It was a very poor weekend at their offices for a number of Super Eagles players, who failed to lift their European clubs. Here’s the scorecard of their various performances, with former youth international, Taiwo Awoniyi emerging as the only shining light in an otherwise gloomy weekend.
After his brilliant debut game against Malaga, CD Feirense’s on-loan midfielder, Oghenekaro Etebo lasted the duration of the game but failed to repeat his performance at San Mames, where his club, Las Palmas, held their hosts, Athletic Club to a goalless affair.
In Germany, defender, Leon Balogun’s return to the Mainz 05 team after weeks of absence, ended in an embarrassing defeat at the Rhein-Neckar stadium.
The 28-year-old and his side were at the receiving end of a 5-2 thrashing against TSG Hoffenhiem, with Balogun picking up a yellow card in a very average performance. Another Super Eagles player who performed below expectations was African champion, Brown Ideye.
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Ideye played his second game for Malaga, and like his debut, ended on the losing side, as Atletico Madrid beat them 1-0. He lasted the 90, but was hardly inspiring with his play, in a below average showing, while his compatriot at the club, Success Isaac was not even listed for the game.
Meanwhile, in the Belgian league, Simon Moses and Esiti Anderson were expectedly missing in Gent’s comfortable 3-0 win at home against St. Truiden. But their little known fellow Nigerian at the club, Samuel Kalu, was a second half substitute, coming on with his side already 3 goals to the good.
Uche Agbo’s Standard Leige were pushed to their limits before overcoming Royal Excel Mouscron in a seven-goal thriller. Liege were without their Nigerian import, who watched on from the bench while his compatriot and opponent on the day, Taiwo Awoniyi, stole the day with his brace.
Awoniyi breached the Liege defence twice, but ended up on the losing side as Liege edged them 4-3.
In Turkey, it was a game to forget for fullback, Shehu Abdullahi, who will have to wait a while longer for his first win at new club, Bursaspor, after another defeat. Abdullahi lasted just an hour, picking up a yellow card, while team mate, William Troost-Ekong, lasted the 90 in their 1-0 loss at TM Akhisaspor.
The other Super Eagles player at the club, Mikel Agu, was an unused substitute, as he watched on from the bench.
Tyronne Ebuehi was his usual self as ADO Den Haag played out a goalless draw with FC Groningen in the Dutch’s Eredivisie, while another young defender, Chidozie Awaziem missed Nantes’ 2-2 draw at home to Lille, who have ex-Eagles goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, in their payroll in the French Ligue 1.
In Italy, Joel Obi’s push for a place in Gernot Rohr’s world cup squad received another boost, after a brilliant performance against Udinese. The injury prone midfielder was one of his side best players, as they dispatched Udinese 2-0 before he was replaced on the hour mark by Emiliano Moretti.
Finally, we end this week:s review in England, where Super Eagles trio of Alex Iwobi, Wilfred Ndidi, and Kelechi Iheanacho all suffered defeats. In London, Iwobi was a second half substitute as Arsenal suffered a 1-0 loss to rivals Tottenham at Wembley, thanks to a brilliant header from the excellent Harry Kane.
Iwobi was denied an assist, after he put an excellent through ball for Alexandre Lacazette, whose shot went narrowly wide, with Hugo Lloris beaten.
A big chance right at the end for @LacazetteAlex – but the ball rolls just wide of the far post#THFCvAFC ⚪️ 1-0 🔴 (90)
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) February 10, 2018
At the Etihad, it was a torrid day for Ndidi and Iheanacho, who started from the bench, as league leaders, Manchester City tore Leicester City to shreds, after a 5-1 demolition, with Sergio Aguero scoring four goals.
Finally, Ola Aina and Hull City returned to winning ways, after a 2-0 win away against Nottingham Forest in the Skybet Championship.