As the English Premier League invited teams for action on the weekend of 2nd – 3rd March 2019, African players were at it again proving their worth in the foreign land.
Tottenham v Arsenal
On Saturday 2nd March 2019, in an early kick off of the day, Tottenham Hotspur played against Arsenal. The Kenyan Victor Wanyama at Tottenham Hotspur was given his first start by manager Pochettino since November last year and Wanyama proved a point as he battled for the ball in the middle of the pack despite a need for him to find in himself the confidence no wonder in the second half Lamela was introduced in his place while the Ivorian Sergio Aurier made it into the final squad of the day but was not given game time.
Arsenal team saw the Nigerian Alexi Iwobi in the starting line up. Iwobi had a good game playing on the left side of Arsenal’s midfield and with his attacking ability he gave trouble to Spurs defenders and was unlucky not to score before half time when Lloris in goals for Tottenham saved his effort. The Gabonese Pierre -Emerick Aubameyang who was introduced in the second half for Arsenal, did not have a good game as he failed to score after having a couple of chances to stretch Spurs defence with his pace and to make matters worse he failed to convert a penalty in stoppage time of the game which ended Tottenham Hotspur 1 Arsenal 1. Another African at Arsenal, the Egyptian Mohammad Elneny did not make it into the final squad for the day.
Manchester City v Bournemouth
In another game played on Saturday 2 March 2019, the Algerian Ryard Mahrez was an important substitute as he was introduced at the start of the second half replacing De Bruyne in a game Manchester City’s game against Bournemouth and he scored the only goal of the game that helped take 3 points on the day.
Crystal Palace v Burnley
The Ivorian Wilfred Zaha and Senegalese Cheikhou Kouyate both started for Crystal Palace against Burnley. Kouyate was marvel to watch in midfield as he helped his team attack. Much and his partnership with Zaha on the right side of Palace’s attack was a thorn for Burnley with his trickerry and runs saw his efforts bare fruit when he had an outstanding individual goal after humiliating three Burnley players in a game Crystal Palace beat Burnley by 3 goals to 1. The Ghanaian Jordan Ayew made it into Palace’s squad of the day but manager R. Hodson did not give him time to display his talent.
West Ham v Newcastle
West Ham United defeated Newcastle United by 2 goals to 0 on Saturday in a game the Senegalese Issa Diop started in defence for West Ham United and was a key figure as he made excellent challenges in dangerous areas and managed to silence Newcastle’s Rondon.
From Newcastle United both the Ghanaian Christian Atsu and the Senegalese Mohammed Diame were introduced in the second half of the game with Diame introduced earlier and made a great impact as he was able to win more balls for his side with his dribbling and attacking sense. Atsu did not have much to show on the day, he was a late introduction to the game.
Manchester United v Southampton
The Ivorian Eric Bailly was an unused substitute in a game his side Manchester United fought hard to earn 3 points against Southampton in a game Manchester United won by 3 goals to 2.
Leicester City v Watford
Sunday 3 March 2019, saw the Nigerian Wilfred Ndidi starting for his team Leicester City and county men kelechi Iheanacho being on the bench. Ndidi who was very busy in midfield for Leicester City was more effective as he mopped possession and cleared danger in front of his back four while Iheanacho, who was introduced in the 82nd minute of the game had little to show off in a game Leicester City lost 2-1 to Watford.
Everton v Liverpool
In another match on Sunday that involved African players Everton invited Liverpool at Goodson Park. The Senegalese Idrissa Gueye started for Everton and him with the rest of Everton’s midfielders did not give room to Liverpool to play in midfield a thing that made Liverpool lack the cutting edge going forward.
Liverpool had the Egyptian Mohammad Salah and the Senegalese Sadio Mane making a pair of their front three with Sarah seemingly losing his scoring boots as he missed plenty of scoring opportunities. Mane who was used in a central forward role was a peripheral figure for Liverpool but was frustrating to watch as his touches and passes lacked proper timing and accuracy. Overall the two, Salah and Mane did not have a good game while the Senegalese Naby keita was not given time to play by manager Kloop as he watched the game from the bench.
What is the Premier League?
The Premier League, normally referred to as the English Premier League [EPL] or sometimes the Barclays Premiership after the title sponsor. The EPL is the top level of the English football system. Contested by 20 clubs. The 2018 / 2019 season includes these clubs; AFC Bournemouth, Arsenal, Brighton & Hove Albion, Burnley, Cardiff City, Chelsea FC, Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham FC, Huddersfield Town, Leicester City, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Southampton FC, Tottenham, Hotspur, Watford FC, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers
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My name is Blessings Mpando from Lilongwe district born in December 1994. I am a Christian and a member of CCAP. I grew up in Lilongwe and completed my secondary education in 2010 before going on to complete my diploma in journalism at the Polytechnic Continuing Centre.