On a quiet Sunday for football in most parts of Europe, Nigeria-born players were still involved in games played in England and Scotland.
Joe Aribo played a prominent role as Steven Gerrard’s men clinched their fourth victory on the bounce, with a thrilling 2-1 win against the champions.
The Nigeria international was in action for the entire duration of the encounter as Rangers ended 2019 with a 2-1 away win against Celtic in Sunday’s Old Firm derby.
The 23-year-old was given his 17th start this season, but it was Ryan Kent who opened the scoring for Steven Gerrard’s men in the 36th minute before Odsonne Edouard levelled for the Bhoys eight minutes later. Nikola Katic then notched the match-winning goal before the hour mark to clinch maximum points for the Gers.
The remarkable Rangers win cuts the gap with the league leaders to just two points, with the Light Blues having a game in hand on the champions.
Ovie Ejaria was on from start to finish as Reading humbled their host Preston North End at the Deepdale on Sunday.
The 22-year-old, on loan from Liverpool, could not add to his three goals and two assists recorded so far this term, but goals from Joao and Swift were enough to secure a 2-0 away victory for the Royals.
Super Eagles defender Semi Ajayi suffered defeat with West Bromwich Albion for the first time since October as Middlesbrough ran away with a 2-0 win at the Hawthorns.
The 26-year-old centre-half made his 25th league appearance of the season, but could not add to his 3 goals as strikes from Ayala and Fletcher knocked Slaven Bilic’s men off the top of the Championship table.
England youth international Bukayo Saka did his bit but it was not enough to save Arsenal from suffering a 2-1 defeat at the hands of London rivals Chelsea.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got the Gunners’ noses in front with a first-half strike, but late goals from Jorginho and Tammy Abraham won the game for the Blues. The youngster, still eligible to play for the Super Eagles, made his 11th league appearance of the season as Mikel Arteta suffered his first home loss since taking charge as manager.
Ebere Eze and Bright Osayi-Samuel were both kept quiet as Hull City shocked QPR with a 2-1 comeback win at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
Chair handed the host the lead in the 20th minute, but Honeyman equalized before halftime as both sides headed into the break with the scoreline at 1-1. But with the crowd expecting a moment of magic from Eze, it was Irvine who netted the winner for the visitors in the dying moments of the tie.