EiE: Ndidi shines at the Bridge, Iwobi and Arsenal lose again

EiE: Ndidi shines at the Bridge, Iwobi and Arsenal lose again

A very quiet weekend it was for Super Eagles players in Europe, with a handful of them unable to inspire their respective clubs.  Here’s their scorecards for this week. We kickoff this week’s Eagles in Europe with a trip to Israel, where the duo of John Ogu and Anthony Nwakaeme ply their trade.

For the second successive game, Ogu’s Hapoel Beer Sheva were held at home with the central midfielder and his compatriot at the club, Nwakaeme, who has been carrying a knock, on parade.

Ogu, who is enjoying how ‘challenging’ the league this season has been for his side, who are the defending champions, was on from start to finish but while he wanted to do  more for his club, following the goalless affair last time out, his efforts weren’t enough as they were once again forced to share the spoils after playing 1-1 with Hapoel Haifa.

In Cyrus, while he had ‘high hopes’ for his title chasing side heading into the weekend, fullback, Shehu Abdullahi must have been left reeling with disappointment by the outcome of the game between Anorthosis and Apollon Limassol on Sunday.

The league leaders needed to win to maintain their position at the top of the Cypriot league, but were held to a 1-1 draw by their host.

The result means they have now dropped to third on the log, two points adrift of new leaders, AEK Larnaca, who take their place after a 4-1 demolition of Aris Limassol.

At the Estadio Joao Cardoso, Oghenekaro Etebo’s CD Feirense continue to struggle in the Portuguese league after yet another defeat.

Feirense were beaten 3-1 by Tondela with Etebo lasting the duration of the game, and picking up a yellow card.

It was the 21-year-old’s 18th game of the season, but he failed to add to his four goals scored so far while picking up his fifth booking of the campaign.

For Chidozie Awaziem, it was a return to Nantes’s starting eleven having missed out in midweek in the Coupe de France.

He, however, was unable to stop his side from losing 1-0 at home to runaway leaders and giants, Paris Saint-Germain, who have now done the double this season over Claudio Ranieri’s side.

It’s Awaziem’s 11th game of the season, with a goal and two yellow cards to his name.

Bundesliga based member of the ‘Oyibo Wall’, Leon Balogun is another player who missed his side’s defeat this weekend.

The 28-year-old was an unused substitute as Mainz 05 lost 3-2 to Hannover 96 in the first game after the mid-season break. However, fellow Nigerian at the club, Anthony Ujah, who joined Balogun at the club this January, was an 82nd minute substitute.

Meanwhile, in the popular English Premier League, all is not well right for Alex Iwobi and Arsenal, as they failed to win yet again. This time, with Iwobi on from start to finish, the Gunners let slip a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 to AFC Bournemouth for the first time.

It’s the fourth consecutive game they have failed to win, with two of those ending in defeats while they have now won just three of their last 11. But while it’s looking all gloomy for them, Iwobi followed his good showing against Chelsea in midweek with another lovely performance at the Vitality stadium, providing the assist for Hector Bellerin’s opener.

It may not be as bad as what’s happening to Iwobi at the Emirates, but things aren’t also going well at the moment for his national team mate, Victor Moses, at city rivals, Chelsea. Chelsea were once again flat, as they failed to score a goal for the third game in a row after a goalless affair with 2016 champions Leicester City at Stamford Bridge.

It was the battle between two Nigerians, Moses and defensive midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi of Leicester. While their teams played out a barren draw, these two put on top displays for their sides, especially Ndidi, who underlined his importance to the Foxes with another top quality showing against a top side like the Blues.

While Moses and Ndidi were sweating it out on the pitch, their national team mates, Leicester’s duo of Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho, who made it to the bench, were left pondering what’s happening to their careers in England with the January window still open.

Elsewhere in England, after his first senior goal inspired Hull City to the fourth round of the FA Cup, it was back to the Championship for fullback, Ola Aina.

The 19-year-old put up another solid performance for the Tigers, helping them to a clean sheet in their goalless draw with Reading at the KCOM stadium.

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