Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o and Senegalese Demba Ba stole the show as Chelsea thumped Tottenham 4-0 at the weekend to take a seven-point English Premier League lead.
Eto’o, who turned 33 Monday, celebrated breaking the deadlock by staggering toward the corner flag after manager Jose Mourinho recently suggested he may be older.
Ba, who last week ended a long spell in the international wilderness owing to limited club game time, replaced Eto’o and bagged a late brace.
SAMUEL ETO’O (Chelsea)
Eto’o grabbed the headlines with a goal, an assist and a cheeky goal celebration as Chelsea trounced Tottenham. The Cameroon star broke the deadlock in the 56th minute and celebrated by staggering towards the corner flag like an old man, in reference to Mourinho’s recent suggestion that he may be older than he claims to be. Four minutes later, he won the penalty from which Eden Hazard doubled Chelsea’s lead.
DEMBA BA (Chelsea)
Ba threatened to upstage Eto’o with a late brace after replacing his team-mate in the 76th minute at Stamford Bridge. He pounced after Sandro was unable to clear a cross from Oscar to put Chelsea 3-0 up in the 88th minute and claimed his second goal a minute later after capitalising on a calamitous back header by Kyle Walker.
SONE ALUKO (Hull City)
Aluko squandered an opportunity to put Hull ahead in their FA Cup quarter-final with Sunderland when he saw a first-half penalty saved by Oscar Ustari. The Nigerian’s blushes were spared in the second half, however, as goals from Curtis Davies, David Meyler and Matty Fryatt secured a 3-0 win that set up a last-four date with third-tier Sheffield United.
SEBASTIEN BASSONG (Norwich City)
Bassong cost his team two points in the race for Premier League survival after conceding a penalty in a 1-1 draw at home to Stoke City. Norwich led through Bradley Johnson’s header when the Cameroonian centre-back rashly brought down John Guidetti in the penalty area, enabling Jonathan Walters to level in the 73rd minute.
YOUSSEF EL-ARABI (Granada)
Moroccan forward El-Arabi registered his ninth La Liga goal of the season as Granada eased their relegation fears with a 2-0 win over Villarreal.
SOFIANE FEGHOULI (Valencia)
Feghouli provided his fourth assist in his last seven La Liga games as he teed up Paco Alcacer to open the scoring against Athletic Bilbao. However, the Algerian midfielder undid his good work by upending Ander Herrera to allow Aritz Aduriz to equalise from the penalty spot in a 1-1 draw.
Angolan striker Manucho played 66 minutes as Valladolid stunned Spanish
champions Barcelona 1-0.
GERVINHO (AS Roma)
Gervinho showed more pace and creativity than he did in last week’s scoreless draw at home against Inter, but the Ivorian was guilty of missing more than one great scoring chance to give Roma the lead away to Napoli in a match billed as crucial for the Giallorossi’s title bid. It finished 1-0 in favour of Napoli, who remain third but are now three points behind Roma.
IBRAHIMA MBAYE (Livorno)
Mbaye has shown steady improvement on his debut Serie A season, but the Senegalese defender — on loan at Livorno from Inter but reportedly attracting interest from a number of top foreign clubs — took that up a notch with a first-half brace away to resurgent Sampdoria. The Genoese side eventually awoke from their slumber to score four second-half goals in a 4-2 win that left Livorno third from bottom.
MICHAEL ESSIEN (AC Milan)
Essien was one of Milan’s better players during a 1-0 defeat away to Udinese which put a severe dent in the Rossoneri’s faint hopes of Europa League qualification. The Ghanaian saw a long-range effort go over the bar but was mostly noticeable for a battling display in an otherwise mediocre collective performance.
MAME DIOUF (Hanover 96)
The Senegal striker faces a lengthy lay-off after dislocating his shoulder in a 1-1 Bundesliga draw with Bayer Leverkusen. The 26-year-old came off after just 15 minutes and a MRI scan will show whether he needs an operation with 10 Bundesliga matches left this season.
CHINEDU OBASI & JOEL MATIP (Schalke 04)
Nigerian striker Obasi scored his first goal of the season when he netted Schalke’s third in their 4-0 hammering of Hoffenheim. Playing on the right wing, Obasi converted a pass from Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng.
Cameroon centre-back Matip also weighed in with an assist when he provided the final pass for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to net Schalke’s first goal after only six minutes.
DOMINICK KUMBELA (Eintracht Braunschweig)
The Democratic Republic of Congo-born striker weighed in with an assist as Bundesliga bottom side Braunschweig picked up a point in a 2-2 draw at VfB Stuttgart. Kumbela set up Braunschweig’s 82nd-minute equaliser from a corner when he scrambled the ball to defender Ermin Bicakcic in the six-yard box.
ERIC CHOUPO-MOTING (Mainz 05)
Cameroon’s striker scored his third goal in four games when he netted a second-half penalty to give Mainz 05 a 1-1 draw at home to Hertha Berlin. Colombia striker Adrian Ramos had given Hertha a second-half lead, but Mainz levelled after South Korea’s Park Joo-Ho was fouled in the area.
SIGAMARY DIARRA (Ajaccio)
The Malian netted a dramatic injury time leveller to earn Ajaccio a valuable point in the fight against relegation. The 30-year-old picked up a long ball from Senegalese midfielder Ricardo Faty before slotting home in the 2-2 draw. Algerian midfielder Mehdi Mostefa had given the Corsicans a fifth-minute lead.
SERGE GAKPE (Nantes)
Togo forward Gakpe was on the scoresheet for only the second time this season as he converted a cross from Senegalese defender Issa Cissokho in the 2-2 draw with Ajaccio that extended Nantes’s winless run to almost two months.
ABDUL MAJEED WARIS (Valenciennes)
The Ghana forward set up a goal and then bagged the winner 14 minutes from time as Valenciennes boosted their survival hopes with a 2-1 win over Rennes. Waris crossed for Mathieu Dossevi to equalise and then slotted home the rebound after his penalty had been saved for the winner.
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Confederation of African Football (CAF) News
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