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Mane leads African goal rush with hat-trick

 

Senegalese Sadio Mane spearheaded an African goal rush in the English Premier League at the weekend with his hat-trick inspiring Southampton to a 4-2 triumph over Manchester City.

Africans claimed nine of the 27 goals in nine matches, including a brace from Nigerian teenager Kelechi Iheanacho for City.

The Ayew brothers from Ghana were also among the goals. Andre bagged two as Swansea won 3-1 at home to Liverpool while Jordan got one for Aston Villa in a 3-2 loss at Watford.

ENGLAND
ANDRE AYEW (Swansea)

The Ghana forward scored twice in a 3-1 win over Liverpool that guaranteed Swansea will avoid relegation from the Premier League. Ayew netted with a header in the 20th minute and struck again with a cool 67th-minute finish at the Liberty Stadium. The 26-year-old’s first goals since January ended a nine-match goalless drought and took his season tally to 10.

JORDAN AYEW (Aston Villa)
The Ghana forward bagged his eighth goal of the season, but couldn’t stop relegated Aston Villa slumping to a 3-2 defeat against Watford. The 24-year-old put Villa 2-1 ahead in the 48th minute at Vicarage Road with a fine low strike from long range. But Watford’s Troy Deeney scored twice in the final moments to leave Villa without a win in 11 matches.

CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (West Ham)
The Senegal midfielder netted his side’s opening goal as they swept to a 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion. The 26-year-old struck in the 34th minute when he headed home Dimitri Payet’s cross for his fifth goal of the season. He capped an impressive display by setting up Mark Noble for West Ham’s second goal.

RIYAD MAHREZ (Leicester)
The Algeria winger was unable to inspire Leicester to a victory that would have clinched the Premier League title as the leaders were held to a 1-1 draw against Manchester United. Mahrez was below his best at Old Trafford but still could have won a first-half penalty when his quick feet induced a rash tackle from Marcos Rojo that went unpunished.

SADIO MANE (Southampton)
The Senegal winger fired a hat-trick in Southampton’s 4-2 win against Manchester City at St Mary’s. Mane was on target in the 28th minute, sweeping a cool shot past City goalkeeper Joe Hart for his 12th goal of the season. It was the 24-year-old’s third goal in his last three appearances and he scored again in the 57th minute with a close-range header before completing his treble 11 minutes later.

SPAIN
YOUSSEF EL ARABI, ABDOULAYE DOUCOURE (Granada)

Moroccan striker El Arabi registered his 16th goal of the season with a bullet header from Malian midfielder Doucoure’s corner as Granada came from 2-0 down to beat Las Palmas 3-2 and remain a point above the relegation zone with two games of the La Liga season to play.

FRANCE
RACHID GHEZZAL (Lyon)

The Algerian scored direct from a corner in Lyon’s 2-1 win at home to Gazelec Ajaccio. Ghezzal’s cross from the right was bundled in by Gazelec goalkeeper Clement Maury as Lyon took an 11th-minute lead at Parc OL, before securing three points that kept them second in Ligue 1.

NABIL DIRAR (Monaco)

The Morocco winger netted Monaco’s second goal in a 3-2 victory against Guingamp at the Stade Louis II. Dirar struck five minutes before half-time to put Monaco 2-0 ahead with his first goal since September as Leonardo Jardim’s side kept pace with Lyon.

GERMANY

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Borussia Dortmund)

The Gabon striker now has 25 Bundesliga goals, two short of the German league’s top-scorer Robert Lewandowski, after scoring with two headers in Borussia Dortmund’s 5-1 thumping of Wolfsburg. ‘Auba’ came off the bench to head home a Henrikh Mkhitaryan cross on 77 minutes — the pair then celebrated with an eye-catching dance — before producing another header less than a minute later after a cross from wingback Marcel Schmelzer.

ERIC CHOUPO-MOTING (Schalke 04)

The Cameroon forward gave Schalke the lead in their 3-1 thrashing of Hannover 96 away which confirmed their hosts’ relegation from Germany’s top flight. Choupo-Moting netted for the second time in two league games after Leon Goretzka saw him unmarked in the area to fire home on 11 minutes for his fifth league goal of the season.

ITALY

KEITA BALDE (Lazio)

The Senegalese international was booked for diving in Lazio’s 2-0 win over Inter Milan, but the 21-year-old also won a late penalty — converted by Antonio Candreva — after he was upended by Jeison Murillo.

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