African players in Europe: Mane punishes Palace again

·3-min read

Sadio Mane scored twice for Liverpool against Crystal Palace in the English Premier League at the weekend -- the eighth consecutive match against the London club in which he has netted.

The brace from the Senegal attacker enabled the Reds to win 2-0, finish third and secure Champions League football next season.

Ivory Coast's Nicolas Pepe was another African to score twice on the final day of the season with his goals earning Arsenal a 2-0 win over Brighton.

Here, AFP Sport rounds up the performances of Africans in the major European leagues:

ENGLAND

SADIO MANE (Liverpool)

Mane ended a poor season on a high by sweeping home a corner at the far post to open the scoring before his deflected effort from Mohamed Salah's pass 16 minutes from time sealed victory. Salah's failure to score meant the Egypt attacker missed out on the Golden Boot to Harry Kane.

BERTRAND TRAORE (Aston Villa), EDOUARD MENDY (Chelsea)

Traore's goal against his former club helped Villa beat Chelsea 2-1, but the losers still qualified for the Champions League as rivals Leicester lost 4-2 to Tottenham. In the act of trying to stop Traore's effort, Chelsea goalkeeper Mendy injured his ribs colliding with the post. The Senegalese stopper is now a doubt for the Champions League final on Saturday against Manchester City.

NICOLAS PEPE (Arsenal)

He has struggled to live up to his £72 million ($102 million) price tag since joining from Lille two years ago, but finished his second season at the Emirates with 16 goals.

SPAIN

CARLOS AKAPO (Cadiz)

The Equatorial Guinea defender scored the second Cadiz goal in a 2-2 draw at fellow mid-table La Liga club Levante. Spaniard Akapo qualifies to play the central African nation as his father was born there.

ITALY

FRANCK KESSIE (AC Milan)

Ivory Coast midfielder Kessie scored twice from the penalty spot in a 2-0 win over Atalanta which ensured Milan finished the season second and returned to the Champions League for the first time since the 2013-2014 season. Kessie's spot kicks came after 43 and 93 minutes to bring his season tally to a career-best 13 goals, including 11 penalties.

OMAR COLLEY (Sampdoria)

Gambia defender Colley scored a second goal this season, sending in a rebound before the break in a 3-0 win for Sampdoria over rock-bottom Parma.

GERMANY

RAMY BENSEBAINI (Borussia Moenchengladbach)

The Algeria defender scored with a towering header as Borussia Moenchengladbach sealed a 4-2 win at Werder Bremen, who were relegated from the Bundesliga for the first time in 41 years. The 26-year-old dead-ball expert bagged his fifth goal this season by powering home his header from a free-kick to put Gladbach 3-0 up with an hour gone.

FRANCE

KARL TOKO EKAMBI (Lyon)

Cameroonian Toko Ekambi thought he had fired Lyon into next season's Champions League with a brace that put his team 2-1 up five minutes before the break and took his league tally to 14 goals, but the 28-year-old forward could only look on as quick-fire strikes from Hassane Kamara and William Saliba put Nice ahead by the hour mark. The hosts couldn't bounce back and will play in the Europa League next season.

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