African players in Europe: Salah moves Reds closer to title

Egypt forward
Mohamed Salah’s double helped Liverpool equal Manchester City’s record
of 20 consecutive Premier League wins and move Jurgen Klopp’s side ever
closer to the title.

Here is a look at some of the key performances from Africans playing in Europe:

ENGLAND

MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)

The
Egypt forward scored twice in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Southampton at
Anfield as the runaway leaders took another step towards winning their
first English title since 1990. With Jurgen Klopp’s side leading through
goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jordan Henderson, Salah struck
in the 71st minute from Henderson’s pass. He scored again from
close-range in stoppage-time to make it 42 games unbeaten for Liverpool
in the league. Liverpool have equalled Manchester City’s record of 20
consecutive Premier League home wins and only Bill Shankly’s Liverpool
team in 1972 had a longer winning streak on home soil in English
top-flight history.

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAYEYANG (Arsenal)

The
Gabon striker endured a rare off-day against Burnley as the Gunners
were held to a 0-0 draw at Turf Moor. Aubameyang had seven goals in four
previous games against Burnley, but he couldn’t break the deadlock this
time. In his first game back from suspension, he failed to beat Burnley
keeper Nick Pope with a chip, then headed wide from Alexandre
Lacazette’s cross.

MBWANA SAMATTA (Aston Villa)

The Tanzania striker marked his Premier League debut with a goal but couldn’t stop his team suffering a damaging 2-1 loss at fellow strugglers Bournemouth on Saturday. Having joined from Belgian club Genk in January, Samatta was making only his second appearance for Villa and he netted in the 70th minute after being named in the starting line-up. With Villa trailing 2-0, Samatta rose to head home from Keinan Davis’s deflected shot, making the 27-year-old the first Tanzanian to score in the Premier League.

Solskjaer backs Martial to regain scoring touch

Manchester United
manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed Anthony Martial to rediscover
his scoring touch and says the French forward is giving the club
“everything” both on the pitch and the training ground.

The
24-year-old has scored 12 goals in all competitions in an injury-hit
season but has just one in the last six matches as United struggle for
goals in the absence of striker Marcus Rashford, who is nursing a stress
fracture in his back.

“He’s giving us everything. He’s been asked to play – he has started the last eight games – and running probably 20% more than he did when I came here,” Solskjaer told reporters.

Arteta keen to drive home ideas in Dubai camp

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said he is still
far from bedding in his attacking philosophy at the club but is hopeful
that a training camp in Dubai can help the players recharge their
batteries and soak in his ideas.

Arsenal were held 0-0 at Burnley
on Sunday for their fourth straight Premier League draw, leaving Arteta
with only one win from his first seven league matches in charge since
replacing Unai Emery in December.

They have scored only eight goals in those games.

“We have to improve quality-wise. We’re very far in terms of what I want in sustaining attacks and being unpredictable in our play, but that’s a process,” Arteta told Sky Sports.