Premier League misery for Toure, Mahrez, Mane
African stars Yaya Toure of Manchester City, Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City and Sadio Mane of Liverpool suffered English Premier League misery at the weekend.
Ivorian Toure came off the bench as City fell 3-1 at home to leaders Chelsea, five days after he was charged with drink driving. Algerian Mahrez was substituted in an embarrassing 2-1 defeat for Leicester at Sunderland while Senegalese Mane scored before being taken off as Liverpool crumbled to a shock 4-3 loss at Bournemouth.
ENGLAND YAYA TOURE (Manchester City)
The Ivory Coast midfielder endured a frustrating end to a bad week as City were beaten 3-1 by title rivals Chelsea. Toure came on as a 76th-minute substitute with City trailing 2-1 and was unable to stop leaders Chelsea securing a victory that moved them four points clear of Pep Guardiola’s team. As if that wasn’t bad enough, police confirmed that Toure had been charged with drink driving after being spotted with his alcohol level above the legal limit while driving in east London last week.
RIYAD MAHREZ (Leicester)
The Algeria winger was hauled off after 73 minutes of Leicester’s dismal 2-1 defeat at lowly Sunderland. Reigning Premier League Players’ Player of the Year Mahrez has just one assist and three league goals to his name this term and Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri had threatened to drop him if he didn’t improve soon. But Mahrez showed no signs of stepping up his game as Leicester’s miserable defence of the English title hit a new low with a loss at the team who had been bottom of the table going into the weekend.
VICTOR ANICHEBE (Sunderland)
The Nigeria striker was a constant danger to Leicester as Sunderland climbed off the bottom of the table with a 2-1 win at the Stadium of Light. Former Everton star Anichebe used to his pace and power to unsettle the Leicester defence and, although he didn’t score, the 28-year-old was a major factor in Sunderland’s third win in their last four league games. In the 77th minute he showed great strength to get away down the left before crossing to Duncan Watmore, whose blocked shot was eventually converted by Jermain Defoe for Sunderland’s second goal.
SADIO MANE (Liverpool)
The Senegal winger gave an excellent individual performance at Bournemouth, but it wasn’t enough to stop Liverpool crashing to an incredible 4-3 defeat. Mane scored Liverpool’s opening goal in the 20th minute with a cool finish from Emre Can’s pass. He then played a role in Liverpool’s second goal by winning possession in midfield before Divock Origi’s strike. Mane wasn’t finished and his superb run and cross gave Can the opportunity to score Liverpool’s third in the 64th minute. At that point, Liverpool looked certain to win, but Mane was replaced by Adam Lallana five minutes later and Jurgen Klopp’s side conceded three goals in the last 14 minutes to suffer a stunning loss.
GERMANY PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Borussia Dortmund)
The Gabon striker netted twice in Dortmund’s 4-1 win at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach, which left him as the Bundesliga’s top scorer with 15 goals this season. After Gladbach took an early lead, ‘Auba’ showed great finishing to volley home a seventh-minute equaliser after a deft flick from Marco Reus. Reus and Dembele then set up Aubameyang for his second on 68 minutes to cap an outstanding display from Dortmund’s star-studded attack.
SALOMON KALOU (Hertha Berlin)
The Ivory Coast striker netted a 91stminute penalty to seal Hertha Berlin’s 3-2 comeback win at 10-man Wolfsburg to keep his side third. Strugglers Wolfsburg, who are just above the relegation places, scored twice in the opening 20 minutes, but goals by Marvin Plattenhardt and Alexander Esswein left Hertha level 20 minutes before the final whistle. Wolfsburg were reduced to 10 men for the final five minutes when Paul Seguin was sent off for his second yellow card and when Daniel Caligiuri fouled Plattenhardt in the area, Kalou converted the penalty for his fourth league goal of the season.
NABY KEITA (RB Leipzig)
The Guinea international was an imposing figure in the middle for Leipzig in a 2-1 home win over Schalke which put them back on top of the table, three points clear of Bayern Munich. The defensive midfielder was a physical presence and had several tussles with Schalke’s attacking midfielder Max Meyer, but missed two clear chances at the start of the second half.
FRANCE RYAD BOUDEBOUZ (Montpellier)
The Algerian international sealed Montpellier’s shock 3-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain with his team-leading seventh goal of the season. The 26-year-old ran from inside his own half before drilling low into the far corner 10 minutes from time as Montpellier registered just a fourth win in 16 matches.
CLINTON NJIE (Marseille)
The Cameroon forward swept home Marseille’s third goal in stoppage time in a 3-0 victory at home to Nancy. Njie, 23, curled in a first-time effort from the edge of the area for his second goal since joining on loan from Tottenham Hotspur.
MAJEED WARIS (Lorient)
Ghana striker Waris scored for the third game running to salvage a point for bottom side Lorient in a 2-2 draw at Angers. He beat defender Vincent Manceau before squeezing the ball past Mathieu Michel from a tight angle in the 66th minute.
ITALY KHOUMA BABACAR (Fiorentina)
Until the 93rd minute, Babacar was one of several players blamed for failing to put the match to bed against Palermo in a wasteful display from a dominant Fiorentina. But the towering Senegalese made amends in style when Fiorentina won a corner with practically the last kick of the game. Babacar did everything in his power to reach the ball when it was floated in, keeping defenders at bay to fire his header low and past the reach of Josip Posavec for a last-gasp winner in a 2-1 victory. — AFP