Africans abroad: Salah gets new mark for Africans in the Premier League

football18 September 2023 08:48| © SuperSport

Mohamed Salah proved a record breaker at the weekend in one of several outstanding performances from stars of the continent on another weekend of top action in Europe’s elite leagues.


The Egyptian superstar, still the subject of speculation over a possible move to Saudi Arabia, broke the record for the most assists by an African player in the Premier League with two for Liverpool against Wolves, overtaking the record held previously by Riyad Mahrez, who has just left Manchester City for the oil-rich Gulf state. The record now sits at 63. Salah has also now become the first Liverpool player in Premier League history to assist a goal in five successive away games, and also the fourth Premier League player to assist in five straight games.


The flying fullback was previously linked with a move to Manchester United, who were looking for options on the side of defence, and he gave them a reminder of his capabilities with a man of the match performance at Old Trafford on Saturday. He set up Brighton’s second and third goals in their 3-1 upset win. First, he passed for Pascal Gross to score eight minutes into the second half and then Joao Pedro again in the 71st minute after a superb run down the left. Lamptey has not played for Ghana since the World Cup but will have reminded coach Chris Hughton of his value.


The 20-year-old came on as substitute to score the Red Devils’ consolation goal on a bleak day at Old Trafford as they went down to the Seagulls. It was a rasping shot and marked his first goal for Manchester United, which he celebrated vociferously despite the fact it was a consolation at the end of the game. Afterwards, he had to defend his actions, taking to social media to write: "Years of work went into that moment to score a goal for this incredible club. Impossible to enjoy it without the team getting the result we wanted."


Williams was fresh back from international duty with the Black Stars and netted the third goal as Athletic Bilbao eased past struggling Cadiz 3-0 on Saturday and moved up to third spot in the LaLiga standings. Williams had barely any recovery time after helping Ghana to qualify for January’s Africa Cup of Nations finals with a 2-1 home win over the Central African Republic. Saturday’s strike in Bilbao was his second LaLiga goal this season after his previous effort against Osasuna in mid-August. He now has a total of 87 Spanish league goals.


The winner for Fiorentina over Atalanta in a thrilling 3-2 victory marked Kouame’s first Serie A goal of the season, after he came on as a second half substitute. He stole in between the visiting defender, anticipating quickest to stretch and steer the ball into the net. It ensured a second win in four games for Fiorentina, who have seven points in the early stages of the Serie A campaign. Kouame has lost his place in the Ivorian squad and with the Cup of Nations finals approaching this puts him back on the radar.


The goal was the second for Atalanta in a losing effort away at Fiorentina on Sunday, leaving his side with two wins and two losses from their opening four games of the new Italian season. He picked up the ball on the edge of the opposition penalty area, moved in from the right at pace as he ran at the defence and then unleashed a powerful shot for superb goal which brought the scores back to 2-2 after 53 minutes. The 25-year-old scored 13 for Atalanta last season but this was his first of the 2023-24 season.


A squad member for Morocco at last year’s World Cup, Cheddira was back on international duty last week but did not get a chance to play in the 1-0 friendly win over Burkina Faso in France. He was an unused substitute but showed no lack of sharpness as he netted his first Serie A goal to help his side came from two down at home to win 4-2 over Sassuolo. Cheddira’s previous experience has only been in Serie B and Serie C but he is now part of an elite club of African internationals have scored in the Italian topflight, even if it was from the penalty spot.