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Too Good, Too Bad: The Best & Worst of Nigerians Abroad

15:10 EAT 22/04/2019
Anthony Nwakaeme Trabzonspor 912018
Goal review the nation’s best performers around the world this weekend, and pick out a few who must improve

  • Odion Ighalo - Shanghai Shenhua

    Too Good: Odion Ighalo

    When Shanghai Greenland Shenhua visited Wuhan Zall, they probably thought about inflicting a third straight defeat on the new boys.

    Even though that didn’t materialize, it ended 1-1; Ighalo continued his purple patch by netting for a fourth game on the spin to take his tally for the season to six goals in six games.

    The frontman’s strike has now taken him clear of the quartet of Jonathan, Talisca, Alex Teixeira and Eran Zahavi, who are all locked on five goals.

  • Samuel Chukwueze - Villarreal

    Too Bad: Samuel Chukwueze

    A massive 2-1 success for Villarreal against Leganes at El Madrigal took the Yellow Submarine to 14th in the table, four points clear of danger.

    Nonetheless, on a personal front, Chukwueze couldn’t pick up where he left off against Girona a week ago (he scored the winner in a 1-0 win).

    Against Lega, the wideman could only boast of a 62% pass success rate and completed a just a couple of his six attempted dribbles. Similarly, he struggled in his individual battles as he often came off second best, while was intermittently guilty of being dispossessed time and again.

    It was a surprise he lasted as long as he did on the pitch, Alfonso Pedraza replaced the ineffectual teenager in the 84th minute, following his laboured outing.

    While Javier Calleja’s side may be four clear of Valladolid in 18th, there are five games left in the campaign, and the Yellow Submarine aren’t home and dry just yet.

  • Tammy Abraham - Aston Villa vs. Sheffield Wednesday

    Too Good: Tammy Abraham

    Aston Villa were surefire favorites to see off a Bolton Wanderers side that had fallen to defeats in six of their last seven fixtures.

    The Villans themselves went into the game at University of Bolton Stadium on the back of an eight-game winning run. Expectedly, they made it nine wins on the trot with a dominant 2-0 success.

    Abraham may have been withdrawn on the hour following injury, but that was just about what the towering frontman needed to slay the second bottom side, whose relegation was sealed after the loss.

    Having provided the opener for Jack Grealish barely two minutes after half-time, the forward was to turn beneficiary of the Englishman who assisted his goal three minutes before his withdrawal.

    It was the loanee’s 25th Championship goal of the campaign, taking him two behind Norwich City’s Teemu Pukki in the battle to end top scorer.

    For Villa, a ninth win on the bounce sees them sat in fifth place on 72 points, five, six and eight points clear of fellow playoff hopefuls Middlesbrough, Bristol City and Derby County respectively, with the latter two having played a game fewer.

  • Semi Ajayi - Rotherham United

    Too Bad: Semi Ajayi

    At the bottom, a 4-3 defeat for Rotherham United by Swansea City was terribly disappointing for the Millers, who are three points from safety, having played a game more than Millwall in 21st place.

    Frankly, Ajayi was poor at the Liberty Stadium, only able to complete four passes before his withdrawal three minutes before the hour. The defensive midfielder was badly off the pace, evidenced by the fact he got dispossessed a few times, committed silly fouls and was unable to win tackles with any sort of regularity.

    He was booked inside the first 15 minutes and, probably sensing the midfield man was walking a disciplinary tightrope, Paul Warne hooked him off in the 57th minute.

    With only one victory in their last six, Rotherham are running out of time to save their season. If they had any plans about playing in England’s second tier next season, they’re going about it wrongly!
  • Trabzonspor Antalyaspor Anthony Nwakaeme 05042019

    Too Good: Anthony Nwakaeme

    Trabzonspor’s aim to claim a fifth victory in a row when they played host to Yeni Malatyaspor was in jeopardy when they fell behind in the opening half-hour.

    However, they turned the game around to pick up a 2-1 win to put pressure on Besiktas in the race to end third.

    Nwakaeme was in top form and proved to be a protagonist in the comeback win. He equalized in the 31st minute, nine minutes after they went a goal down, before his direct involvement saw Hugo Rodallega complete the turnaround with 11 minutes left to play.

    It was the forward’s sixth goal in as many games, taking his league tally for the season to double figures in 22 games.

    With the Africa Cup of Nations imminent, should Gernot Rohr strongly consider the rejuvenated Nwakaeme for a spot in the side?

  • Ola Aina

    Too Bad: Ola Aina

    A Cristian Ansaldi strike secured an important 1-0 win for Torino at Genoa in their fight to end in the top six. It took them level on points with sixth-placed Atalanta who haven’t played as many games.

    For Aina, he endured a miserable afternoon at Luigi Ferraris as he struggled to get to grips with the game. The accuracy of the Chelsea loanee’s passes were unpredictable, while he also failed to complete a single cross the entire game.

    To make matters worse, of his 13 duels, Aina only came out on top on just one occasion and he failed to attempt a single tackle in 90 minutes.

    Similarly, the left wing-back failed to complete a single dribble, got caught in possession a number of times and committed a few fouls over the course of the meeting.

    It was surprising Walter Mazzarri elected to keep him on as opposed to taking him out of his misery, and it remains to be seen if the wing-back retains his place in the side after what was, frankly, his worst outing for the Bull.