In another action-packed weekend, there were some good performances by Nigerian players and those of Nigerian descent in leagues around Europe, notably in Spain and France.
Udinese and Parma met at the Dacia Arena, in one of the Saturday matches of Round 20 in Serie A 2018/2019. William Troost-Ekong was in the starting line-up for Udinese but couldn’t stop them from falling to a home defeat. Parma scored early when Roberto Inglese converted a penalty kick in the 11th minute.
The team from Udine managed to level the game in the 50th minute after a Stefano Okaka shot but Parma scored again in the 68th minute to secure an important away win. Gervinho was the scorer of the winning goal.
After losing to Getafe in the last round, Villareal welcomed Athletic Bilbao at the Estadio de la Ceramica on Sunday. The Yellow Submarine players were unlucky to go a goal down in the 18th minute when their own player Jaume Costa put the ball in his own net. They tried to create a good chance after this setback, but it stayed 0:1 at the break.
Villareal started the second half much better with Gerard Moreno in with a couple of good chances, but the visitors were protecting their goal well. The homes side made a few changes in the 58th minute. Samuel Chukwueze also came in for Pablo Fornals. After some back and forth play, Villareal finally equalized in the 71st minute through Karl Toko Ekambi. In the end, both teams held on to earn a point each.
In the evening kick-off game, Barcelona welcomed Leganes at the Camp Nou looking for payback after a surprise loss to Leganes in their first encounter this season. Super Eagles central defender Kenneth Omeruo was in the starting eleven for the visitors and played out the full 90 minutes. Omeruo was good in defence but got yellow carded on the half-hour mark after a bad start. Soon after, Barcelona opened the scoring. Jordi Alba assisted to Ousmane Dembélé who managed to slide the ball past the goalkeeper. It stayed 1:0 at half time.
After Barcelona failing to convert a couple of good chances, Leganes answered with an equalizer in the 57th minute. Martin Braithwaite was the scorer. Almost inevitably, the home side managed to take the lead again in the 71st minute, courtesy of Luis Suarez. Lionel Messi, who came in off the bench in the second half, added a third for Barcelona in the 2nd minute of stoppage time to confirm the win.
Over in France, Bordeaux played hosts to Dijon at the Nouveau Stade. Dijon, who are 18th in the table tried to put up a fight but, in the end, a single goal was enough to give the home side a much-needed win. The visitors managed to resist until the 77th minute when Andreas Cornelius put the ball in the net. Samuel Kalu, who played the full 90 minutes, set up the goal for Cornelius with a good assist. Kalu had the best rating out of all the players at the end of the match.