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Eto'o on fire

PARIS, March 7- African Footballer of the Year Samuel Eto'o struck twice during the second half as Inter Milan kept the pressure on Italian league leaders AC Milan with a 5-2 weekend thumping of Genoa.

The Cameroon striker who turns 30 Thursday raised his league goal haul to 18 and sent a warning to Senegal, who host the ‘Indomitable Lions’ this month in a crunch Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

Senegalese on target in Europe this weekend included Demba Ba for West Ham and Papiss Cisse for Freiburg while Malian Seydou Keita, Cameroonian Modeste M’Bami and Togolese Emmanuel Adebayor scored in Spain.



The Ivory Coast midfielder was able to concentrate on helping City to a 1-0 win over Wigan despite brother Kolo’s suspension for failing a drugs test. Kolo, a City team-mate of Yaya, tested positive for a "specified substance" last week and watched as Wigan goalkeeper Ali al Habsi made a hash of David Silva’s shot for the only goal.

DEMBA BA (West Ham)

The Senegal striker continued his fine form with the first goal in West Ham’s 3-0 win over Stoke at Upton Park. Ba was rejected by Stoke before joining West Ham from Hoffenheim recently and made them pay with a fine finish in the 21st minute for his fourth goal in four games as the Hammers climbed out of the bottom three.

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The Democratic Republic of Congo midfielder scored his first goal of 2011 in Albion’s 3-1 win over local rivals Birmingham at St Andrew’s. Mulumbu, who last netted against Everton in November, hit West Brom’s opening goal in the 47th minute with a cool finish and the visitors climbed out of the relegation zone after winning for first time under new manager Roy Hodgson.

JOHN MENSAH (Sunderland)

The Ghana defender was in imperious form as his side earned an impressive 0-0 draw at Arsenal. Mensah subdued the threat of striker Nicklas Bendtner to help Steve Bruce’s side end a run of four successive defeats.


The Nigeria striker came back down to earth with a bump as League Cup winners Birmingham were beaten 3-1 by West Brom. Martins had scored the winner against Arsenal at Wembley last weekend, but Birmingham’s first match since that shock triumph went badly and the Blues are now in the relegation zone.


The South Africa midfielder was substituted in the 69th minute of a dramatic 3-3 draw at Wolves. Spurs were leading 3-2 when Pienaar came off but Steven Fletcher’s 87th-minute equaliser denied Harry Redknapp’s team a crucial win and left them stuck in fifth place.


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The Senegalese striker, top scorer in France with 17 goals to his credit this season, played his part in Lille’s crucial 2-1 win at Marseille which returned the northern side to the top of the league. But for once he was profligate in front of goal, spurning good opportunities after 20 and 34 minutes. Was substituted with five minutes to go by Pierre-Alain Frau, who promptly hit the winner.


The Mali striker was not in the Bordeaux starting lineup for the trip to Brest, but helped ease the pressure on coach Jean Tigana by coming on off the bench to seal a 3-1 win for the Girondins in injury time with a splendid opportunist goal.



The Senegal striker netted his 17th goal on his 23rd Bundesliga appearance of the season, but was powerless to prevent his side losing 3-1 to Werder Bremen. The 25-year-old netted a 49th-minute penalty to equalise after Bremen had taken a first-half lead, but goals by Werder striker Claudio Pizarro and winger Marko Marin gave their side the three points.

KARIM HAGGUI (Hanover 96)

The Tunisia defender helped his side inflict a 3-1 defeat on defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, their third straight loss.

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SAMUEL ETO’O (Inter Milan)

The 2010 African Footballer of the Year bagged a brace and was a constant menace in Inter’s 5-2 thrashing of Genoa. The Cameroon captain cut inside twice on to his favoured right foot before testing goalkeeper Eduardo with low skidding shots in the first half. He took centre stage after half-time by scoring off a rebound and then robbed a defender, beat another and imperiously finished at breakneck speed for his 18th league goal of the season.


Recalled to the starting line-up after his late equaliser last week, Ghezzal played a full 90 minutes in a strong Bari performance when going down 1-0 against in-form Udinese. The Algerian midfielder came close to putting the visitors ahead on 41 minutes with a trademark effort from distance that had to be turned behind for a corner.


Had a comparatively quiet match in central midfield during a 1-0 win over Bari. Cleaning up in front of the back four with his usual dedication, the Ghanaian did spurt forward into a scoring position early in the match but was not found by Antonio Di Natale. With the game never safe, even after Di Natale’s 75th-minute penalty, Asamoah played the full 90 minutes.


Picked in the starting line-up after coming on to score against Napoli last Monday, Boateng’s return against Juventus in Turin proved to be an unfortunate one. After an energetic half hour from him as Milan dominated, the Ghanaian nicked the ball away from Felipe Melo as he was about to shoot with the Brazilian’s follow through striking Boateng at full force. Both players needed lengthy treatment but after limping for the rest of the half, the Ghanaian was replaced at half-time by Robinho and Milan went on to win 1-0.

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SEYDOU KEITA (Barcelona)

The Mali midfielder scored the only goal as champions Barcelona defeated Real Zaragoza 1-0 to stay seven points clear of Real Madrid. Keita was on hand for an easy tap-in for his second league goal of the season on 43 minutes after Lionel Messi cut the ball back.


The Cameroon midfielder scored a crucial winner as Almeria defeated Hercules 2-1 to move off the bottom of the Spanish La Liga. M’Bami volleyed in a Henok Goitom cross in the 72nd minute to give Almeria three vital points.


The Togo striker scored his second league goal of the season as Real won 3-1 at Racing Santander. Adebayor, on loan from Manchester City, finished off a brilliant move with a tap-in for Real’s first goal on 23 minutes and should have had a second, but his weak 83rd-minute penalty was saved.

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