—Oduamadi, Nwakali Debut; Orelesi Shines In Albania
By Johnny Edward:
Alex Iwobi scored his second league goal of the season for Arsenal who avenged their FA Cup ouster to Odion Ighalo’s Watford with a 4-0 thumping at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday..
The Nigerian international provided an assist for Alexis Sanchez to open scoring for the Gunners in the fourth minute and the Chilean repaid with a fine cut-back for the 19-year-old to score with a simple finish before the interval.
His compatriot Ighalo was replaced during the interval as his goal drought in the Premier League extended to eight games. Ighalo has scored 14 EPL goals in 32 games for the Hornets this season.
At Villa Park Mikel Obi returned to Chelsea’s starting line-up after playing 180 minutes of international football for the Super Eagles who missed out on next year’s African Cup of Nations.
The new Eagles skipper played all 90 minutes as the Blues cruised to a 4-0 bashing of Aston Villa in his 19th EPL appearance this season.
Emmanuel Emenike made his fourth start for West Ham who drew 2-2 against Crystal Palace. He has played seven games for the Hammers in the EPL since arriving at the club in January and nine in all competitions.
His compatriot Victor Moses watched from the bench as West Ham hosted his boyhood club. He has made 16 appearances, scoring once.
In the Championship, Sone Aluko scored his third goal of the season for Hull City who thumped Osaze Odemwingie’s Bristol City 4-0 at the Kingston stadium on Saturday. His former national teammate, Odemwingie, was replaced in the 65th minute by Luke Freeman.
Carl Ikeme kept his eighth clean sheet of the season for Wolverhampton Wanderers who drew goalless at home to Ipswich Town. Ikeme has conceded 32 goals in 26 appearances for Wolves this season.
In Germany, Anthony Ujah extended his goal drought to five games in the Bundesliga after he failed to score in Werder Bremen’s 3-2 loss to Borrusia Dortmund on Saturday. He was replaced in the 86th minute by Lukas Froede.
Ujah who last scored for Bremen in February has nine goals to his name from 28 games.
In Scotland, Abiola Dauda and Juwon Oshaniwa were both handed their eighth and 20th appearances for Hearts who lost 3-1 away to Efe Ambrose’s Celtic with the latter getting sent off in stoppage time.
It was Oshaniwa’s first ever red card in European league football. Ambrose was benched for the entire duration of the game.
In the Albanian top flight, Nurudeen Orelesi was in fine form in defensive midfield as champions Skenderbeu defeated Villaznia 2-1 on Saturday.
The former junior Nigerian international was on for 90 minutes and was one of Skenderbeu’s best players on the night.
In Finland, Nnamdi Oduamadi made a winning debut for his Finish side HJK Helsinki who defeated IFK Mariehamn 2-0 on Saturday.
Oduamadi who is on a season-long loan deal from AC Milan was replaced by Lassi Lappalainen in stoppage time. His compatriot Taye Taiwo was also on from start to finish in the encounter.
In Norway, Chidiebere Nwakali came on for Mathias Rasmussen in the 70th minute on his debut for IK Start who lost 1-0 home to Viking. Suleiman Abdullahi grabbed the only goal of the encounter for the visitors in the 27th minute of the encounter at the Soer Arena. Nwakali is on loan from Manchester City.