Villarreal of Spain winger, Samuel Chukwueze played as a second half substitute for The Yellow Submarine, but sill had enough time to win a penalty for his side in a 1-1 draw with Real Madrid, megasportsarena.com reports.
Although Chukwueze could not get a much-expected fifth start against Los Blancos, he made the best of his sub-role, as Villarreal stormed from behind to settle for shared points with LaLiga’s current champions at Estadio de la Ceramica.
Following his late return from international duty with the Super Eagles and having trained with the Villarreal squad just once on Friday afternoon, Chukwueze had to settle for a starting place on the bench, from where he made an entry to help his side restore parity against their visitors.
Los Blancos took the lead in the second minute, when Mariano out-jumped his marker to plant a header past the hosts’ goalkeeper, Sergio Asenjo, with the goal allowed after a video assistant referee (VAR) review, though the flag had gone up for offside.
With Villarreal struggling to break open Real’s defence, The Yellow Submarine’s coach, Unai Emery sent Chukwueze in on the hour and it proved to be an inspired substitution, as won a penalty that Gerard Moreno converted to level the scoreline with 14 minutes left on the clock.
Chukwueze, who won the penalty after he was clipped by Madrid’s goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, will now hope to return to the starting line-up for his side’s next game, when they play away against Maccabi Tel Aviv of Israel in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.
In Italy, Crotone striker, Simeon Tochukwu Nwankwo (Simy) could not lift his side out of the woods, as the Italian Serie A returnees stay rooted to the pit of the table and could be heading back to the Serie B if things continue the way they are going presently.
‘Simy’ fired blanks in his side’s eighth game since returning to the top flight, as Crotone lost 2-0 to SS Lazio at their Stadio Ezio Scida home ground in Saturday’s tie, as Ciro Immobile first scored on the evening and Joaquin Correa squeezed in a finish from the tightest angle, and the visitors from Rome got a tight away win in awful weather conditions.
In England, John Mikel Obi helped Stoke City snatch a 4-3 win in a seven-goal thriller against Huddersfield Town, but he did not play as captain of The Potters this time out.
However, while Mikel dropped the band for Saturday’s tie, due to the return of Sam Clucas, it did not stop the ex-Chelsea star from giving his best and ensuring the Potters got all the three points to further boost their promotion charge.
Mikel and Clucas partnered in midfield and they both aided the nervy win, as Tyrese Campbell bagged a brace to help Stoke beat Huddersfield, after the visitors hit the front through Carel Eiting in the 25th minute while dominating the opening exchanges.
The former Super Eagles’ captain and his side bounced back strong and were aided in their aspirations when The Terriers hit the self destruct button, with Campbell netting twice inside three minutes with the aid of some slack defending by the opposing back-four.
Same evening in England, Omatsone ‘Sone’ Aluko opened his season account, while Dominic Solanke scored twice and Ovie Ejaria provided an assist as Bournemouth secured a 4-2 victory over Reading in Saturday’s English Championship game.
Aluko, who was handed his ninth league appearance and fourth start in the season, made the most of the opportunity, as he combined well with Ejaria to score his first goal of the season for the Royals.
At the other end, Solanke also got on the scoresheet in the encounter to inspire his side to secure a comeback win at Vitality Stadium, where Reading raced into the lead only four minutes into the encounter through Lucas Joao’s well-taken penalty.
Aluko then doubled the lead moments before the half-time break, firing past goalkeeper Asmir Begovic after receiving a sumptuous pass from Ejaria, but Reading then took their foot off the pedal as Bournemouth launched an impressive comeback in the second half.
Former Liverpool forward Solanke ignited the comeback when he reduced the deficit with a fine strike in the 56th minute after he was set up by Lloyd Kelly, after which Nigerian-born Holland international, Arnaut Danjuma leveled scores three minutes later from David Brooks’ assist.
Lewis Cook put Bournemouth in front for the first time in the game in the 77th minute before Solanke completed his brace moments before full-time, as Aluko featured for 64 minutes before making way for another Nigerian-born lad, Michael Olise while Ejaria was replaced in the 74th by Ivory Coast international, Yakou Meite.
Solanke featured for the duration of the game for Bournemouth while yet another Nigerian-born Bournemouth star, dashing midfielder Nnamdi Ofoborh made a cameo appearance in the encounter.
Alo in the English Championship, William Troost-Ekong and Bright Osayi-Samuel were in action at opposing ends, as Watford played out a 1-1 draw against Queens Park Rangers.
Troost-Ekong was handed his sixth league start for the Hornets since teaming up with the side from Udinese of Italy in the summer, and he formed a three-man defence along with Craig Cathcart and Ben Wilmot in the encounter and helped his side avoid defeat.
Osayi-Samuel started for QPR and he made a significant contribution for Mark Warburton’s men, though Watford started the game on an impressive note with Wilmot opening the scoring in the third minute after he was set up by Ken Sema.
Troost-Ekong was seen in the thick of action, as The Hornets held onto their lead until the 77th minute when Moroccan midfielder Ilias Chair scored an important equalising goal for The Hoops, and both sides eventually settled for shared points.
In Norway, Leke James took his tally to double-digit goals after he scored twice to help Molde FK get a 3-0 away to Stabaek, as the 28-year-old striker first hit target in first half stoppage time, before he completed his brace five minutes from fulltime.
James, who last season scored 17 goals as Molde went all the way to be champions again, was in buoyant mood, but he and his teammates know all they can do is just slightly delay the advent of new champions, Bodo/Glimt, who are 15 points clear of the holders.
Reverse was the case for Abdulssalam Magashy in Sweden, as his club IFK Varnamo were crowned champions and won promotion to the Superettan and the midfielder was also ranked among the Top 10 stars in the league.
Varnamo drew 1-1 at Lindome to record an unassailable 60 points with a round of matches still to be played in a season that saw the 22-year-old former FC Hearts star score six goals in 28 games and he was ranked the 10th best player in the Ettan league as a result by Sport Bladet.