18 October 2016

Africa: Mixed Fortunes for Gambians in Europe

Gambian footballers Modou Barrow and Ousman Manneh experienced mixed fortunes in Europe at the weekend.

National team winger Barrow was a constant threat for Swansea in a 3-2 English Premier League loss at Arsenal before a brutal, red-card tackle forced him to limp off in the closing stages.

Teenage striker Manneh scored his first goal for Werder Bremen four weeks after his Bundesliga debut, and it gave his club a 2-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen.



The Nigeria international set the seal on Chelsea's 3-0 win over champions Leicester when he scored their third goal 10 minutes from time. After exchanging passes with substitute Nathaniel Chalobah, the winger ran clear into the penalty area and planted a low shot past Kasper Schmeichel before celebrating with an extravagant back-flip.


The Ivory Coast forward was up front as the Potters beat Sunderland 2-0 courtesy of two goals from Joe Allen for their first league win of the season. He went close to scoring himself after holding off Senegalese Papy Djilobodji and firing just wide of Jordan Pickford's left-hand post.


A member of the Everton side that pushed leaders Manchester City hard in a 1-1 draw, the Democratic Republic of Congo winger tested the hosts' defence with some surging runs.


The Gambia winger was a constant threat to Arsenal during a 3-2 defeat by the Gunners, but he was unable to see the game out after being on the receiving end of a brutal tackle from Granit Xhaka which saw the Arsenal man sent off with 20 minutes to go at the Emirates Stadium. Barrow limped off with his ankle heavily strapped minutes later.



DR Congo striker Bakambu started for the first time this season and took just over half an hour to slot home his first goal of the campaign as Villarreal's unbeaten start to the season continued with a 5-0 thrashing of Celta Vigo. Bakambu scored 22 goals in his debut season in Spain, but had been limited to just two substitute appearances due to a long-running thigh muscle injury.


A simple error from former Cameroon goalkeeper Kameni cost Malaga in a 1-1 draw at Alaves. Kameni flew off his line for a looping ball inside his box, but was beaten to it by Deyverson, who headed into an empty net to give the hosts a ninth-minute lead.



Edin Dzeko hit a brace for Roma in a 3-1 win over Napoli, but Salah was the unsung hero for the Giallorossi as they moved up to second, five points behind leaders Juventus. The former Chelsea winger's pace, in attack and defence, was a crucial element for Luciano Spalletti's men at the San Paolo. "The lad's pace is incredible," purred Spalletti. Salah was rewarded for a fine day's work with a goal, taking his league tally this season to four.


Koulibaly's performances for Napoli have drawn interest from some top clubs in England, but the Senegal defender had a bittersweet performance for Napoli as their title hopes were dented by a 3-1 home defeat to Roma. After thwarting a possible Roma opener on the quarter hour when he slid in to dispossess Dzeko, Koulibaly panicked under pressure from Salah, gave up possession and saw Dzeko sweep the Egyptian's delivery past Pepe Reina for a 43rd-minute opener. Koulibaly made amends shortly after the restart with a towering header from a corner that went in off the far post, but by that time Dzeko had added a second.


CASIMIR NINGA (Montpellier)

Montpellier collected their first win since the opening weekend of the season in large part to Ninga's brace in a 3-2 home victory over Caen. The Chad striker, who netted a hat-trick last time out, opened the scoring in the second minute and lashed home the winner 12 minutes from time.

STEVE MOUNIE (Montpellier)

The Benin international suffered a rollercoaster of emotions as he scored but was later sent off in Montpellier's win over Caen. The 22-year-old headed in Ninga's cross to give Montpellier a 2-1 lead on 65 minutes, but picked up a second yellow card just six minutes later for a foul on Tunisian Alaeddine Yahia.


Moroccan forward Bammou ended an 11-month Ligue 1 goal drought with the opener in Nantes' 2-1 derby victory over Lorient. Only Angel di Maria had attempted more shots without scoring in the French top flight this term.



The Gabon striker missed a penalty and hit the bar before scoring Borussia Dortmund's equaliser in their 1-1 home draw against Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga as both sides ended with 10 men. Aubameyang made up for his saved penalty when he converted at the back post with 10 minutes to go.


The Algeria defensive midfielder, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, made club history when his screaming 17-metre shot bounced over the goalline and out again to give Schalke the lead in their 1-1 draw at Augsburg. Hawkeye goal-line technology confirmed the ball had bounced behind the line and it was the first time Schalke have been awarded a goal by Hawkeye in Germany's top flight.

IBRAHIMA TRAORE (Borussia Moenchengladbach)

The Guinea winger came off the bench in Gladbach's goalless draw against 10-man Hamburg in a curious match at Borussia Park when the hosts missed two penalties. Traore was introduced for the second half and won a penalty when fouled by Douglas Santos. But the penalty attempt on 61 minutes clattered off the crossbar.

OUSMAN MANNEH (Werder Bremen)

It was a dream come true for the teenage Gambia refugee after scoring his first Bundesliga goal, the winner in a 2-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen. The 19-year-old Gambian's winner capped his fairy-tale rise, via Bremen's reserves, having only arrived in Germany in the spring of 2014 as an asylum seeker. "I can't believe this. One of my biggest dreams has come true. Is this real or am I dreaming?," the teenager asked reporters after his maiden goal four weeks after making his Bundesliga debut.


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