African players in Europe: Tunisian’s special United goal in vain
France-born Tunisia international Hannibal Mejbri scored his first goal for Manchester United at the weekend, four years after joining the club.
But while the second-half substitute celebrated, his strike did not lift the gloom at Old Trafford as United slumped to a 3-1 defeat by Brighton.
His exuberant celebration drew some criticism given struggling United’s predicament, but Mejbri said “years of work went into that moment to score a goal for this incredible club”.
Here, AFP Sport highlights African headline-makers in the major European leagues:
HANNIBAL MEJBRI (Manchester United)
With United trailing 2-0 after a dismal performance, he came off the bench for his first appearance this season. Erik Ten Hag’s side conceded again before Mejbri provided the one glimmer of hope when he netted with a superb long-range strike.
MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)
The Egyptian provided two assists as the Reds recovered from a poor first half to beat Wolves 3-1 at Molineux. After falling behind, a Salah cross-shot set up Cody Gakpo to equalize in the 55th minute before a precise pass allowed Andrew Robertson to put Liverpool ahead.
INAKI WILLIAMS (Athletic Bilbao)
The Ghana international rounded off Athletic’s 3-0 rout of Cadiz with a 91st-minute goal. He controlled Asier Villalibre’s header well on his chest and then finished coolly past goalkeeper Jeremias Ledesma.
ADEMOLA LOOKMAN (Atlanta)
Nigeria striker Lookman followed up on his strike against Sao Tome and Principe in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying by netting his first goal of the Serie A season in a 3-2 defeat at Fiorentina. Lookman leveled shortly after half-time when he collected Marten De Roon’s neat pass before rolling a simple finish past Pietro Terracciano. It wasn’t enough, however, as Ivorian Christian Kouame secured the win for the hosts.
VICTOR BONIFACE (Bayer Leverkusen)
Boniface continued his strong start to life in the Bundesliga, proving dangerous throughout Bayer’s 2-2 draw at Bayern Munich. The match provided further evidence of Boniface’s budding partnership with Florian Wirtz, 20, as they troubled Bayern.
SERHOU GUIRASSY (Stuttgart)
The Guinea international scored a stunning second-half hat-trick to take Stuttgart to a 3-1 win at Mainz. Guirassy showcased his versatility in front of goal, chalking up a debut Bundesliga treble with a deft chip, a controlled strike and a header.
TEREM MOFFI (Nice)
Moffi upstaged Kylian Mbappe as Nice claimed a shock 3-2 win away to Paris Saint-Germain. The 24-year-old Nigeria striker put Nice ahead in Paris only for Mbappe to equalize. However, Nice went back in front before Moffi scored his second of the game to put the visitors out of sight. Mbappe did find the net again, but that was a mere consolation.
AIYEGUN TOSIN (Lorient)
Moffi previously starred at Lorient before joining Nice in January. Having struggled to replace him in the second half of last season, Lorient swooped in July to sign Nigeria-born Benin international Tosin from FC Zurich. Scorer of 12 goals in the Swiss Super League in the last campaign, Tosin got his first Lorient goal in their 2-2 draw with Monaco.
LEBO MOTHIBA (Strasbourg)
The South African international striker came off the bench to equalise as Patrick Vieira’s Strasbourg came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Montpellier. It was a second goal this season for Mothiba, who has only featured intermittently for his club since returning from an almost two-year spell out of the game due to injury.
©️ Agence France-Presse