African Football Stars Steal the Show

The high profile players from Africa in the Premier League this season managed to go head-to-head this past weekend, as the three Golden Boot winners from last season, including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mane, clashed in a 3-1 victory for Liverpool against Arsenal.

Mohamed Salah

It was Mohamed Salah that managed to steal the spotlight over the weekend as he managed to net the ball on two occasions to claim his second and third goals for the Premier League season, extending Arsenal’s horrible away record while playing at Anfield. It’s been quite some time since we’ve witnessed the Egyptian in all his glory where he managed to capitalize from a wide variety of David Luiz missteps who was suffering from one of his off days, adding a second goal for Liverpool from the penalty area after grabbing Salah’s shirt during the 49th minute. Joel Matip scored the first goal after an astonishing header from a corner kick.

After Matip was wholly overlooked during the Community Shield when Manchester City defeated The Reds, where Jurgen Klopp much instead preferred Joe Gomez, he managed to make quite an impact during the game when he provided a beautiful header to extend Liverpool’s lead in the game. Mane also missed a fantastic header opportunity, before Mohamed Salah provided the third goal for the team when he outsmarted and outperformed David Luiz on the right following a low and composed shot on goal.

Other African Players Worth Keeping an Eye On

Aubameyang, much like Mane, was frustrated for most of the match after missing a golden opportunity during the early stages of the game after Adrian was unable to clear the ball successfully. However, it was Nicolas Pepe, who started instead of Alexandre Lacazette, who provided a ray of sunshine for Arsenal during the match. Although the Ivorian will take some time to get used to the life while playing in a top-flight team after he was transferred from LOSC Lille for a mere £72 million during the offseason, he managed to build on a few exciting moments against Burnley and managed to outsmart the Liverpool defence on several occasions.

The biggest highlight of the game was when Pepe became the very first player to dribble the ball past Virgil van Dijk in 50 games, the last being Mikel Merino from Newcastle United back in March 2018. However, that was only one of 7 dribbles that the 24-year-old managed to complete during the match. Although the Gunners were ultimately defeated at Anfield, the pace, width, and directness of the glorious Pepe managed to give Arsenal much hope when compared to the narrow display from Tottenham Hotspur in their defeat against Newcastle United during Sunday afternoon. Arsenal was also far better when you compare their performance against Manchester United that managed to suffer a horrible 1-2 loss against a team like Crustal Palace.