African players in Europe: Salah foiled as Liverpool shocked

Mohamed Salah had a goal-bound shot in added time blocked as Liverpool suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat by Crystal Palace at the weekend that severely dented their Premier League title hopes.

The Reds lie third, behind Arsenal on goal difference and two points below leaders Manchester City, and four of their last six matches are away from Anfield, including a derby at Everton.

Nigerian Victor Boniface converted a penalty to put Bayer Leverkusen on course for a 5-0 win over Werder Bremen, and a first Bundesliga title in their 120-year history.

Here, AFP Sport highlights African headline-makers in the major European leagues:



The Egypt captain endured a frustrating match along with his teammates as the Reds’ title hopes were dealt a huge blow. He had one last chance to rescue a point at Anfield in stoppage time, but his shot was brilliantly blocked by Tyrick Mitchell.

FRANK ONYEKA (Brentford)

The Nigeria midfielder sealed a 2-0 victory over relegation-threatened Sheffield United by scoring the second goal in stoppage time, just two minutes after coming off the bench. He slid the ball past goalkeeper Ivo Grbic to secure Brentford’s first win in 10 league games.


The 27-year-old was a central figure as the Cottagers won 2-0 at London rivals West Ham, with the Nigeria midfielder helping set up two goals for Andreas Pereira. It was from Iwobi’s cross that Pereira opened the scoring in the ninth minute. Iwobi turned provider again 18 minutes from time when, after bursting on to a ball from Rodrigo Muniz, his accurate pass allowed Brazilian Pereira to turn the ball home.



Morocco international En-Nesyri escaped his markers and placed a header past Las Palmas goalkeeper Aaron Escandell to send his team ahead by a single goal just before half-time. The striker’s contribution helped Sevilla rise to 13th as they secured a 2-0 victory. It was En-Nesyri’s sixth goal in nine games.


VICTOR BONIFACE (Bayer Leverkusen)

On his first start in the league in 2024 after an injury, Boniface opened the scoring with a first-half penalty to put Leverkusen on track for a 5-0 home win over Werder Bremen and a first Bundesliga title. Boniface stepped up to the spot and cooly dispatched the ball to the right of Michael Zetterer.


Another game, another goal for Stuttgart and Guinea striker Guirassy, who opened the scoring in a 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt, which kept his third-placed side on course for Champions League football next season. His 25 goals in 23 matches is the most in a league campaign by a Stuttgart player.



Benin international and former Premier League forward Mounie scored the first Brest goal in a Ligue 1 thriller they lost 4-3 at Lyon. Second-placed Brest trailed 1-0, then scored three times in seven minutes before conceding three goals, with the winner coming from a penalty 16 minutes into added time.


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