Iheanacho ends four-month goals drought

As action continue in Europe, several Nigerian players churned out impressive performances for their respective clubs and grabbing the headlines for their displays. EBENEZER BAJELA monitored the action


IHEANACHO, NDIDI (Leicester City)

Kelechi Iheanacho was in action as Leicester City suffered a 5-2 defeat to in-form Brighton at the American Express Community Stadium on Sunday.

The 25-year-old opened the scoring for the visitors, a few seconds into the game, for his first goal this season, as well as his first since May, when he last scored in the Foxes’ 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

With his latest goal, Iheanacho has been directly involved in 20 goals in his last 25 starts in the Premier League for Leicester (15 goals, five assists).

Wilfred Ndidi played probably the worst game of his career and will hope to get over it quickly.

Leicester’s refusal to sign a defender following the departure of Wesley Fofana to Chelsea forced Brendan Rodgers to play the midfielder out of position and deployed him as a centre-back.

Ndidi gave away a penalty that put the Seagulls 4-2 ahead and was also found wanting for the hosts’ third goal of the game.

ALEX IWOBI (Everton)

The midfielder put up a faultless show for the Toffees against Liverpool as both sides shared the spoils in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Deployed in his new role at the centre of the park, Iwobi continued his impressive form and was in action for the entire duration of the game.

The former Arsenal winger rarely put a foot wrong as Frank Lampard’s men held Liverpool to a goalless stalemate.

Iwobi has not missed any minute for Everton in the English Premier League this season.

FRANK ONYEKA (Brentford)

Onyeka was on show as Brentford claimed a precious 5-2 win over Leeds United at the G-Tech Community Stadium on Saturday.

The defensive midfielder was brought on in the 59th minute for Shandon Baptiste with the score 3-1 in favour of the home side.

The Nigerian helped shore up the midfield and was solid defensively as the Bees stung the Whites to claim all three points.


The Super Eagles duo Emmanuel Dennis and Taiwo Awoniyi started from the bench as Nottingham Forest lost 3-2 at home to Bournemouth in the EPL on Saturday.

Awoniyi replaced Jesse Lingard in the 67th minute, while former Watford forward Dennis saw only five minutes of action, after coming on for Brennan Johnson in the 85th minute.

Both strikers were unable to find the back of the net for the newly promoted side but were dealt a heavy blow as Jaidon Anthony grabbed a late winner for the visitors to snatch all three points.



The Super Eagles captain was an unused substitute as Watford played a 1-1 draw at Rotherham United.

Troost-Ekong lost his place since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations in January, but remained with the Hornets despite speculations linking him away from the club. He will however hope to take his chance in upcoming games.


Balogun made his debut for his new side and was brought on in the 82nd minute for Chris Willock in Queens Park Rangers’ 1-0 defeat to Swansea City.

The defender didn’t see much action but was able to prevent his team from conceding more goals to keep the score respectable.


Born in Lambeth, England but of Nigerian descent, Sorinola put up a great show for Swansea as they defeated fellow Leon Balogun’s QPR.

The right winger was in action for 60 minutes and caused all sorts of problems for the opposition defenders before his substitution.



Chukwueze’s inability to get on the score sheet as Villarreal beat Elche 4-0 on Sunday was the only shortcoming for the winger, who continues to give Unai Emery a selection headache.

Chukwueze came on for Yeremi Pino in the 65th minute as the Yellow Submarines continued their impressive start to the 2022/23 season.

The winger was in action for 25 minutes and made Carlos Clerc work for his money on the flank. The 23-year-old assisted Francis Coquelin for the hosts’ third goal of the game and was heavily involved as Villarreal hit Elche on the counter to score the fourth goal of the night.

SADIQ UMAR (Sociedad)

It was a perfect debut for Sadiq as he helped Real Sociedad pick up a point against Atletico Madrid in the Spanish topflight league on Saturday.

The 25-year-old had only joined the Blue and Whites as a replacement for Alexander Isak, who joined Newcastle United in the English Premier League.

The striker started the game from the bench, before coming on for Alexander Sorloth at the start of the second half and didn’t disappoint his manager as it took him only 10 minutes to draw the home side level and cancel out Alvaro Morata’s five minutes opener.


The defender was in action fo Leganes in the Spanish second tier as they beat Eibar 2-1 in their quest to return to the topflight league.

Omeruo played the entire 90 minutes for the home side and was solid at the back, but he was unable to prevent his side from conceding late into the game as a 92nd-minute strike from substitute Peru Nolaskoain meant Los pepineros were unable to keep a clean sheet.



Osimhen failed to score again – his second consecutive game without a goal – as Napoli beat Lazio 2-1 away from home.

Despite failing to score, the striker played a crucial role as Luciano Spalletti’s side went top of the Italian Serie A table.

Osinhen’s presence on the pitch posed a great threat to Lazio’s defence and he was instrumental in the build-up to the Parthenopeans’ second goal.


Duo David Okereke and Cyriel Dessers both started for Cremonese in the goalless draw at home to Sassuolo on Sunday.

Dessers was in action for 90 minutes, while Okereke was substituted in the 77th minute, but neither of them could help the Tigers get the all-important goal to claim their first win of the season.


JOSH MAJA (Bordeaux)

Maja continued his excellent form as he scored a hat-trick to power Girondins Bordeaux to a brilliant 3-1 win at Paris FC in their week seven clash.

The win helped take Bordeaux to the top of the French Ligue 2, as they eye an immediate return to the French topflight.

Maja, who was in the thick of the deadline day transfer, opened the scoring in the 14th minute and then scored a brace of penalties on either side of halftime to hand Bordeaux a healthy three-goal advantage in the encounter played at the Stade Charléty in Paris.

The one-cap Super Eagles striker now has four goals in seven games, equal in third place on the goals scorers chart with compatriot and Amiens forward Tolu Arokodare.



Bassey has settled in very well at his new club, as his brilliant performance helped Ajax smash visiting Cambuur 4-0 at the Johan Cruyff Arena in a match-day five encounter on Saturday.

Deployed at centre-half, the 23-year-old helped the Eredivisie champions seal their third consecutive clean sheet.

In an excellent display, the former Glasgow Rangers defender won 100 per cent of his ground duels, completed 94 per cent of his passes, and assisted Ajax’s fourth goal of the evening.

BOBBY ADEKANYE (Go Ahead Eagles)

Adekanye’s poor run in front of goal continued as the forward failed to hit target for his Dutch club Go Ahead Eagles, who suffered a 4-3 defeat to Feyenoord at home on Saturday.

The Ibadan-born striker was introduced in the 52nd minute for Jahnoah Markelo. Though he failed to get on the score sheet, the 23-year-old provided an assist for his side’s third goal of the game.



Osayi-Samuel played only 11 minutes but was very effective as Fernabahce claimed a 2-0 win over Kayserispor in the Turkish League.

The Nigerian was brought on in the 79th minute as the Turkish giants shored up their defence to keep a clean sheet, while they hit their opponents on the counter.

During his few minutes on the pitch, the wing-back was impressive and he will hope to see more minutes of action as the season goes on.

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