EiE: Iwobi, Ndidi shine, Ajayi nets second goal of the season

EiE: Iwobi, Ndidi shine, Ajayi nets second goal of the season

It was a weekend for Super Eagles midfielders with the trio of Alex Iwobi, Wilfred Ndidi and Semi Ajayi the standout performers.

Here is a recap of how they and their other compatriots in Europe performed.

Iwobi grabbed his fifth assist in the English Premier League as Arsenal moved into the top four with an efficient 2-0 home win against Southampton.

The 22-year-old had a very good game for the Gunners, creating the most chances, 3, with one of them ending as an assist for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who scored their second goal of the day.

He was on from start to finish in what was his 25th game of the season in the PL.

In a difficult day at the King Power stadium, Ndidi came out with a lot of credibility as Crystal Palace did not just beat them but demolished the Foxes 4-1 in front of their own fans.

In a one sided affair, the Super Eagles defensive midfielder, who also picked up a booking, stoodout with four tackles won, three interceptions, six clearances, 100% dribbles completed and chance created.

Ndidi played the duration of the game while his fellow Super Eagles star, Kelechi Iheanacho, was only allowed 16 minutes on the pitch by his manager, Claude Puel, who has since been sacked following that defeat.

Still in England, Semi Ajayi continued to impress in a midfield role for his struggling side, Rotherham United.

Ajayi dropped a man of the match performance to help United rescue a point at Reading. Apart from the fact he netted the decisive equaliser, Ajayi also created one chance from his defensive midfield position, in addition to four dribbles completed, 100% tackles won, two interceptions and three headed duels.

At the Riverside, captain John Obi Mikel featured for 90minutes as Middleborough’s promotion quest received a very good boost with a 2-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers.

While it was not exactly the sort of performance he put in last weekend, the African Zidane still contributed to the win with one chance created and one tackle won.

For Oghenekaro Etebo, he picked up a booking as Stoke City were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Aston Villa. He played the duration of the match.

Elsewhere in Europe, Ola Aina was brilliant again for 90minutes as Torino stopped one of Serie A’s top scoring sides, Atalanta, from scoring a goal.

Torino were 2-0 winners with Aina helping to a clean sheet with his one tackle won and three interceptions. He also created one chance in the tie.

Chievo Verona were without Joel Chukwuma Obi in their goalless affair at home to Genoa.

In the Spanish La Liga, Super Eagles trio of Kenneth Omeruo, Moses Simon and youngster, Samuel Chukwueze, all tasted action for their respective sides.

Omeruo’s Leagnes rescued a point against Valencia but despite Omeruo’s three interceptions and headed duels, they were unable to keep a clean sheet as the game ended 1-1.

Simon seems to have found favour in the eyes of his manager after playing for the third consecutive time.

The winger was on from start to finish as Levante failed to consolidate on their brilliant win last time out, losing to a VAR inspired Real Madrid side 2-1.

Simon enjoyed another 90 minutes outing, creating one chance and completing his attempted two dribbles in the home defeat.

For Chukwueze, he was on the pitch for 34 minutes after coming on as a second half substitute in Villarreal’s 2-0 loss at Atletico Madrid.

Belgium

It was goal number 10 for Victor Osimhen in the Belgian Jupiler at the weekend. With his side, Sporting Charleroi trailing St. Truiden 2-0, the youngster pulled one back before the break.

However, that goal turned out to be nothing but a consolation as their host added a third for a 3-1 win.

It was Osimhen’s 10th of the season, coming in his 22nd game.

France
Samuel Kalu was on the pitch for 72 minutes but was caged as Bordeaux were beaten 1-0 at Nantes.

Germany
Jamilu Collins will have to wait for another week to continue his search for his first assist or goal of the season. The left back played for 90 minutes in Paderborn’s 1-1 draw at Magdeburg.

He completed 100% of his dribbles, won two tackles and showed excellent reading of  the ball with three interceptions.

Israel
John Ogu’s Hapoel Beer Sheva seem to rediscovered their mojo after a second successive victory for the first time since November 2018.

Ogu played for 90minutes as they saw off their hosts, Hapoel Hadera 2-1.

Finally, in the Turkish Super Lig, Henry Onyekuru was also caged for 82minutes but Galatasaray still won 1-0 against Akhisarspor.

Shehu Abdullahi and Bursaspor received a sound beating, losing 3-0 to Istanbul Basaksehir. Abdullahi was on for 80minutes before he was replaced.

Chidozie Awaziem is enjoying his loan at Rizespor as he led them to another win and clean sheet.

The young defender was on parade alongside two other Nigerians at the club, forward, Aminu Umar, who was a substitute, and Azubuike Okechukwu, who did not just provide a super assist in the game but has been seriously knocking on the doors of the Super Eagles given his excellent form this season, as they cruised to a 3-0 victory over Yeni Malatyaspor.

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