Ighalo, Pepe & More: How African Players Fared Abroad

Oluwole Ola

It’s great to see how African players fared abroad. Odion Ighalo and Nicolas Pepe made decisive interventions in the FA Cup quarterfinals this weekend, playing crucial roles as Manchester United and Arsenal advanced past Norwich City and Sheffield United respectively.

 

Odion Ighalo

His opener against the Canaries marked the historic fourth goal but it was unable to see United through in regulation time as Todd Cantwell pegged the English giant’s pack towards extra-time, in which Harry Maguire found a late winner.

Overall Ighalo has scored five goals and registered one assist in 11 games across all competitions with seven appearances coming from the bench.

 

Nicolas Pepe

The record signing provided a goal and an assist in Arsenal’s nervy 2-1 victory against Sheffield United to book them a place in the last four.

With regular penalty-taker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the bench, wideman Pepe didn’t break a sweat as he dispatched the spotkick beyond Dean Henderson, maintaining his goalscoring form after opening the scoring in the recent defeat by Brighton.

Pepe has converted both of the penalties he’s taken this season, and intriguingly, both the wideman and Arsenal have now scored 12 of their last 13 penalties in all competitions.

 

Samuel Chukwueze

Samuel Chukuweze put up a fine performance as Villarreal recorded a 2-0 home win against Valencia in their LaLIga clash at the Estadio de la Ceramica on Sunday.

Chukwueze had a hand in Villarreal’s opening goal in the 14th minute, passing the ball to Gerrard Moreno, who set up Paco Alcacer for the game’s opening goal.

The 21-year-old was replaced in the 89th minute by Javier Ontiveros. He has scored three goals and provided four assists for the Yellow Submarine this season.

 
William Troost Ekong

In Italy, William Troost-Ekong played for 66th minutes in Udinese’s 3-2 home loss to Atalanta.
Troost-Ekong was replaced by Rodrigo Becao. The centre-back has made 24 league appearances for Udinese this season.

 

Victor Moses

Victor Moses bagged an assist as Inter Milan came from a goal down to record a 2-1 away win against Parma at the Stadio Ennio Tardini on Sunday night.

Moses, who started the game on the bench took the place of Antonio Candreva in the 69th minute. Parma took the lead in the 15th minute through Gervinho. Stefan de Vrij equalised for Inter Milan in the 84th minute.

The hosts were reduced to 10-men when Juraj Kulca was sent off a minute later.
Moses then set up Alessandro Bastoni for the winner three minutes from time.

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