A goal from Nigerian Taiwo Awoniyi could not prevent promoted Nottingham Forest from losing 3-2 at home to Fulham at the weekend and slipping into the Premier League relegation zone.
It was the fifth loss in seven games for the two-time former European champions despite more than 20 season-ending signings, including Union Berlin’s Awoniyi.
Here, AFP Sport highlights African starters in Europe’s top leagues:
TAIWO AWONIYI (Nottingham Forest)
Awoniyi scored his second goal since moving from Germany to England, when the Nigerian struck from a corner from point-blank range to put Forest ahead against Fulham. But they failed to hold onto the lead and the loss left Steve Cooper’s men penultimate with just four points from seven games.
YASSINE BOUNOU (Seville)
The Moroccan goalkeeper made a pair of clever saves in the first half to help Julen Lopetegui’s side keep Villarreal at bay and protect a one-goal La Liga lead. However, he needed treatment for a muscle problem near the end of the first half and, although he struggled, he had to be replaced at half-time by Marko Dmitrovic in a 1-1 draw. Bounou will now be a doubt for Morocco in the next international break.
ASSAN CEESAY (Lecce)
The Gambian opened the scoring as Lecce won 2-1 at Salernitana to claim their first Serie A win of the season after three draws and three losses. Ceesay starred as Gambia exceeded expectations by reaching the African Cup of Nations quarter-finals in Cameroon this year.
SOFIANE BOUFAL/ABDALLAH SIMA/NABIL BENTALEB (Angers)
Senegalese striker Sima played a role in Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo earning a red card after just nine seconds. Sima pushed the ball past Todibo, who stuck out a leg and tripped the forward. Following a review of the video, the decision that Todibo was the last defender was upheld. Algerian Bentaleb scored the only goal in a 1-0 win for Angers, who also lost with a man after Moroccan midfielder Boufal was sent off for a second yellow card.
MOM BUCKET (Troyes)
The Guinea-Bissau international striker scored twice in a 3-1 win at Clermont, his team’s third of the season. The 26-year-old equalized in the 23rd minute after taking the ball from the feet of lazy defender Mateusz Wieteska. He added a second nine minutes after the break to take his tally to five goals in eight Ligue 1 games for the mid-table side.