It turned out to be another tipsy-turvy day for Nigerian players in the English Premier League, as Odion Jude Ighalo, Alex Iwobi and Eberechi Eze could only lay as substitutes for their respective clubs; but the latter two got victories to celebrate with their teammates.
Megasportsarena.com reports that personal joy, though, came in France, where Samuel Kalu got his first goal of the season with Girondins-Bordeaux, but his side lost in the French Ligue 1, while Samuel Chukwueze had an assist that helped Villarreal romp to victory in the Spanish LaLiga.
Chukwueze got a foot into a loose ball to help Villarreal secure a 2-1 comeback victory over Eibar in Saturday’s La Liga game against the visiting Gunsmiths at Estadio de la Ceramica, where the 21-year-old, who made 37 league appearances last season for The Yellow Submarine, lasted 83 minutes before being replaced.
In France, Kalu was on target but Bordeaux lost 2-1 to FC Lens at Stade Bollaert-Delelis, where Cameroon forward Ignatius Kpene Ganago opened scoring for the home team two minutes after the break and Gael Kakuta doubled the lead from the spot in the 59th minute.
Kalu got Bordeaux’s consolation goal deep into stoppage time, though the former SK Trencin of Slovakia and KAA Gent of Belgium winger had only replaced Remi Oudin in the 81st minute, same moment when his Nigerian compatriot, Josh Maja took the place of Nicolas de Preville.
In Germany, Kingsley Ehizibue played as a 46th minute substitute for FC Cologne, who did not dress new signing, Tolu Arokodare, in their first match of the new German Bundesliga season, which they lost 3-2 at home against TSG Hoffenheim.
Ehizibue who was among the substitutes, as Andrei Kramaric grabbed a hat-trick to secure the win for Hoffenheim, while Sebastian Andersson and Dominick Drexler got Cologne’s goals; while FC.1 Union Berlin did not dress new signing, Taiwo Awoniyi and Anthony Ujah in their 3-1 loss at home against Augsburg, who had Felix Uduokhai on for the full duration of the game.
In England, Eze helped Crystal Palace were 3-1 winners over Manchester United at Old Trafford, where he helped The Eagles set a new club record of winning their opening two English Premier League games of the season for the first time in their history.
The former Queens Park Rangers’ attacking-midfielder replaced Jeffrey Schlupp in the 75th minute on the left side of a four-man midfield and his cross soon led to Palace’s third goal of the game, as Wilfried Zaha held off Victor Lindelof to score his brace five minutes from time.
Andros Townsend had earlier opened scoring before Zaha doubled the lead from the spot but Donny Van De Beek, on for his debut from the bench scored to bring it to 2-1; but Ighalo could not help United back into the game after replacing Tim Fosu-Mensah in the 81st minute.
Some minutes earlier, Semi Ajayi was in 90 minutes of action for West Bromwich Albion, but he could not save them from suffering their second consecutive defeat, as The Baggies fell 5-2 to Everton, who had Alex Iwobi on as a second half substitute at Goodison Park.
Ajayi, who played a key role in The Baggies’ promotion last season, got his second starting spot of the season against The Toffees, partnering Kyle Bartley at the heart of the defence, but they again failed to hold forte; while Iwobi got off Everton’s the bench for his first appearance of the new campaign, after being left out in their opening day win away to Tottenham Hotspur.
Bukayo Saka was on for the entire duration of play, as Arsenal left it late to get a 2-1 win over West Ham United in their London Derby at Emirates stadium, where Alexandre Lacazette first scored for The Gunners before Michail Antonio drew The Hammers level.
Lacazette headed home Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cross after the Arsenal skipper got a clever pass from Saka, who then popped up with another foot in the 85 minute, as he set up Dani Ceballos to put Eddie Nketiah through and the youngster tapped into an empty net.
In Scotland, Efe Ambrose’s return to Parkhead ended in a 3-2 loss for him and Livingston, as they fell away to his former club, to Celtic in the Scottish Premiership; with the 31-year-old defender, who played for hosts between 2012 and 2017, with 169 appearances in all competitions, on top of his game.
Ambrose lasted for all 90 minutes of the encounter, during which he got one interception, made three clearances, achieved four tackles, won six of nine total duels, gained 61 touches of the ball and recorded a passing accuracy of 72%.
In Czech Republic, Peter Olayinka scored one and assisted another to help Slavia Prague remain unbeaten, as they mauled FK Teplice 5-1, with the 24-year-old attacker starting his second game of the campaign.
Olayinka was happy to put an end to his 11-month goal drought, having last scored in October 2019, and he took just two minutes to open the floodgates in Friday’s game, after being set up with a delectable pass from Lima Provod.
In Turkey, Chidiebere Nwakali was in action for Tuzlaspor who edged visiting Balikesirspor 1-0, to secure their first win in the Turkish lower division; with the 23-year-old midfielder on as a 65th minute substitute in what was his second game for his team, whose goal was scored by Onat Kurt in the 58th minute.