Goals win games, but as important is the assist and there were plenty of top African stars laying on goals for others in Europe’s elite leagues this past weekend.
We round up the best of the performers, including those who helped their sides to keep vital clean sheets.
OLA AINA (NOTTINGHAM FOREST & NIGERIA)
Aina is back in the Premier League this season having previously played for Chelsea and Fulham, in between two spells in Italy with Torino. The 27-year-old scored his first goal for Nottingham Forest as they ended their six-game winless run with a surprise 2-0 success against in-form Aston Villa. It was a fibe strike too as he drilled it low into the net from long-range. It is a third Premier League strike for the right-back. He also helped his side keep a clean sheet for the third time this season.
MOHAMMED KUDUS (WEST HAM & GHANA)
Ghana forward Kudus appears to be loving life in England following his move to west Ham United from Ajax Amsterdam at the start of the campaign. Having netted against Arsenal in the League Cup in midweek, he grabbed another goals for The Hammers in their 3-2 loss at Brentford in the league. It is a fifth of the season in all competitions. And it was a beauty too. With his back to goal he executed a perfect scissors kick to score. He almost got another shortly afterwards when he struck the post.
FRANK ONYEKA (BRENTFORD & NIGERIA)
Now into his third season, midfielder Onyeka has never scored a Premier League goal for Brentford but did gain an assist of sorts in their victory over West Ham,. It was his miscued short that fell kindly for Neal Maupey to score The Bees’ opener. Onyeka did net last month for Nigeria against Mozambique, but his last club goal came in Denmark for Midtjylland against Nordsjælland in May 2021.
ISSA KABORE (LUTON TOWN & BURKINA FASO)
Luton Town were just seconds away from what would have been a famous win before they let in a late equaliser for Liverpool in their 1-1 draw at Kenilworth Road on Sunday. It was still a performance to be proud of, not least Burkina Faso international right-back Kabore. He burst forward in the 80th minute as Luton went on the counter-attack and it was his superb low cross that was turned into the net by Tahith Chong. Luton couldn’t hold on, but it was another promising showing.
ANDRE ONANA (MANCHESTER UNITED & CAMEROON)
The pressure has been building at Old Trafford in recent weeks as Manchester United struggle, but they picked up a precious 1-0 away success at Fulham on Saturday. That victory was handed to them by a later Bruno Fernandes goal, but they had Onana to thank as well following several superb saves. He twice denied Harry Wilson and then reacted well to keep out Joao Palhinha’s effort as United stole it at the death.
INAKI WILLIAMS (ATHLETIC BILBAO & GHANA)
Williams scored Athletic Bilbao’s third goal in their 3-2 victory at Villarreal, but they had to hold off a late comeback from the home side in which they scored two goals in a minute. Williams got his goal with a superb curling low shot from the edge of the area that nestled into the bottom corner of the net. It is a fifth LaLiga goal already this campaign, half the number he scored last term, setting him on course for another fine season.
YOUSSEF EN-NESYRI (SEVILLA & MOROCCO)
En-Nesyri rescued a point late on for Sevilla as they claimed a 1-1 draw at Celta Vigo, coming off the bench to find the back of the net on 85 minutes. It was a second goal in as many games for the tall striker after he netted in the 3-0 victory over Quintanar in the Copa del Rey in midweek. En-Nesyri reacted quickest when the ball fell to him in the box and he found the bottom corner for his fourth LaLiga goal this season.
ABDUL MUMIN (RAYO VALLECANO & GHANA)
Ghana star Mumin faced the dauting task of an away trip to Real Madrid on Sunday, but helped his side keep a clean-sheet in their goalless draw. They will definitely see it as an excellent point on the road and it was in no small part due to the excellence of Mumin. The visitors did not have a single shot on target in the game as they put up a rear-guard action, led by the centre-back.
LAMECK BANDA (LECCE & ZAMBIA)
Banda helped Lecce take the lead in the final 20 minutes at Roma, but they could not hold on as the home side rallied to win 2-1 with two strikes in injury-time at the end of the game. By that time the lively Banda had been replaced, but it was his assist for the Swede Pontus Almqvist that put his side in front. Banda twisted in the box and just about got his pass away for Almqvist to score, a third assist of the campaign for the Zambian.
ADEMOLA LOOKMAN (ATALANTA & NIGERIA)
Lookman also provided an assist for Atalanta as they trailed by two goals at home to Serie A table-toppers Inter Milan, but it was not enough to spark a successful comeback. It was a superb piece of play as he won the ball in the box and then kept his cool to play on a perfect pass for Gianluca Scamacca to score his fifth goals in as many starts this season. It was a second assist this season for Lookman.
JORDAN ZEMURA (UDINESE & ZIMBABWE)
Udinese have found the going tough this season but picked up a first win of the campaign after 11 matches with a 1-0 success at AC Milan. Zemura was playing in a left wing-back role and did his part in the win as Udinese had to scramble back on occasion. It is easily a best result of the season for the side having drawn seven of their 11 games to date.
Source: Mzanzi Football