Salah, First African To Score 30 Goals In EPL Season
Prolific Liverpool scorer Mohamed Salah became the first African to bag 30 English Premier League goals in a season when he struck during a 3-0 win over Bournemouth at the weekend.
The 25-year-old Egyptian passed the 29-goal mark set by Ivory Coast great Didier Drogba when helping Chelsea win the 2009-2010 title.
In Italy, Malian Cheick Diabate continued a hot scoring streak for bottom club Benevento with his third brace in three matches.
MOHAMED SALAH (Liverpool)
The winger became just the third Liverpool player to score 40 goals in all competitions in a season as he struck again in a 3-0 win over Bournemouth at Anfield. Salah headed home a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross in the 69th minute — making him the first player to achieve the 40 goal mark for the Reds since Ian Rush in the 1986-87 season. Salah’s goal, his 30th in the league this term, kept Liverpool on course for a top-four finish and means the Player of the Year contender has now netted eight goals in his past five games. He is closing in on Liverpool’s all-time single-season record of 47, set by Rush in 1983-84.
WILFRIED ZAHA (Crystal Palace)
The Ivory Coast winger lifted Palace away from the relegation zone with a double in a vital 3-2 win over bitter rivals Brighton at Selhurst Park. Zaha put Palace ahead with a fifth-minute tap-in and netted again with a header from Luka Milivojevic’s cross to leave the Eagles 3-1 up in the 24th minute. Thanks to the 25-year-old, who now has seven goals this season, Palace are six points clear of the bottom three.
JORDAN AYEW (Swansea)
The Ghana striker rescued a 1-1 draw against Everton with a second-half equaliser at the Liberty Stadium. Ayew fired into the bottom corner in the 71st minute to boost Swansea’s hopes of avoiding relegation. The 26-year-old’s 11th goal of the season — and third in his last four appearances — leaves Swansea five points above the relegation zone.
KALIDOU KOULIBALY (Napoli)
Senegal defender Koulibaly said he felt bitter after a goalless draw at AC Milan severely diminished Napoli’s title ambitions. “We’re disappointed with the result because we had a great chance in the last minute, but (AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi) Donnarumma produced an amazing save. It’s a draw that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth because we could have won it. It’s important that we bounce back with a win straight away so we can keep moving forward.”
MUSA BARROW (Atalanta)
Gambian Barrow, 19, almost scored on his first Serie A start for Atalanta with his goal-bound effort stinging Inter Milan goalkeeper Samir Handanovic’s gloves in a goalless draw in Bergamo.
CHEICK DIABATE (Benevento)
In-form Malian striker Diabate again scored a brace to hand rock-bottom Benevento their first away point of the season with a 2-2 draw at Sassuolo. Diabate has now scored seven goals in six matches — including a third consecutive brace — since joining the club last February. The 29-year-old put Benevento ahead after 22 minutes and after a Matteo Politano double put the hosts in front, Diabate equalised on 72 minutes.
KEVIN-PRINCE BOATENG (Eintracht Frankfurt)
The former Ghana international was involved in the build-up for Frankfurt’s first-half equaliser, but his side ultimately capitulated and lost 4-1 to Bayer Leverkusen. Boateng’s sharp exchange with Marius Wolf paved the way for Marco Fabian to level on 23 minutes, but Frankfurt were blown away in the second half.
SALOMON KALOU (Hertha Berlin)
The veteran Ivorian striker helped set up a second-half winner for his side, as Hertha came from a goal down to beat Cologne 2-1. Drawing several defenders towards him on the edge of the box, Kalou spread the ball wide to Marvin Plattenhardt, whose cross was turned in by Davie Selke to secure victory for Hertha.
ISHAK BELFODIL (Werder Bremen)
The Algerian international missed a golden opportunity to score a late winner for Werder in their 1-1 draw with RB Leipzig. Belfodil came off the bench in the second half, and had a handful of chances to snatch a winner for his team. After forcing a smart save from Peter Gulacsi three minutes from time, Belfodil then sent a header wide in stoppage time.
BERTRAND TRAORE (Lyon)
The Burkina Faso forward grabbed a goal and an assist as Lyon clinched a fifth straight win, defeating Amiens 3-0 to remain ahead of Marseille on goal difference in the race for a Champions League place. With Lyon leading 1-0, Traore delivered a right-wing cross for Memphis Depay to volley home on 83 minutes before sealing the victory two minutes later with his ninth goal of the season.