Nigerians Abroad: Odemwingie gives Mikel and Moses the blues, as Martins and Aluko continue fine form

Nigerians across Europe are putting the balls in the net – from England to Spain and then to Belgium
Peter Odemwingie came out the triumphant one in the battle of the Nigerians when West Brom hosted and beat the European champions, Chelsea, who paraded Mikel Obi and Victor Moses 2-1 at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

The Albion front man made sure that Chelsea lost for the second consecutive time at the Baggies’ home ground. Last season’s 2-1 defeat had led to the sack of Andre Villas-Boas and for former West Brom manager, Roberto Di Matteo, it was not a good return.

Odemwingie got in front of Ryan Bertrand in the 51st minute to head West Brom ahead. Shane Long had opened the scores in the first half in the 10th minute while Eden Hazard headed the equaliser in the 39th off a deflection in a game of headed goals.

It was Odemwingie’s fourth league goal in nine matches and he is West Brom’s leading scorer after 12 rounds of matches.

Obi tried his luck with a long range shot in the 15th minute which was marginally wide and 45th minute, Moses’ attempt also missed.

Obi had a 91% pass completion rate with 75 touches while Moses had an 87% pass completion ration from 53 touches. Moses also had a shout for a penalty in the second half when he was blatantly blocked off the ball in the box by Claudio Jacob.

Odemwingie got the winning goal, played all 90 minutes with a 72% pass completion rate. He also had 53 touches with just a shot throughout the match. He also showed the other side of his game - tracking back to help his right-back where he won some balls off Hazard in dangerous positions.

Sone Aluko scored two goals for Hull City as the promotion chasers won 3-1 away at the St. Andrew's Stadium against Birmingham. The two-cap Super Eagles player scored in the 14th and 26th minutes to give Hull a two-goal lead.

The former Glasgow Rangers winger has now scored eight goals in 16 games for Steve Bruce’s side and in this kind of form cannot continuously be ignored by Coach Stephen Keshi in the build-up to the Nations Cup in January. Former Super Eagles midfielder, Seyi Olofinjana was also in action for Hull but he was taken off in the 63rd minute. Olofinjana has played nine times this season with no goals to show.

Blackburn Rovers climbed to sixth on the Championship log with the help of Dickson Etuhu, who helped his new team to a 4-1 away win over Peterborough United on Saturday. Etuhu, who will be hoping to get another call-up to the Super Eagles has played 16 games and scored one goal.

Former Super Eagles defender, Danny Shittu captained Milwall to a 1-0 win over Leeds United on Sunday.Shittu has played 12 times this season after his free transfer from Queens Park Rangers – for whom he did not play a single match last season.

Obafemi Martins put behind him the disappointment of not scoring against Venezuela last Wednesday by scoring the first goal for Levante away to Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.

In a bad-tempered match that saw two red cards issued, Martins scored in the 40th minute at the Estadio Municipal de Riazor. Martins was substituted in the 81st minute by Angel. And the man that came on for Martins assisted the second Levante goal just a minute after entering the pitch.

Levante went on to win 2-0 and climb into fourth place on the La Liga table. Since Martins joined the Valencia-based club on September 12, he has managed to score five goals in eight matches – 50% of all goals scored within that period.

Martins scored with a thunderous left footed shot from the left side of the box to the centre of the goal from a headed pass from Míchel.

It was a finish customary to the Nigerian striker who is gradually getting into the scoring groove again after leaving Rubin Kazan in September.

Real Betis were hammered 5-1 by Sevilla on Sunday with Nosa Igiebor missing from the squad.

Ikechukwu Uche was in fine form for Villarreal as he scored twice in their 3-0 away victory over Racing Santander on Saturday. The Super Eagles striker also scored a brace two weeks ago against Mirandes and that makes it five goals for the Nigerian in 11 games.

One-cap Super Eagles midfielder, Sunday Stephen played his 13th game for Numancia in their 0-0 draw at home to Almeria. Former U-20 captain, Ramon Azeez was on the bench for Almeria throughout the encounter. Stephen has contributed one goal to the team this term. Numancia are in 14th place while Almeria are in third, two points better than Villarreal.

Onyekachi Apam was back on the Rennes substitutes’ bench after a bout of injury as his team beat PSG 2-1 at the Parc des Princes on Saturday. Apam was called up for the game against Venezuela but could not honour the call because of the reported injury.

Simon Zenke started for AS Nancy in their 3-3 draw away to Troyes on Saturday. Zenke scored his first league goal last week and got the reward of a starting berth. He was substituted in the 76th minute by Paul Aloo-Efoulou.

Sochaux won 1-0 away without the services of King Osanga, who was not listed for the match while John Utaka is still out injured for Montpellier, who got a credible 1-1 result away at Stade du Hainaut against Valenciennes. Utaka has been bedevilled with a hip and thigh injury but he is expected back on Tuesday to start light training.

Ahmed Musa scored again to help CSKA Moscow to a 3-0 win over Amkar Perm and maintain their lead at the top of the table with 39 points from 16 matches.

Musa’s goal was created by Alan Dzagoev’s defence splitting pass to the Nigerian who went on the blind side of the last defender and he then calmly rounded the goalkeeper to give the league leaders a 2-0 goal lead. Musa is thriving at the apex of attack and has now scored eight goals in 15 league matches.

Musa then assisted in the third goal as his cutback from the left wing after a speedy foray down the left flank was converted by Aleksandrs Cauna in added time. Musa has four assists for the season now as he is not only scoring but creating goals.

Emmanuel Emenike made a welcome return to the Spartak Moscow team though he could not help his team to a win on Saturday over Volga. It was a 1-1 draw but Spartak will be expecting Emenike to be match fit for their Champions League encounter against Barcelona on Tuesday.
Bayer Leverkusen were without Sidney Sam for a second game running but still had too much for Chinedu Obasi's Schalke at the Bayer Arena on Saturday. Leverkusen won 2-0 and Obasi was on the bench for all the 90 minutes. The Nigerian striker has played just 27 minutes this term.

Werder Bremen came from behind to beat Fortuna Dusseldorf 2-1 on Sunday with Nigerian striker, Joseph Akpala coming off the bench in the 90th minute for Nils Petersen, who equalised for Bremen in the 51st minute. Akpala has played nine times this season with a goal to show for his efforts.

Brown Ideye was missing for Dynamo Moscow who lost again in the league – this time a 1-0 to Metalurh Donetsk on Sunday but Taye Taiwo and Lukman Haruna were in the line-up and both played all 90 minutes.

Ideye appeared for Nigeria on Wednesday in Miami and must have been kept aside because of jet-lag.
Michael Uchebo scored his first goal for Cercle Brugge in their 3-1 win over Genk on Sunday. Uchebo joined the Belgian league strugglers on a free after leaving VVV Venlo last summer. The valuable three points lifted them off the basement, though they are tied on points - 11, with Waasland-Beveren.

Derick Ogbu played all 90 minutes for Oh Leuven in their 3-1 home loss to Mons. Ogbu has scored four goals in 16 matches.

Standard Liege drew 0-0 away against Zulte-Waregem at the Regenboogstadion on Sunday and Imoh Ezekiel started though he was replaced in the 68th minute by Luis Seijas.

Michael Eneramo started for Sivasspor away to Gençlerbirligi on Saturday and earned a yellow card in the 58th minute. Eneramo has four goals in 12 games. Ehiogu Ehiosun was on the bench for all 90 minutes for Gençlerbirliği.

Kalu Uche helped Kasimpasa to a 2-0 away win over Akhisar Belediye on Sunday. Gideon Sani came on for Akhisar Belediye in the 70th minute. Uche was substituted in the 85th minute and has scored six times in 11 appearances.

Super Eagles captain, Joseph Yobo was back in action for Fenerbahce away to Eskişehirspor, where they earned a 1-1 draw. Yobo played all 90 minutes and this will be good news for Coach Stephen Keshi who is expected to name the record-capped defender in his team to South Africa next year.

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