Bakambu treble as Africans sparkle in Spain

Democratic Republic of Congo and Villarreal sharpshooter Cedric Bakambu scored a timely first hat-trick in the Spanish La Liga at the weekend.

His treble got the reign of new manager Javier Calleja off to a perfect start with a 3-0 thrashing of Eibar.

On a special weekend for Africans in Spain, Moroccan teenager Achraf Hakimi debuted for European giants Real Madrid and Senegalese Amath Ndiaye notched his first La Liga goal.

ENGLAND

DIAFRA SAKHO (West Ham)

Slaven Bilic’s decision to send Sakho on as a substitute in the second half against Swansea was booed – but he made them eat their words as the 27-year-old Senegalese striker broke the deadlock in the final minute of regular time of a dire game.

MAME BIRAM DIOUF (Stoke)

The Senegalese forward has been a solid performer for his club in the past three years and his goal gave them an early lead in their 2-1 win over Southampton.

ALEX IWOBI (Arsenal)

The Nigeria forward scored his first goal for Arsenal since January when his 56th-minute effort set the seal on a 2-0 win at home to Brighton that ensured Arsene Wenger marked the 21st anniversary of his appointment as the Gunners’ manager with a victory. Alexis Sanchez instinctively guided a back-heel toward unmarked Iwobi, who made no mistake in firing home from eight yards.

OUMAR NIASSE (Everton)

Given his first league start for Everton since May 2016 and first under manager Ronald Koeman, having come off the bench to score twice in a 2-1 win over Bournemouth, the Senegal striker was unable to capitalise on a promising start in a 1-0 defeat by Burnley at Goodison Park.

SPAIN

CEDRIC BAKAMBU (Villarreal)

DR Congo striker Bakambu netted his first hat-trick in Spanish football to ensured new Villarreal boss Javier Calleja got off to a winning start in La Liga with a resounding 3-0 victory over Eibar. His lofted finish gave the hosts a halftime lead before he slid in to meet a cross and double the advantage seven minutes after the break. He took his tally for the season to six by blasting home a penalty.

ACHRAF HAKIMI (Real Madrid)

Hakimi, 18, made his Real Madrid debut at a packed Santiago Bernabeu as the European champions saw off Espanyol 2-0. Despite his tender age, Hakimi is already a full Moroccan international and showed impressive composure in his first outing as Dani Carvajal’s understudy.

AMATH NDIAYE (Getafe)

Senegalese midfielder Ndiaye bagged his first La Liga goal, but in vain as Getafe lost 2-1 to a late Deportivo la Coruna fightback. Ndiaye showed a fine fleetness of foot to skip inside before firing his shot into the far corner to open the scoring.

ITALY

KALIDOU KOULIBALY (Napoli)

Senegal defender Koulibaly opened his Serie A account this season by sealing Napoli’s 3-0 win over Cagliari at the Stadio San Paolo. Koulibaly scored two minutes after the break as Napoli made it seven wins from seven to take sole possession of top spot ahead of champions Juventus.

SEKO FOFANA (Udinese)

France-born Ivorian midfielder Fofana converted a penalty in the last action of the match as Udinese won 4-0 – three of their goals coming from the spot – for just a second win in seven games.

GERMANY

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Borussia Dortmund)

The Gabon hot-shot had a penalty nightmare when he fired his poorly-taken spot-kick straight at the goalkeeper in Borussia Dortmund’s 2-1 win against Augsburg. Aubameyang stepped up and hit a weak shot 10 minutes from time after the video assistant referee awarded a penalty, but Dortmund held on to win.

SALOMON KALOU (Hertha Berlin)

The Ivory Coast veteran scored Hertha’s equaliser in a 2-2 draw at home to Bayern Munich, four days after the German giants sacked Carlo Ancelotti. After Bayern went 2-0 up, Hertha pulled a goal back and when the ball landed at Kalou’s feet after the Bayern defence failed to clear, he fired home on 56 minutes.

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