Paris (AFP) – Liverpool goal machine Mohamed Salah was shackled by Chelsea as the Champions League finalists lost 1-0 at the weekend — the third consecutive match in which the Egyptian failed to score.
Salah has struck 31 English Premier League goals this season, four more than lone challenger Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur in the race for the Golden Boot.
But after an astonishing scoring streak in all competitions this season, which overshadowed all other African stars in Europe, Salah fired blanks against Stoke City, AS Roma and Chelsea.
MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)
It is a measure of the Egyptian’s extraordinary impact upon the Premier League this season that it is now a major event when the striker does not score. He struggled in the first half of a 1-0 loss to old club Chelsea that kept the race for a top-three finish alive and was booked for diving. That he could not escape the Blues’ defence after the break was a major reason why the visitors eventually lost.
PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG/ALEX IWOBI (Arsenal)
Gabonese Aubameyang bagged a brace and Nigerian Iwobi one goal as Arsenal whipped Burnley 5-0 in the final home match for Gunners manager Arsene Wenger after 22 years in charge. Former African Footballer of the Year Aubameyang triggered the rout with a 14th-minute opening goal.
VICTOR WANYAMA (Tottenham Hotspur)
One of Spurs’ better players in their surprise 1-0 loss at West Bromwich Albion, the Kenyan drew a sharp save from Baggies goalkeeper Ben Foster with a curling drive.
YOHAN BENALOUANE (Leicester City)
The Tunisia international, finding himself defending on the flank rather than in his more favoured central position, was given a torrid afternoon by Arthur Masuaku as West Ham beat the Foxes 2-0 to assure themselves of Premier League survival.
MUSA BARROW (Atalanta)
Gambian Barrow, 19, scored his third goal in 10 Serie A appearances this season when he opened for Atalanta in a 1-1 draw against Lazio in Rome. The point keeps Atalanta in the chase for Europa League football next season as the club from the northern city of Bergamo are just one point outside the European places.
BRYAN DABO (Fiorentina)
Burkina Faso midfielder Dabo, 26, scored his first goal for Fiorentina, which proved to be the winner in a 3-2 victory for the Tuscany side in Genoa. Dabo added the third after 80 minutes as Fiorentina keep their Europa League hopes alive.
ALFRED DUNCAN (Sassuolo)
Ghanaian midfielder Duncan, 25, proved to be the superhero for Sassuolo, closing down all Sampdoria efforts and setting up Matteo Politano’s second-half winner from a tight angle as the side from Modena held on for a 1-0 win to assure top-flight football next season.
SALIF SANE (Hanover 96)
The burly Senegal centre-back scored with a header from a free-kick on his final home appearance for Hanover in a 3-1 win against Hertha Berlin. It was a farewell gift from the 27-year-old Sane, who has signed a four-year deal to join Schalke, who have qualified for the Champions League next season, and he took the microphone to celebrate with home fans after the final whistle.
KEVIN-PRINCE BOATENG (Eintracht Frankfurt)
The Ghana midfielder played his first game after a fortnight sidelined by a thigh injury and ran the midfield with a typically robust display over 90 minutes as Eintracht pushed Hamburg to the verge of relegation with a 3-0 home win.
NICOLAS PEPE/YVES BISSOUMA (Lille)
Ivorian Pepe struck twice, including the winner eight minutes from time, in a crucial 3-2 victory at relegation rivals Toulouse. The 22-year-old casually back-heeled in Lille’s opener after just five minutes and then sealed back-to-back wins on 82 minutes when he rolled in his 13th goal this term after an ill-advised sortie by Toulouse goalkeeper Alban Lafont. Mali midfielder Yves Bissouma had equalised for Lille shortly before with a thunderous 35-yard free-kick.
KEAGAN DOLLY (Montpellier)
South African Dolly scored his first goal of the season with a terrific left-foot chip soon after half-time as Montpellier won 2-0 at Nantes in a mid-table clash. He helped Mamelodi Sundowns win the 2016 CAF Champions League before moving to France.
BERTRAND TRAORE (Lyon)
Burkina Faso star Traore struck twice within seven minutes during the first half to set up Lyon for a 3-0 home win over relegation-threatened Troyes. Victory kept second-place Lyon one point above Monaco in the chase for a Champions League group place.
MOUSSA KONATE (Amiens)
The Senegalese grabbed two second-half equalisers as Amiens came from behind twice at home to draw 2-2 against champions Paris Saint-Germain. Amiens are eight points above the danger zone and assured of top-flight football next season.