Football Football

African players in Europe: Salah ‘one of the best in the world’

Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (R) takes the ball around Bournemouth’s Bosnian-Herzegovinian goalkeeper Asmir Begovic (L0 in the build-up to scoring his third goal, Liverpool’s fourth during the English Premier League football match between Bournemouth and Liverpool at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, southern England on December 8, 2018. © AFP / Glyn KIRK

PARIS, France, Dec 10Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe called Egyptian Mohamed Salah “one of the best (footballers) in the world” after he scored a hat-trick for Liverpool against his club at the weekend.

Salah was once again the outstanding African performer in the major European leagues with his treble helping Liverpool triumph 4-0 and replace Manchester City at the top of the table.

Salah is joint leading scorer in the Premier League on 10 goals with another African, Gabon sharpshooter Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal.



Fears over Salah’s demise as a goalscorer in the Premier League have been put firmly to bed. The Egyptian, 26, scored his second Premier League hat-trick for the club in the 4-0 rout of Bournemouth, taking his league tally to 10 this season.


Claudio Ranieri likened his team’s performance in the first half of a 4-1 defeat at Manchester United to lambs against wolves.

Cameroon midfielder Anguissa, 23, showed some fight in the second half but received a second yellow card followed by a red just a minute after Fulham had pulled a goal back to make it 3-1.

WILFRIED ZAHA (Crystal Palace)

Zaha’s creative talent and goals were integral to Palace escaping the drop last season but he has not scored since mid-September.

The club — with just one win in 11 Premier League games after Saturday’s loss at West Ham — are only two points above the relegation zone.

They need the 26-year-old Ivory Coast international to fire.

JEFFREY SCHLUPP (Crystal Palace)

Ghana defender Schlupp, 25, scored his second goal of the season for Palace in the 3-2 defeat at West Ham.

The 76th-minute header gave Roy Hodgson’s team hopes of a comeback from 3-1 down but they could not find an equaliser.



Sassuolo went two goals up just after the hour mark when Ghanaian Duncan broke through after pouncing on a poor clearance from Fiorentina’s Burkina Faso-born goalkeeper Lafont.

Duncan then provided a pin-perfect assist for Senegalese striker Babacar to slot in from close range five minutes later.

But the hosts threw away their two-goal advantage with Fiorentina scoring twice in the final minutes to snatch a 3-3 draw.


Algerian international Ounas claimed the second goal for Napoli with a stunning strike from distance five minutes before the break as Carlo Ancelotti’s side consolidated second place eight points behind Juventus with a 4-0 rout of Frosinone.

It was the second goal in three days for the 22-year-old France-born forward in his second season with the Italian club.



The Algeria midfielder opened the scoring with a superb goal as Hoffenheim drew 2-2 against Wolfsburg.

Belfodil met an Andrej Kramaric cross with a sweetly struck volley to rifle the ball into the bottom corner after just four minutes.


The Moroccan international won a penalty for his side in a 2-1 derby defeat to arch rivals Borussia Dortmund.

After Harit was fouled, Daniel Caligiuri converted from 12 yards to equalise before a late Jadon Sancho goal won it for Bundesliga leaders Dortmund.


Fellow Moroccan Mendyl prompted a few raised eyebrows when he came on for injured striker Guido Burgstaller in the 36th minute against Dortmund.

A left-back, Mendyl was forced to moonlight as a forward in the derby and cut a lonely figure.


The Nigerian forward made Mainz ecstatic when he appeared to score a stoppage-time winner against Hanover, but the celebrations were cut short as the goal was ruled offside by VAR and the match finished 1-1.


LEBO MOTHIBA (Strasbourg)

South African Mothiba scored his eighth Ligue 1 goal of the season to give eighth-place Strasbourg the lead for the second time in a 2-2 home draw with lowly Caen.


Both Caen equalisers in Strasbourg came from north Africans with Moroccan Fajr claiming the first and Tunisian Khaoui the second, 10 minutes from time.


France-born Ivory Coast international Pepe salvaged a 1-1 home draw for second-place Lille against Reims with a 95th-minute goal, his 11th of the league campaign.