Chamakh, Toure fly the African flag in Europe
16 December 2013, 16:31
Paris - In-form Marouane Chamakh scored his third goal in three games for Crystal Palace before they lost 2-1 to Chelsea, while Yaya Toure was inspirational in Manchester City's 6-3 demolition of league leaders Arsenal.
Salomon Kalou and Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro were both on the scorecard in France, while in Germany Mame Diouf scored two goals in the last five minutes to rescue a 3-3 draw for Hanover at home to Nuremburg.
YAYA TOURE (Manchester City)
Toure was a key driving force as City overpowered Arsenal 6-3 at the Etihad Stadium to close to within three points of the Premier League leaders. The powerful Ivorian was at fault as Theo Walcott scored a first-half equaliser for Arsenal after tamely conceding possession in midfield, but he atoned by helping to tee up a goal for Alvaro Negredo. He also claimed City's sixth goal from the penalty spot after Wojciech Szczesny tripped James Milner.
MAROUANE CHAMAKH (Crystal Palace)
Chamakh scored his third goal in three games for Palace at Chelsea, converting Joel Ward's left-wing cross with a deft volley in the 29th minute to cancel out Fernando Torres's opener. The Moroccan striker has won praise from new Palace manager Tony Pulis, but he finished on the losing side in a 2-1 defeat after Ramires restored Chelsea's lead.
STEVEN PIENAAR (Everton)
South African midfielder Pienaar claimed two assists as Everton beat Fulham 4-1 to strengthen their claim to a top-four place. He teed up Leon Osman for Everton's opener in the 18th minute and then cut the ball back for Seamus Coleman to restore the Toffees' lead with 17 minutes remaining after Dimitar Berbatov had equalised from the penalty spot.
AHMED ELMOHAMADY (Hull City)
Egyptian winger Elmohamady came as close as anyone to breaking the deadlock in his side's 0-0 draw at home to Stoke City. He had a dipping half-volley tipped over the crossbar by visiting goalkeeper Asmir Begovic in the first half and also saw the Bosnian international push away a second-half header.
SEBASTIEN BASSONG (Norwich City)
Norwich centre-back Bassong was involved in an unfortunate incident during his side's 1-1 draw with Swansea City that left opposition winger Nathan Dyer with a suspected fractured ankle. Dyer's ankle buckled following an aerial challenge with the Cameroon international on the halfway line and he was stretchered off before being taken to hospital.
SAPHIR TAIDER (Inter)
Taider was back in Inter's starting line-up for a trip to Napoli which became more urgent after Fiorentina dislodged the Nerazzurri from fourth place earlier in the day. The Algerian, however, made little serious impact in a busy first half which saw Napoli take a 3-2 lead at the interval. Inter coach Walter Mazzarri replaced Taider on the hour mark with Mateo Kovacic to no avail as Napoli scored a fourth.
KWADWO ASAMOAH (Juventus)
On their first match since a Champions League exit in midweek, Juve put four unanswered goals past struggling new boys Sassuolo, and Asamoah should have had his name on the scoresheet. The Ghanaian played a deeper forward role than usual and came close twice to hitting the net.
BRAHIMA M'BAYE (Livorno)
Senegalese midfielder M'Baye has had a mixed first season in Serie A so far for promoted Livorno, and the trend continued for the 19-year-old -- on-loan from Inter Milan -- in a 2-0 defeat to old rivals Lazio. Faced with an uphill climb for the second half, Livorno coach Davide Nicola made double substition immediately after the restart, with M'Baye replaced by Nahuel Valentini.
SALOMON KALOU (Lille)
The former Chelsea striker broke his eight match scoring drought with two goals in five first-half minutes to help Lille defeat Bastia 2-1. The Ivory Coast man who is set to head to the World Cup next June gave Lille the firepower to solidy their third place in Ligue 1 which lifts them back to within four points of leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
JEAN-DANIEL AKPA AKPRO (Toulouse)
The 21-year-old right back scored a 77th minute winner for Toulouse as they surprised fifth placed Nantes in Brittany. The French-born Ivory Coast defender helped his side climb to 10th spot in Ligue 1 and in the hunt for European places with a goal that gave Toulouse a valuable 2-1 win.
MAME DIOUF (Hanover 96)
The Senegal striker scored two goals in five minutes just before the final whistle to rescue a point as Hanover 96 came from three-goals down to draw 3-3 at home with Nuremberg on Saturday. Diouf netted the 92nd-minute equaliser as Hanover scored three goals in the last half an hour to leave Nuremberg as the only team in a major European league without a win this season.
PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Borussia Dortmund)
The Gabon left winger scored his ninth goal of the season as Borussia Dortmund fought back from two-goals down to draw 2-2 at Hoffenheim. Dortmund pulled a goal back just before the break when Hoffenheim goalkeeper Jens Grahl failed to deal with a corner and Robert Lewandowski stabbed the ball towards the empty net for Aubameyang to tap it home.
YOUSSEK EL-ARABI, YACINE BRAHIMI (granada)
El-Arabi produced a contender for miss of the season as he somehow contrived to strike the post from close range when presented with an open goal from Brahimi's pass in Granada's 2-0 win at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday. Luckily for the Moroccan, his blushes were spared as Fran Rico put the Andalusians ahead shortly afterwards before Brahimi teed up Riki to seal the points two minutes from time.
NABIL EL-ZHAR (Levante)
Moroccan winger El-Zhar helped Levante come from behind to beat Elche 2-1 on Friday as he provided the cross for the first of striker David Barral's two goals as they snapped a four-game losing streak.
ALEX SONG (Barcelona)
Song started for just the sixth time in the league this season in Barca's 2-1 win over Villarreal on Saturday. The Cameroonian played for just over an hour before being replaced by Xavi as the Catalans went in search of a winner with the score at the time tied at 1-1.