Villarreal of Spain winger, Samuel Chukwueze received the biggest marks on both personal and team levels among all Nigerian players that were involved in Spanish LiLiga action on Tuesday, as he got an assist that helped his side win, while Chidozie Awaziem lost with Leganes away to Barcelona and Oghenekaro Etebo settled for a draw with Getafe at home against Espanyol, megasportsarena.com gathered.
A day after former Super Eagles’ midfielder, Eddy Ogenyi Onazi bowed out with injury in action with Trabzonspor of Turkey, Chukwueze was on from start to finish for Villarreal and helped The Yellow Submarine romp to a second straight victory from their first two matches in the restart of the Spanish top-flight, as they beat Real Mallorca 1-0 at Estadio de la Cerámica.
Chukwueze surely had a much better story to tell than Ogenyi, who got off Trabzonspor’s bench at half time but was replaced minutes later after picking up an injury for the visitors, with the former SS Lazio of Italy midfielder failing to make the best of his first game since March, as he lasted only 13 minutes of his side’s loss away at Sivasspor.
It was a different story for Awaziem, who got an 82nd minute yellow card in full duration action for Leganes, but his teammate, Kenneth Omeruo all through their 2-0 loss away to Barcelona, a day after Ramon Azeez returned to the starting 11 for Granada as they dug deep to salvage a 2-2 draw away at Real Betis to keep alive their hopes of a European spot.
Ramon, who featured for 90 minute before he made way for Antonin, got a rating of 6.6, after he completed 89% of his passes, won duels and made two big clearances, which gave him an overall better scorecard than Etebo, who played as a 46th minute substitute for Getafe in their goalless draw with visiting Espanyol.
However, the biggest Nigerian impact of the first two days of this working week came from Chukwueze, who Villarreal’s boss, Javi Calleja gave his first start in eight league matches, and the Super Eagles’ rookie made the best of it, in a much better way than he did last weekend in a brilliant outing against Celta Vigo, as he gave the assist that helped Carlos Bacca net the game’s lone goal in the 16th minute of play behind closed doors.
In reaction to Chukwueze’s amazing mazy run that opened space for Bacca to score, ex-Chelsea defender, Albert Ferrer said he was impressed with the Nigerian youngster’s skill, speed, ball-holding acumen and balance in his run that led to the goal.
Indeed, it was sheer delight seeing Chukwueze run down the right wing, as he waltzed past his marker with a cheeky chip before sending a left-footed cross in for Bacca, and it was a simple job left for the Colombian, as he guided the ball into an empty net, much to Ferrer’s amazement.
Ferrer told LaLiga TV after the game: “It was a fantastic piece of skill from Samuel Chukwueze, not a nice finish from Carlos Bacca but it counted, three points. Apart from that, the game was level, very open, chances for Villarreal, chances for Mallorca.”