Nigerians Abroad: Martins strikes sixth La Liga goal as Ezekiel, the Uche brothers and John Utaka get on the scorers' sheet

The Jupiler Liga, La Liga and Ligue 1 had Nigerian scorers over the last weekend of matches in Europe

Victor Moses started the match against Sunderland on Saturday and helped Chelsea back to winning ways. Moses was a bundle of tricks and pace throughout his 62 minutes on the pitch and had a hand in the first and third goals.

He orchestrated the first goal when his run and pass from the centre of the pitch freed Eden Hazard down the left who in turn crossed for Fernando Torres to score in the 11th minute.

He should have bagged a goal in the 52nd minute but his effort went just wide off Sunderland’s right hand post. He had been set free through the right by a pass from Mata.

In the 48th minute, his cross was not well controlled by Phil Bardsley which led to Torres’s shot cannoning off the cross bar and Juan Mata swept in Chelsea’s third goal which effectively killed off the opposition.

Moses has been touted strongly to replace either of the flair players of Oscar, Hazard or Mata in the starting line-up by Rafa Benitez with his direct running and energy.

Moses had a 91% pass completion ratio, 32 touches and two successful dribbles before he was replaced by Ryan Betrand in the 62nd minute.

Mikel Obi did not feature as he started his three-match ban for inappropriate language and intended assault against Mark Clattenburg, who he believed had racially abused him. He will miss games against Leeds United in the FA Cup and the Premier League clash against Aston Villa.

The duo is in the Chelsea team that has flown to Japan to try and win the Fifa World Club Cup, where they will meet Monterrey of Mexico on Thursday.

West Brom lost at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday to two controversial penalties as Peter Odemwingie started but was substituted by Romelu Lukaku in the 62nd minute. The Nigerian did not really affect the match and had only 32 touches in his time on the pitch. He did not register any shot which was thoroughly unlike him.


Levante won 4-0 at home on Sunday with their Nigerian international, Obafemi Martins scoring the first goal in the 43rd minute against Mallorca at the Estadio Ciudad de Valencia.

The Nigerian latched on to a through ball by Barkero and showed quick feet and thinking though he also had a bit of luck as the defender lost the flight of the ball and inadvertently knocked the ball into the Nigerian’s path. Though there was nothing lucky with his crisp right-footed shot into the right hand corner.

Martins was also heavily involved in the third and fourth goals. For the third goal, he exchanged passes with Rubén García as Garcia crashed in a left-footed shot. In the 57th minute, Martins won the ball back in the box and his cross was controlled and passed to Vicente Iborra who scored to make it 4-0 to the homers.

Martins joined from Rubin Kazan about two months ago and has now scored six goals in 11 games for the Valencia-based side. He will hope to be registered for the Europa League also as Levante has progressed to the round of 32.

Real Betis lost 2-1, in a tightly contested battle against league leaders, Barcelona on Sunday but Nosa Igiebor did not see any action as he was an unused substitute.


Forgotten former junior international, Macauley Chrisantus scored his fifth goal for Las Palmas as they beat Huesca on Sunday. Chrisantus scored in the 70th minute of the game. The 22 year-old is hoping to resurrect a very promising career that was almost halted in Germany. He transferred to Las Palmas from Hamburg, where he was for over six years though he was most times also out on loan.

Villarreal are up to fifth position in the Segunda table after thrashing Alcorcon 4-0 on Sunday. Ikechukwu Uche continued his preparation for the Nations Cup in January as he scored the second goal on 75 minutes to take his season’s tally to six goals in 15 league appearances.


Montpellier scored three goals for the first time in the 2012/13 season and were helped on their way by John Utaka who scored in the 28th minute to lead them over Ajaccio.

Utaka executed a lovely drag past two defenders and finished with a left-footed shot across the goalkeeper in the 28th minute to set the tone for the match.

Utaka has now scored twice in the league this season – a season that has been fraught with a lot of injuries for one of the key players that helped Montpellier win the league last season with seven goals. And after crashing out of Europe in midweek, the team will now be able to concentrate on the league and hope to finish in the European places.

Nancy got a 1-1 draw at home to Valenciennes on Saturday as Simon Zenke started on the bench. Zenke was introduced into the fray in the 79th minute to replace Benjamin Moukandjo. Zenke has scored one goal in the league this season.

Onyekachi Apam was not listed for Rennes in their 2-2 draw at home to Brest on Saturday.


Chinedu Obasi was an unused substitute on Saturday as Schalke 04 crashed 3-1 away to VFB Stuttgart. Schalke are on a run of five league games without a win in the Bundesliga while they have progressed to the last 16 stage in the Uefa Champions League.

Obasi has played just 89 minutes in the league and will want to be really match-fit by the time the winter holidays are over. The Bundesliga goes on break from Sunday, 12 December till January 19, 2013. Schalke's next match is against Freiburg on Saturday.

Werder Bremen were hammered 4-1 by Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday at the Commerzbank Arena. Joseph Akpala started on the bench and joined the action in the 80th minute with Bremen 3-1 down. Frankfurt added the coup de grace in the 90th minute through Takashi Inui.

Sidney Sam played his third match after coming back from an injury spell on Sunday when he replaced Manuel Friedrich in the 65th minute of Bayer Leverkusen's 3-2 loss away to Hannover. Sam who has given word that he would want to play for the Super Eagles has scored four league goals this season.


Kalu Uche cannot stop scoring for Kasimpasa at the moment as he netted again on Saturday against Gençlerbirliği, to help his side to a 2-2 draw. Uche scored on 56 minutes to draw his side level after Jimmy Durmaz had given the visitors the lead in the 49th minute. It was the Nigerian’s ninth league goal of the season at his new club.

Gençlerbirliği went ahead again in the game in the 58th minute through Dejan Lekic but Kasimpasa battled back for the draw and levelled the game in the second minute of additional time through Yalcin Ayhan.

Kasimpasa are fifth on the table with 23 points, six points behind league leaders, Galatasaray.

Fenerbahce beat Istanbul BB 2-1 on Sunday to climb to within two points of leaders, Galatasaray, with Joseph Yobo completing another 90 minutes.


Former Enugu Rangers diminutive striker, Chikeluba Ofoedu scored a brace to lead 1461 Trabzon over Samsunspor 2-1. Ofoedu last scored in September when he scored twice against Adanaspor for a 2-1 win.

Ofoedu equalised in the 78th minute and scored the winner three minutes later. 1461 Trabzon are second on the table by virtue of goals difference, as they are tied with Kayseri Erciyesspor on 27 points after 15 matches.


Imoh Ezekiel scored a powerful header to cap Standard Liege’s 6-1 drubbing of Sporting Charleroi on Friday. The 19-year old former 36 Lions striker scored the sixth goal of the game and ninth in his first full season as a professional in Europe.

Ezekiel powered a downward header past Parfait Mandanda in the 65th minute off a cross by Jelle Van Damme. He was then replaced by Luiz Phellype, a minute after scoring.

Derick Ogbu started for OH Leuven in their 1-1 away to Cercle Brugge on Sunday but was substituted in the 67th minute by Christian Pouga. Cercle had Nigerian striker, Michael Uchebo on the bench and he was introduced for goal scorer, Eidur Gudjohnsen in the 90th minute. Ogbu has scored four goals in the league while Uchebo boasts a solitary strike.

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