Weekend wrap-up: Nigerians in Europe enjoy mixed fortunes


Nigerians in Europe’s top-flight all fall to defeats on Saturday.

Only Samuel Chukwueze got on the scoring act as Villarreal fell to Barcelona 3-1.

It is becoming a common theme for Nigerians to fly in Europe these days. Hardly does a week go by without a Nigerian player hugging the headlines for a fantastic performance.

Last week, it was Emmanuel Dennis making the front pages in England. The Nigerian saw his performance against Manchester United, who he ran ragged, with one goal and two assists hitting the headlines.

With Nigerians plying their trade in England, Italy, Spain, Belgium and the other less fancied leagues in Europe, one can always expect a couple of them to fly like true eagles.

Losing form for Nigerians in the top flight

It wasn’t a good Saturday for Nigerians in Europe’s top-flight as they all fell to defeats with their clubs.

Crystal Palace fell to a 1-2 loss at home to Aston Villa. Under a new coach Steven Gerrard, Villa has now won two games.

Michael Olise started the game for Palace, but in the 87th minute, he came off for Jordan Ayew. Eberechi Eze was on the bench, and with his team a goal down, he was brought on to replace Luka Milivojevic in the 60th minute.

Southampton were walloped 4-0 by Liverpool at Anfield. The Saints posted a not so saintly performance as Diogo Jota, Thiago Alcantara and Virgil van Dijk all got on the scoring sheet. On an afternoon where Southampton hit the self-destruct button, Nathan Tella was a 46th-minute substitute, replacing Che Adams.

In Italy, David Okereke was in action for Venezia against defending champions Inter Milan. Okereke lasted 84 minutes on the pitch before being hauled off for Francesco Forte in a 2-0 loss.

In Spain, Samuel Chukwueze was on the losing side as Barcelona beat Villarreal 3-1 at the Estadio de la Ceramica. With his side trailing 1-0 to the Catalans, Chukwueze came on in the 65th minute for Yeremi Pinto and got Villarreal’s only goal.

Nigerians in other leagues

In the Czech Republic, Nigerian forward Fortune Bassey was in fine form as his side České Budějovice secured a come-from-behind win over Slovacko. České Budějovice nicked a 3-2 home win with the Nigerian turning out as the hero of the day. Bassey got a brace to help his side secure all three points.

Trailing 2-0 to second-placed Slovacko, České Budějovice started their fightback in the 72nd minute with Valenta halving the deficit before Bassey fired home two late goals to complete the turnaround.

The brace brought Bassey’s tally in his last three games to three and his eighth league goal this season.

In the Championship, another Nigerian held sway as he helped his side to a vital away win. Tom Dele-Bashiru was part of Reading’s 3-2 win over Swansea.

The former Nigerian youth international got the equalizer for his side a minute after conceding a goal. The Nigerian got the goal in the fourth minute as he put in a 90-minute shift for Reading.

It has been a decent season for the 22-year-old who has bagged four goals in the Championship this season.

This article was most recently revised and updated 2 years ago

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