PARIS (AFP) – Nigerian striker Ayegbeni Yakubu bagged a brace at the weekend as struggling Blackburn Rovers stunned English Premier League title challengers Manchester United 3-2 at Old Trafford.
Victor Anichebe was another Nigerian to make his mark — snatching a late winner for Everton at West Bromwich Albion — while African stars in France, Germany, Italy and Spain took a mid-season break.
AYEGBENI YAKUBU (Blackburn)
The Nigeria forward scored twice as Rovers beat champions Manchester United 3-2 at Old Trafford to climb off the bottom of the Premier League title in one of the most sensational results so far this season.
He fired Rovers ahead from the penalty spot after the shirt of Congo Brazzaville defender Christopher Samba was tugged by United striker Dimitar Berbatov.
And six minutes into the second half he made the most of a lucky bounce off Michael Carrick’s attempted tackle and then beat Phil Jones with ease before unleashing a fierce shot that made it 2-0.
VICTOR ANICHEBE (Everton)
The Nigeria striker marked his return from groin and ankle problems by coming off the substitutes’ bench to score an 87th-minute winner in the Toffees 1-0 victory at West Brom.
“He is someone we have missed because we can play him in several roles and he is someone who has got a lot of potential if we get the opportunity to unwrap it,” said Everton manager David Moyes.
DIDIER DROGBA (Chelsea)
The Ivory Coast favourite scored his 150th goal for Chelsea, the striker making no make mistake from the penalty spot after he had been brought down in the box by Aston Villa’s Richard Dunne at Stamford Bridge.
But that was as good as it got for Drogba and Chelsea with Villa storming back to win 3-1 — a result that all but ended the Blues’ title bid.
EMMANUEL ADEBAYOR (Tottenham)
The Togo striker endured a frustrating afternoon as Tottenham’s surprise title bid suffered a setback in a 1-1 draw at Swansea City.
He ought to have opened the scoring for the visitors when a horrible pass from Swansea’s Nathan Dyer played him in on goal, but goalkeeper Michel Vorm made a superbly timed sliding challenge to dispossess the former CAF Footballer of the Year.
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Yakubu brace helps Blackburn stun United