PARIS: Prolific Liverpool scorer Mohamed Salah had a rare goalless outing at the weekend, leaving little unknown Nigerian 'Simy' to star among Africans in Europe with a Serie A brace.
Egyptian Salah failed to score in an English Premier League match at Anfield for the first time since December as lowly Stoke City greatly exceeded expectations to force a 0-0 draw.
In Italy, 'Simy' struck twice to help Crotone whip higher-placed Sassuolo 4-1 and climb three points above the danger zone.
MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)
In a season where he has already scored a remarkable 31 Premier League goals, to suggest the Egypt forward might miss a relatively straightforward chance was to invite ridicule. Yet that is what happened to Salah during Liverpool's goalless draw at home to Stoke -- the first time since a match against Swansea on December 26 last year that Salah has not scored on home turf in the Premier League. He had Liverpool's best chance when, in the fifth minute, he clipped the ball over Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland only for his shot to miss the target. Proof he is fallible after all.
WILFRIED ZAHA (Crystal Palace)
The Ivory Coast forward was in superb form as Palace thrashed Leicester 5-0 to all but assure themselves of top-flight survival. He crowned a brilliant passing move to open the scoring in the 17th minute, then set up the second goal for James McArthur before drawing a foul which resulted in Marc Albrighton being sent off.
IDRISSA GUEYE (Everton)
Best known as a defensive midfielder, the Senegal international scored his first goal of 2018 when he drilled in a shot 13 minutes from time to secure Everton's 2-0 win at Huddersfield. The goal capped an impressive display where Gueye's industry was equalled by his eye for a pass.
AMATH NDIAYE DIEDHIOU (Getafe)
The young Senegalese put his club ahead midway through the first half of a 1-1 home draw against Girona. Both clubs are challenging for 2018/2019 Europa League places.
KALIDOU KOULIBALY (Napoli)
Senegal defender Koulibaly, a hero just a week ago when he scored the last-gasp header that kept Napoli's title ambitions alive with a 1-0 win over Juventus in Turin, turned villain in Florence when he was sent off after just eight minutes. Ten-man Napoli crumbled to a 3-0 defeat against Fiorentina that leaves their title challenge in tatters. Second-placed Napoli are four points behind champions Juventus with just three games left.
Nigerian forward Simeon 'Simy' Tochukwu Nwankwo grabbed a brace as Crotone moved away from the relegation zone with a 4-1 win over Sassuolo. The 25-year-old nodded in the first off a corner after quarter of an hour and added a second in the final minute in Calabria. It was the third consecutive game that 'Simy' has scored in for the southerners.
MUSA BARROW (Atalanta)
Gambian forward Barrow, 19, scored the opening goal after 16 minutes as Atalanta continued their push for Europa League football next season with a 3-1 win over Genoa, which extended their unbeaten run to eight games. It was the second goal with the senior team for Barrow.
NABIL BENTALEB (Schalke 04)
The Algeria midfielder lasted just 13 minutes of second-place Schalke's 1-1 draw at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach before being sent off. He was shown a straight red card for pushing Lars Stindl in the face.
NABY KEITA (RB Leipzig)
Liverpool-bound Keita earned his fourth red card of the season after two bookings in quick succession at the end of Leipzig's 3-0 defeat at Mainz. Keita saw red for fouling Mainz scorers Alexandru Maxim and Bote Baku, which was "completely unnecessary", said Leipzig captain Willi Orban. Keita has now been sent off three times for Leipzig and once for Guinea in the 2017/18 season.
ISMAIL TRAORE (Angers)
The France-born Ivory Coast defender produced a late leveller to earn Angers a 1-1 draw against Europa League semi-finalists Marseille, the stalemate putting the breaks on the southern giants' bid for Champions League football next season. Florian Thauvin's third-minute penalty looked to have secured Marseille the three points until Traore's header in the 79th minute. The 31-year-old rose highest at the back post to meet Flavien Tait's free-kick from deep on the left and fire a header past a rooted Yohann Pele and into the bottom corner for his third goal of the season.