African players in Europe: Salah’s miss dents Liverpool’s top-four hopes

Mon, Mar 13, 2023
By editor


JUST a week after becoming Liverpool’s record Premier League scorer with 129 goals, Mohamed Salah blazed a penalty wide to damage hopes of a top-four finish and Champions League qualification.

The miss by the Egyptian proved costly as the Reds suffered a shock 1-0 loss at strugglers Bournemouth having slammed seven goals past Manchester United in their last outing.

Former Liverpool star Sadio Mane made his first Bundesliga start for Bayern Munich after a lengthy injury layoff and set up two goals in a 5-3 win over Augsburg.

Here, AFP Sport highlights African headline-makers in the major European leagues:


Jurgen Klopp’s side were trailing to Philip Billing’s early goal when they were awarded a second-half spot-kick after Adam Smith used his arm to block Diogo Jota’s header. But two-time African Footballer of the Year Salah blazed his penalty woefully wide.


The Algeria winger lifted West Ham out of the relegation zone with a penalty equaliser in a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa. The Hammers fell behind to Ollie Watkins’ goal in the first half, but Benrahma levelled in the 26th minute after Lucas Paqueta was fouled by Leon Bailey.

PATSON DAKA (Leicester)

The Zambian scored for the first time since October, but it was not enough to stop his struggling side crashing to a 3-1 home defeat against Chelsea. Daka claimed Leicester’s 39th-minute equaliser with a low strike into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

PATHE CISS (Rayo Vallecano)

The only African to score in La Liga at the weekend was Senegalese Pathe Ciss, the Vallecano midfielder who had the misfortune to concede an own goal in a 3-0 loss at Celta Vigo. Ciss had to wait several minutes before the second goal of the match was confirmed by a VAR review.


Angola striker Nzola was key to Spezia beating Inter Milan 2-1 and striking a big blow in the Serie A survival battle. He set up Daniel Maldini to open the scoring with some brilliant hold-up play before slotting home the winner from the penalty spot, pushing Spezia five points clear of the relegation zone. Nzola has 12 league goals this season.

SADIO MANE (Bayern Munich)

Apart from two assists, the Senegal star had a goal ruled offside. He has had six goals chalked off for offside in the league this season — the most by a player in the top-five European leagues.



The Ivorian midfielder scored twice in the final three minutes as Strasbourg snatched a 2-2 Ligue 1 draw at Marseille. Aholou sent a bouncing effort over the head of Pau Lopez from a corner and then silenced the Velodrome with a thunderous 20-metre drive that cannoned in via the crossbar, lifting Strasbourg out of the drop zone.


The Egypt international popped up with a late equaliser for Nantes in a 2-2 draw at home to Nice. Mohamed powered in a header from Joao Victor’s cross for his sixth goal of the season as Nantes snapped a three-game losing streak.