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19 February 2018 | Africa

Former Premier League Africans net first goals for new clubs

AFP
Brown Ideye is hoping to help embattled Malaga avoid the drop from Spain's top flight.  By JORGE GUERRERO (AFP)
Brown Ideye is hoping to help embattled Malaga avoid the drop from Spain's top flight. By JORGE GUERRERO (AFP)

Former English Premier League strikers Diafra Sakho and Brown Ideye scored their first goals for new clubs on a mainly low-key weekend for Africans across Europe.

Senegalese Sakho, who joined French Ligue 1 outfit Rennes from West Ham United, equalised and then put the visitors ahead in a 2-2 draw at Caen.

Nigerian Ideye, whose many previous clubs include West Bromwich Albion, netted for Spanish La Liga strugglers Malaga in a 2-1 home defeat by Valencia.

SPAIN

BROWN IDEYE (Malaga)

The Nigerian forward scored his first goal for Malaga in their 2-1 defeat at home against Valencia. The well-travelled Ideye returned to Europe last month when he joined Malaga until the end of the season on loan from Chinese side Tianjin Teda. His new club are rooted to the bottom of La Liga though.

IMOH EZEKIEL (Las Palmas)

Ezekiel made his debut as a substitute for Las Palmas in their 2-1 defeat at the hands of Sevilla, a result which left the club from Gran Canaria still in the relegation zone. The 24-year-old Nigerian signed earlier this month on a deal to the end of next season. He had been a free agent after leaving Konyaspor in Turkey, and now joins his compatriot Oghenekaro Etebo at Las Palmas.

THOMAS PARTEY (Atletico Madrid)

The Ghana midfielder, 24, made his first league start since January 20 as Atletico Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao 2-0 to stay within seven points of leaders Barcelona. Known in Spain simply as Thomas, he had also started in Thursday's 4-1 Europa League win at FC Copenhagen.

ITALY

CHEICK DIABATE (Benevento)/AHMAD BENALI (Crotone)

Mali striker Diabate came off the bench for new club Benevento and 12 minutes later grabbed the winner with his first touch of the ball in a 3-2 victory over Crotone. English-born Libya midfielder Benali had pulled Crotone level after 73 minutes in Naples before Diabate struck. The 29-year-old, who spent last season on loan to French club Metz, scored after 89 minutes to ensure just the third win this season for Benevento who are bottom of the table with only 10 points.

KHOUMA BABACAR (Sassuolo)

Senegalese forward Babacar got the equaliser for new club Sassuolo after 38 minutes in Bologna only for his side to lose 2-1, their fourth defeat in six games. The 24-year-old joined the club last month on loan from Fiorentina.

ENGLAND

ERIC BAILLY (Manchester United)

He was only on the pitch for a few seconds but Jose Mourinho will welcome the return to action of Ivory Coast international Bailly, who last played for the club in early November. The 23-year-old defender, whose season has been blighted by an ankle injury, will give Mourinho options as the business end of the season approaches.

FRANCE

DIAFRA SAKHO (Rennes)

Diafra Sakho is up and running for Rennes after netting twice against Caen Diafra Sakho is up and running for Rennes after netting twice against Caen

The Senegal forward scored his first league goals for Rennes following his January move from West Ham in a 2-2 draw at Caen. The 28-year-old cancelled out an early opener for the hosts with a diving header in the ninth minute and then squeezed in a second soon after, although Rennes conceded a late equaliser after Sakho was replaced on 80 minutes.​

GERMANY

SALIF SANE (Hanover)

Hanover's Senegalese defender was forced to apologise to Simon Terodde on Instagram after his reckless challenge saw the Cologne striker carried off on a stretcher. Sane was given only a yellow card after clattering his studs into Terodde's head during Hanover's 1-1 draw with Cologne.

NABIL BENTALEB (Schalke)

The Algerian was left out of the Schalke squad for the third time this year as his relationship with the club deteriorated further. Bentaleb has made just one appearance for Schalke in 2018 amid an ongoing dispute over his attitude, and coach Domenico Tedesco once again struck him from the squad list for the game against Hoffenheim.

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