teed-up by Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall. Lookman had missed the club’s last three games against Arsenal, Brentford and Manchester United but showed no signs of lack of fitness as he was a thorn in the flesh of the Palace defence.
The 24-year-old has so far scored five league goals in 20 appearances for the club this season. He is on loan from Bundesliga outfit, RB Leipzig.
His compatriot, Kelechi Iheanacho, was in action for 14 minutes, coming on for Patson Daka in the 76th minute of the win.
Alex Iwobi (Everton)
Iwobi played for 90 minutes in the No.10 as Everton secured a priceless 1-0 victory over Manchester United at Goodison Park in their battle to avoid relegation on Saturday.
The midfielder, who was making his 20th Premier League appearance of the season, had one clearance, two interceptions and seven recoveries in the encounter against The Red Devils. His performance also earned him plaudits from Toffees manager Frank Lampard.
Anthony Gordon’s deflected first-half strike sealed consecutive home the home win for the Toffees since last September. Everton have now won five and lost eight in all competitions under Lampard, with all five wins at home.
Dennis, Troost-Ekong, Etebo, Kalu (Watford)
Striker Emmanuel Dennis came on as a 39th-minute substitute for Cucho Hernandez in Watford’s 4-0 loss to Leeds United on Saturday.
Dennis earned a rating of 3.46 in the tie, according to The BBC. The Nigerian was wasteful in possession, giving the ball away a total of 20 times and lost out in 14 of 22 duels.
The former Cologne star managed only one successful pass on goal to Ismaila Sarr, which the Senegalese failed to take advantage of.
Dennis, who is on a seven-game goal drought, has played 29 games and scored nine times, providing five assists for the Hornets, who remain in 19th place in the EPL with 22 points from 31 games.
His compatriots William Troost-Ekong, Samuel Kalu and Oghenekaro Etebo were not listed for the encounter. While Troost-Ekong is yet to make an appearance in 2022, Etebo’s only playing time this year was a 17-minute cameo against Wolves, which ended in a 4-0 defeat.
It was that same encounter that Kalu last made an appearance for Watford, with the former Bordeaux man coming on as a half-time substitute for Norwegian Joshua King.
Ajayi (West Brom), Maja (Stoke City)
Defender Semi Ajayi played the entire duration of West Brom’s 3-1 home loss to Stoke City, who introduced forward Josh Maja just after the hour mark on Saturday.
The defeat has put a further dent on Ajayi’s Championship play-off dreams. The game was the 27th of the season for the big centre-back.
Maja, on loan from Ligue 1 club Bordeaux, came on for Steven Fletcher in the 63rd minute and provided an assist for the Potters’ third goal in additional time of the clash at the Hawthorns. The game was his 12th since he arrived and it was Stoke’s third win in their last four games.
The assist is his second for Stoke since he arrived in January. He has played 12 games and scored once.
Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
It’s been an amazing period for Osimhen despite being on the losing side as Napoli fell 3-2 at home to Fiorentina in the Italian Serie A.
The striker scored his 12th goal of the season in the tie to surpass Obafemi Martins 11-goal feat in Serie A with and also became the first Nigerian to achieve double figures in two consecutive Serie A seasons.
Osimhen is also Serie A’s Player of The Month of March, he is the first Nigerian to win the award.
His strike on Sunday was however not enough to earn Napoli the maximum points, with the result coming as a huge blow to their title ambitions.
The 23-year-old had provided his side with the equalizer after he set up Dries Martens in the 58th minute to cancel out Nicolas Gonzalez’s 29th minute opener. Fiorentina then romped to a 3-1 lead in the 66th and 72nd through Jonathan Ikone and Arthur Cabral respectively, before Osimhen grabbed his side’s second goal of the evening in the 84th minute, but it served as a mere consolation as the visitors claimed all three points at stake.
The goal takes Osimhen’s tally to 16 in 26 games in all competitions.
Success, Udogie (Udinese); Okereke, Ebuehi (Venezia)
Forward Isaac Success was in action for 22 minutes in Udinese’s 2-1 win at Venezia in the Italian Serie A on Sunday. The Nigeria international came on for Gerard Deulofeu in the 68th minute to make his 17th appearance of the season. Success has scored once with five assists for Udinese.
Super Eagles target Iyenoma Udogie was in the starting line-up for Udinese but was replaced by Marvin Zeegelaar in the 72nd minute. Udogie, a defender, has scored two goals in 27 appearances this season.
Forward David Okereke and defender Tyronne Ebuehi were second half substitutes for relegation threatened Venezia in their 2-1 loss. Ebuehi came on for Sofian Kiyine in the 57th minute while Okereke replaced Dennis Toerset Johnsen in the 58th minute but failed to add to his six goals tally this season.
Moses Simon (Nantes)
Simon was in action for 66 minutes in Nantes 1-1 draw at Brest in the French Ligue 1 on Sunday.
Nantes were looking to get closer to Strasbourg in fifth who currently occupy the automatic qualification spot for the UEFA Europa Conference League.
However, Brendan Chardonnet’s 67th-minute goal ended Nantes’ hopes of picking the three points at the Francis Le Ble Stadium after Randal Kolo Muani gave Nantes the lead in the 10th minute.
The Nigeria international, who made way for Willem Geubbels, is yet to score or assist a goal for Nantes since his assist in their 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain on February 19. Simon has scored three goals and provided seven assists in 24 league games for this season.
Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam)
Goalkeeper Okoye failed to keep his sixth clean sheet of the season on Saturday after letting in two goals in Sparta Rotterdam’s 2-1 loss to league leaders Ajax Amsterdam at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
It’s the first time in over a month the 22-year-old Nigerian keeper was conceding more than a goal in a game in the Eredivisie since February 27 in their 2-1 defeat to PSV.
Okoye conceded two second-half goals within 13 minutes no thanks to strikes from Davy Klaassen and Dusan Tadic in the 49th and 62nd minutes respectively, after Joeri de Kamps had shot Sparta in the lead in the 33rd minute.
He made four saves and has now conceded 32 goals in the Eredivisie.
Jamilu Collins (Paderborn)
Collins was in action for the entire 90 minutes in SC Paderborn’s 2-2 draw against Karlrusher in the German Bundesliga II on Sunday. Paderborn are out of the Bundesliga promotion race for the season as they currently sit ninth after 29 games.
The defender has scored once with three assists in 20 league games for the German side this season.
Taiwo Awoniyi (Union Berlin)
Awoniyi could not add to his 12 league goals for Union Berlin but helped Die Eisernen secure consecutive league wins after they thumped city rivals Hertha Berlin 4-1 in a Bundesliga clash at the Olympia stadion on Saturday.
Awoniyi had one shot on target and completed 16 successful passes, including one key pass in what was his 26th league appearance of the season.
The victory keeps the Iron Ones in contention for a place in next season’s European competitions for the second consecutive year.
Fischer’s men currently sit in seventh place in the Bundesliga and are just four points behind fourth-placed RB Leipzig, who have a game in hand.
Aremu Afeez (St Pauli)
Aremu played for 65 minutes before he was substituted for Finn Becker in St Pauli’s 1-1 draw at home to Werder Bremen on Saturday, in his 18th game of the Bundesliga 2 season. He is yet to score a goal.
Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal)
Chukuwueze provided an assist on his 30th appearance of the season for Villarreal, who held Athletic Bilbao 1-1 in a La Liga game on Saturday.
The assist was his 13th in LaLiga and 20th overall for Villarreal since he joined the club’s first team.
The 22-year-old, who missed the Submarines’ 2-0 loss at Levante penultimate Saturday due to a muscle injury, flicked a pass onto the path of Alfonso Pedraza, who fired in for the equaliser.
He has scored twice and assisted six times this season.
Ahmed Musa (Fatih Karagumruk)
Super Eagles captain Musa came on as a 63rd-minute substitute in Fatih Karagumruk’s 3-2 win over Kasimpasa in a thrilling encounter at the Ataturk Stadium on Saturday.
Volkan Demirel’s men took the lead in the 31st minute through Adnan Ugur and eight minutes later Aleksandar Pesic doubled the advantage.
Tarkan Serbest halved the deficit in the 67th-minute but four minutes later Kristijan Bistrovic restored Fatih’s two-goal cushion in the 71st-minute. Jackson Muleka’s goal in the 82nd-minute ensured the game ended in a nervy finish.
Musa has scored two goals and provided two assists in 25 league games.
Obinna Nwobodo (Goztepe)
He played for 90 minutes for Goztepe in their 2-1 loss to Kayserispor in the Turkish topflight on Saturday. The midfielder, who has one assist this term, has made 29 league appearances for 19th place Goztepe.
Aribo, Balogun, Bassey (Rangers)
Joe Aribo ended his five league games goals drought as Glasgow Rangers intensified their title chase with a 4-0 thrashing of St Mirren on Sunday in the Scottish Premiership.
Aribo, who was on for the entire duration, scored Rangers fourth goal in the 79th minute from a Scott Wright assist, but it was the Man-of-The-Match Kemar Roofe who stole the show with a hat-trick.
However, Aribo’s compatriot, Leon Balogun, was an unused substitute while Calvin Bassey was not listed for the game.
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