Nigerian players put in a good shift at the weekend earning high plaudits with their clubs as the various leagues continued. Here is a run-down of the key performances
Victor Anichebe got his starting chance in the absence of Nikica Jelavic and grabbed his second goal in consecutive games as he led Everton to an impressive 3-0 away win over high-flying Swansea on Saturday.
Anichebe could have had a double hat-trick in this game as he put in a monstrous performance against the Swans.
He scored Everton’s first in the 22nd minute after he won a free-kick outside the box. And it was a sweet left-footed shot into the bottom right corner. He had other goal attempts in the 26th, 53rd, 75th, 77th and two attempts in the 80th minute.
Michel Vorm saved for Swansea the right footer that was arrowing into the bottom left corner – a move that Anichebe was already celebrating.
Two huge performances for Everton, back to back would have raised the striker’s confidence that he has a lot to offer this good Everton side, who are third in the standings – their best start in 13 years in the Premiership. Anichebe shared the man of the match performance with Marouane Fellaini and won all his aerial duels in the encounter.
John Obi Mikel played for Chelsea after the twitter abuse episode and had one of his better matches to help the Londoners record a slim 1-0 victory over Stoke also on Saturday.
His coach Roberto Di Matteo has been deeply supportive. “You don’t always get recognised with the right credit. But we all make mistakes sometimes and other players have made mistakes in the past,” said the Chelsea coach. Obi had 63 touches of the ball with an 89% pass completion ratio. He had a goal attempt blocked in the 77th minute and was replaced by Frank Lampard in the 81st minute.
Chelsea’s other Nigerian, Victor Moses came off the bench again to replace Eden Hazard in the 62nd minute and impressed. Moses had 16 touches and completed 92% of these.
Moses operated from the right side and almost provided an assist for Oscar in the 67th minute but that was saved. He was then involved in the move that led to the Chelsea goal in the 85th minute by Ashley Cole.
QPR defender, Nedum Onuoha was unfortunate as his team lost to London neighbours Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 on Sunday. Leading 1-0 until the 58th minute, Rangers conceded two goals in two minutes to remain second on the bottom of the league table.
Obafemi Martins (pictured) played and scored on his debut for Levante in their 2-1 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday. The Nigerian forward, who completed a free transfer to the Granotes last Thursday, will now be looking to start the next match away to Osasuna on Sunday.
Martins rose from the substitutes’ bench at the beginning of the second half to replace Vincente de La Iborra. Levante equalised in the 70th minute and subsequently scored the winner through their Nigerian import in the 85th minute.
Nosa Igiebor made another substitute appearance for Real Betis when he replaced Benat in the 76th minute. Betis won the match 1-0 with the goal scored by Paulao in the 18th minute. Betis are up to fifth place.
Former top scorer in the Fifa U-17 World Cup, Macauley Chrisantus made his fifth appearance for Las Palmas in their 2-2 home draw with Villarreal for whom Super Eagles striker Ikechukwu Uche played.
Chrisantus has scored once this season while Uche is yet to score in four games for the team who were relegated at the end of last season.
Emmanuel Emenike scored a double for Spartak Moscow against Rostov on Sunday in their 3-1 home win. The Nigerian striker who played a starring role in their Champions League defeat away to Barcelona on Wednesday consolidated with that impressive away performance to take his league tally to four goals in eight games.
CSKA’s stand-in striker Ahmed Musa scored his third league goal to help his team come back from a first half 2-0 deficit away at FC Volga on Saturday. The Nigerian winger has had to fill in for injured Cote D’Ivoire striker Serge Doumbia, and his strike in the 87th minute secured the away win and sent the capital side to the top of the table with 21 points from nine matches.
Super Eagles outcast, Obinna Nsofor scored his first league goal of the 2012/13 season coming off the bench for Lokomotiv Moscow in their 3-0 away win over former league toppers Terek Grozny. Nsofor came on for Denis Glushakov in the 57th minute and scored in the 83rd to make it 2-0 to the visitors. Maicon completed the away rout in the 89th minute to send Lokomotiv into second place on the table with 19 points.
Apam Onyekachi was also on the bench as Rennes recorded an impressive 2-2 away result against Toulouse.
Another former youth international Simon Zenke did not join the fray from his bench post as Nancy lost their fourth match of the season 2-0 away to Stade de Reims. They are now placed second to bottom with four points from six matches.
Joseph Akpala made another substitute appearance for Werder Bremen against VFB Stuttgart on Sunday. The Nigerian striker replaced Nils Petersen in the 71st minute with Bremen having a 2-1 lead, which they let slip.
His pass to Kevin De Bruyne on 76 minutes almost led to Bremen’s third goal but the Belgian’s left-footed shot from the centre of the box missed the mark by inches.
Schalke 04 lost 2-0 at home to Bayern Munich and still there was no sign of Chinedu Obasi.
Nigerian goalkeeper, Greg Etafia (pictured) helped end a 33-year trophy drought for Moroka Swallows on Sunday as they beat SuperSport United 2-1 to win the MTN8 tournament in South Africa. The former Super Eagles goalkeeper put in a man of the match performance and got the highest rating in the final.
He made a brilliant save in the 32nd minute in a one-on-one situation and made an excellent stop from a free-kick on the edge of the box in the 50th minute. These saves kept his side in the game and he was rewarded when his team mates struck twice to win the match later on.
After the win, the management of Moroka Swallows decided to reward the players with R4 million out of the R8 million prize money.