Aubameyang, Kalou and Salah wreak havoc
African Footballer of the Year Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put a mini-suspension behind him to strike four Bundesliga goals for Borussia Dortmund at the weekend.
The Gabon striker was banned by his coach for one match last week after he flew to Italy with friends ahead of a Champions League fixture. Other African goal poachers in top form included Egyptian Mohamed Salah in Italy and Ivorian Salomon Kalou in Germany, who scored hat-tricks.
ENGLAND SADIO MANE (Liverpool)
The Senegalese international continues to shine for the rampant Reds, breaking the deadlock with a stunning header. He stooped low at an angle to beat Watford ‘keeper Heurelho Gomes with some force. Sane added a second, a simple tap-in, in the second half for his fifth goal in five Premier League home appearances for the club.
VICTOR MOSES (Chelsea)
He has flourished this season under Antonio Conte’s tutelage after a few seasons where it looked his undoubted talent might be frittered away as he was sent out on loan. The 25-year-old Nigerian gave a sparkling performance in the 5-0 dismantling of Everton and was unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet with a half-volley that struck the post.
VICTOR ANICHEBE (Sunderland)
Never the most prolific of scorers, the Nigerian striker brought a rare smile to beleaguered Sunderland boss David Moyes’s face with a goal to bring them level with Bournemouth. Anichebe played under the Scot at Everton in happier times and he was at the centre of the action that led to the winner when he was fouled in the penalty area and Jermain Defoe converted the penalty. “He’s (Moyes) the one who has been getting the blame, even though we are the ones on the pitch,” said Anichebe.
ITALY MOHAMED SALAH (Roma)
Salah stole the show at the Stadio Olimpico with a hat-trick in a 3-0 romp over Bologna. Salah’s only previous hat-trick came for Egypt in a World Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe in 2013, but the former Chelsea midfielder claimed his maiden triple in league football, albeit at the discretion of officials after his 13th-minute opener took a deflection on the goalline before beating Angelo Da Costa. There was no doubt over Salah’s second-half strikes, which took his goals tally to eight this season.
KEITA BALDE (Lazio)
Senegal’s Balde says Lazio don’t know how far they can go this season, but his equaliser-the fastest in Serie A this campaign-helped grab a share of the points in a gutsy 1-1 draw at Napoli, who dominated throughout at their San Paolo stadium. Marek Hamsik had given Napoli a 52ndminute lead with his 103rd strike for the hosts, but Keita levelled less than two minutes later after pouncing on a Marco Parolo blunder in the area to beat Pepe Reina from close range.
GERMANY PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Borussia Dortmund)
The Gabon striker netted four goals as Borussia routed bottom side Hamburg 5-2 away to make amends for his midweek Milan indiscretion.Aubameyang had been suspended by coach Thomas Tuchel for Wednesday’s 1-0 Champions League win at home to Sporting Lisbon after he flew to Milan in a private jet with friends on Monday. But ‘Auba’ needed just 27 minutes to score his first three goals and hit his fourth after the break, and celebrated his first with Tuchel on the sidelines. His quartet of goals leave him joint top scorer, alongside Cologne’s Anthony Modeste, in Germany’s top flight with 11 goals
SALOMON KALOU (Hertha Berlin)
The Ivory Coast striker hit a hat-trick in Hertha’s 3-0 win at home to jaded Borussia Moenchengladbach, who had Germany international Christoph Kramer sent off in the first-half. The 31-year-old welcomed his first goals since losing his father in August, two weeks before his aunt also passed away. “It’s a relief with all the difficult situations I’ve had to deal with,” he admitted having netted twice in the first half and wrapped up his treble six minutes from time. It was his second Bundesliga hat-trick in three seasons with Hertha.
NABIL BENTALEB (Schalke 04)
The Algeria midfielder, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, scored his fourth goal in four Bundesliga games in Schalke’s 3-1 win at home to Werder Bremen. Austria midfielder Alessandro Schoepf opened the scoring for the Royal Blues, but Bentaleb grabbed the second on 38 minutes. When Brazil defender Naldo forced Bremen goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald into a diving save, Bentaleb was on hand to rifle home the rebound from a tight angle.
FRANCE FAMARA DIEDHIOU (Angers)
The 23-year-old Senegal striker recently opened his international account in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Namibia. He scored the winner for his new club Ligue 1 outfit Angers, his second of the season, in a 1-0 victory over Lille. Angers coach Stephane Moulin described the forward’s lightning counter-attack as magnificent in both its imagining and its execution.
FRANCOIS KAMANO (Bordeaux)
The 20-year-old Guinean striker opened the scoring in a 2-1 win for Bordeaux over Lorient. The side-footed tap-in was his first goal for Bordeaux since joining from Bastia in the middle of this year. The powerfully built youngster from Conakry can play right across the front line. He has three international caps and a four-year deal at Bordeaux.