Two-goal Mane shows his value to Liverpool
Senegal star Sadio Mane demonstrated his value to Liverpool with a three-minute brace as Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0 in the English Premier League at the weekend.
The Reds won just one of seven matches — against fourth-tier Plymouth in the FA Cup — while the 24-year-old was on Africa Cup of Nations duty in Gabon last month.
Algerians had mixed fortunes with Sofiane Feghouli scoring for West Ham in a draw against West Bromwich Albion while Islam Slimani wasted several chances for Leicester as they lost at Swansea.
SADIO MANE (Liverpool)
The suspicion that Liverpool are not quite the same team without Mane was confirmed as he netted a brilliant brace to secure a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur. His double allowed Jurgen Klopp’s side to record a first league win of 2017 at the sixth attempt. The former Southampton winger struck on the break in the 16th and 18th minutes at Anfield and might have scored a further two before half-time had it not been for Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
VICTOR MOSES (Chelsea)
Nigeria winger Moses showcased his attacking talents by supplying his third assist of the campaign in leaders Chelsea’s 1-1 draw at Burnley. Revitalised under Antonio Conte, Moses created Chelsea’s seventh-minute opener by charging down the right flank and slipping a pass into the feet of Pedro, who drilled a low shot past Tom Heaton. Robbie Brady’s fine free-kick drew Burnley level, but Chelsea finished the weekend 10 points clear at the top of the table.
SOFIANE FEGHOULI (West Ham United)
It was a case of ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’ for Feghouli in West Ham’s 2-2 draw at home to West Bromwich. The Algerian winger had a goal ruled out after Michail Antonio was adjudged to have pushed goalkeeper Ben Foster, but he cancelled out Nacer Chadli’s opener by volleying in after Foster touched Manuel Lanzini’s shot onto the bar. Lanzini’s swerving strike put West Ham ahead late on, but Gareth McAuley’s injury-time equaliser meant Feghouli and his team-mates had to settle for a point.
ISLAM SLIMANI (Leicester City)
Fit again after a groin injury, Slimani made a half-time entrance as champions Leicester looked to come back from a 2-0 deficit at Swansea City. He procured the visitors’ two clearest sights of goal, both of which were created by his Algeria team-mate Riyad Mahrez, but could not convert either. From Mahrez’s delicate through-ball, Slimani saw a shot blocked by Swansea goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and when Mahrez curled the ball back into the box from the right wing seconds later, the former Sporting Lisbon striker just could not get his head to it. It was Leicester’s 14th defeat of the campaign and left them a point above the relegation zone.
MOHAMED SALAH (Roma)
It was Salah’s first start for Roma since losing the Africa Cup of Nations final to Cameroon last week, but the sharpness and creativity hadn’t faded. Salah was at the heart of both Roma’s goals as the Giallorossi secured a 2-0 win at struggling Crotone and took Edin Dzeko’s league-leading goals tally to 18. He has since been joined by Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain, who also has 18. After Dzeko missed a first-half penalty, Salah set up Radja Nainggolan for a 40th-minute opener and then worked hard to save the ball from going out of play to cut back for Dzeko to hit Roma’s second after the interval.
GIOVANNI SIO (Rennes)
The Ivory Coast international scored one goal and set up another before Rennes threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Nice. Sio played in Morgan Amalfitano to open the scoring on seven minutes and then swept home his sixth goal of the season after Sanjin Prcic’s volley was deflected invitingly into his path.
YVES BISSOUMA (Lille)
The Mali midfielder struck his first Ligue 1 goal with a stunning long-range effort but couldn’t prevent a 2-1 defeat at home to Angers. Compouding Lille’s troubles, Bissouma’s evening ended prematurely as the 20-year-old was sent off seven minutes from time for a high boot on Baptiste Santamaria.
PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Borussia Dortmund)
Gabon’s star striker managed just two shots on goal over 90 minutes in a below-par performance in Dortmund’s shock 2-1 defeat at bottom side Darmstadt, which left Borussia 15 points behind Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich. Aubameyang, the German league’s top scorer with 17 goals, has scored just once in his four games since Gabon’s early exit from the Africa Cup of Nations.
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