How Nigerian Players Performed in Europe This Weekend as Victor Osimhen, Alex Iwobi Shine

How Nigerian Players Performed in Europe This Weekend as Victor Osimhen, Alex Iwobi Shine

Edwin Kiplagat
February 26, 2024 at 12:07 PM
In this article:
Victor Osimhen logo
V. Osimhen
Napoli logoFNigeria logo
Alex Iwobi logo
A. Iwobi
Fulham logoFNigeria logo
Nathan Tella logo
N. Tella
Bayer Leverkusen logoFEngland logo
Napoli logo
Calvin Bassey logo
Fulham logoDNigeria logo
  • Nigerian players were super in Europe this past weekend
  • Victor Osimhen and Alex Iwobi were the best performers
  • Nigeria suffered a painful defeat at the 2023 AFCON final

Nigerian footballers were on fire in Europe over the weekend.

Victor Osimhen, Alex Iwobi, and Cyriel Dessers scored for their respective teams, while Ebenezer Akinsanmiro made his Serie A debut for Inter Milan.

Ebenezer Akinsanmiro, Alex Iwobi, Victor Osimhen, Nigeria, Napoli, Fulham, Calvin Bassey, Cyriel Dessers, Rangers, Gift Orban
Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen scored for Fulham and Napoli, respectively. Photos by Simon Stacpoole/Offside and Enrico Locci.
Source: Getty Images

Super Eagles stars are settling back into club football after a month away. Jose Peseiro's side fell short in the final against Ivory Coast after an expected run to the final.

With a huge friendly coming up against perennial opponents, Argentina, players are looking to book a spot in the team to play against the World Cup champions.

So, how did Nigerian footballers perform at the weekend in Europe's top five leagues, starting on Friday, February 23?

Nathan Tella makes history with Leverkusen

Tella played for the Bundesliga leaders at home on Friday night against Mainz. The hosts secured a narrow 2-1 win to extend their unbeaten run to a record 33 competitive matches.

Xabi Alonso's side are the only team in the German top flight yet to lose at home this season. Tella was brought on in the 83rd minute in place of Jeremie Frimpong.

Tella's teammate, Victor Boniface, is still out with injury.

Gift Orban's tough game for Lyon

Gift Orban had a game to forget for Olympique Lyon on Friday evening. His error led to Metz's goal, but his blushes were spared after Lyon won the game 2-1 away from home.

He failed to register a single shot and lost possession nine times in the first half, resulting in a substitution in the second half.

Iwobi and Bassey on target at Old Trafford

Alex Iwobi and Calvin Bassey scored for Fulham as they registered a historic 2-1 win at Old Trafford on Saturday evening.

Bassey opened the scoring with a powerful shot from a loose ball after a corner in the 65th minute. Harry Maguire equalised in the 89th minute, and it looked like the hosts would rescue a point.

Alex Iwobi had other plans, however. The former Arsenal star scored a 97th-minute winner to give Fulham an important win at Old Trafford.

Awoniyi and Forest thrashed by Aston Villa

Taiwo Awoniyi was unlucky to miss out on the 2023 AFCON. On Saturday, his Nottingham Forest were beaten 4-2 by a rampant Aston Villa.

Forest were 3-0 down after 39 minutes. Awoniyi assisted Senegal international, Moussa Niakhate, who pulled one back for Forest before half-time.

Awoniyi's teammate, Ola Aina, has not played for Forest since the 2023 AFCON final.

Dessers helps Rangers beat Hearts

Cyriel Dessers scored a brace in Rangers' impressive 5-0 win over Hearts at Ibrox. The 29-year-old scored Rangers' third and fourth goals in the first half and second half, per BBC.

He has now scored 16 goals for Rangers in all competitions this season.

Victor Osimhen scores for Napoli

African Footballer of the Year, Victor Osimhen, scored for reigning Serie A champions against Cagliari on Sunday, February 25. He headed in Giacomo Raspadori's cross to give Napoli the lead.

However, Cagliari scored a last-gasp equaliser to deny the defending champions three points.

Ebenezer Akinsanmiro makes Inter MIlan debut

Akinsanmiro replaced Davide Frattesi in the 76th minute in Inter Milan's emphatic 4-0 win over Lecce to consolidate their spot on top of the Serie A table.

He is the latest Nigerian to play for the Nerazzurri, joining legends like Obafemi Martins and Taribo West, per Afrik Foot.

Osimhen subbed off by Napoli

Sports Brief earlier reported on Napoli's new manager, Francesco Calzona, explaining why he subbed off Victor Osimhen for the second straight game.

The Nigerian superstar was replaced shortly after scoring for the Serie A champs in their 1-1 draw with Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League last week.

Against Cagliari, Osimhen was substituted in the 85th minute with an apparent injury, with Napoli's manager backing his decision to bring his superstar off.

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Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.