The group phase of the Champions League and Europa League kicked off this week. Lots of goals, a few surprises, and seventeen African players who found the net, often decisively.
Paris-SG have been proclaiming their ambition to win the Champions League for years. In the last two seasons, however, they have reached the last 8 much earlier than expected. In any case, the French club got off to a good start in the group phase, beating Germany's Borussia Dortmund 2-0 in Group F, with Morocco's Achraf Hakimi scoring Paris-SG's second goal.
In Group G, Congolese (DRC) Meshack Elia scored the only goal for Switzerland's Young Boys Berne, who were beaten 1-3 at home by RB Leipzig. Also in Group B, Serbia's Red Star Belgrade were dominated (1-3) by holders Manchester City (England), even though Ghanaian Osman Bukari had opened the scoring.
Aubameyang, Kudus and El Kaabi see double
In the Europa League, Senegal's Abdallah Sima helped Glasgow Rangers (Scotland) to victory at Ibrox Park over Spain's Bétis Séville (1-0, Group C). In Group H, Cape Verde's Leandro Andrade gave Qarabag (Azerbaijan) a first victory (1-0) over Norway's Molde. Olympique de Marseille, in the midst of yet another crisis, marked in particular by the unexpected departure of Spanish coach Marcelino, earned a good point against Dutch side Ajax Amsterdam (3-3) in Group B. Trailing 0-2 at the start of the game, interim coach Jacques "Pancho" Abardonado's side fought back, thanks in particular to a brace from Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
West Ham United, who were trailing Serbian side TPS Backa Topola for a long time on their home turf, came out on top (3-1). Ghanaian Mohammed Kudus, newly acquired from Ajax, scored twice. In Group H, Bayer Leverkusen took first place with a 4-0 win over Hacken, with a goal from Moroccan Amine Adli and another from Nigerian Victor Boniface.In Group E, Egypt's Mohamed Salah rounded off Liverpool's win over Austria's Linz ASK. In the group's other match, Belgium's Union Sainte-Gilloise drew 1-1 with Toulouse, thanks to Algerian Mohamed Amoura. In Group G, Slavia Prague (Czech Republic) did very well to beat Servette Genève (Switzerland) 2-0 on home turf, with a second goal scored by Nigeria's Igoh Ogbu. Finally, Olympiakos Piraeus (Greece) lost at home to German side Freiburg (2-3), despite a brace from Moroccan Ayoub El Kaabi.
Marmoush scores from the penalty spot
In the Europa League Conference, Hungary's Ferencvaros got the better of Serbia's Cukaricki (3-1), with a goal from Ghanaian Owusu Kwabena.Germany's Eintracht Frankfurt came from behind to beat Scotland's FC Aberdeen 2-1, thanks in particular to a penalty from Egypt's Omar Marmoush.In Group G, HJK Helsinki (Finland) were defeated on their own turf by PAOK Salonika (Greece) (2-3), despite the opening goal scored by Burkina Faso's Boureima Bandé.