Last weekend saw more action across major European leagues as the 2019/2020 season edges closer towards the finish line.
Several Nigerian stars were involved for their clubs, but it was a bad day at the office for most of the players. In England, Odion Ighalo suffered another FA Cup heartbreak as Chelsea got the better of Manchester United in the semi-final clash between the two sides.
The former Super Eagles star was a second-half substitute, coming on for Marcus Rashford in the 79th minute.
Ighalo was also on the losing side at this same stage when Watford lost Crystal Palace four years ago, but he revealed before Sunday’s clash that he’d give his all to ensure United come out on top.
However, he failed in his mission as goals from Olivier Giroud, Mason Mount and a Harry Maguire own goal secured a comfortable win for Chelsea over United who scored a consolation goal courtesy of Bruno Fernandes penalty.
Meanwhile, in the Premier League, Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho were on the receiving end as their Leicester City side were comprehensively beaten by Tottenham Hotspur. An own goal from James Justin plus a Harry Kane’s brace secured a comfortable victory for Jose Mourinho’s men.
In Spain, it was contrasting fortunes for the Nigerians in the final round of La Liga season. Samuel Chukwueze starred for Villarreal as Javi Calleja’s men ended their campaign with a 4-0 win over Eibar.
The win ensured the Yellow Submarines finished fifth with 60 points and a spot in Europa League group stages next season.
However, while it was a happy night for Chukwueze, it was disappointment for Kenneth Omeruo and Chidozie Awaziem as Leganes were relegated following a 2-2 draw against champions Real Madrid.
Los Pepineros went into the clash, knowing they have to better the result of Celta Vigo to ensure survival. Although Celta could only manage a goalless draw against Espanyol, they managed to stay up as Leganes could not pick up the three points against Real Madrid.
Sergio Ramos put the Champions ahead in the ninth minute, Bryan Gil’s strike on the stroke of half-time levelled proceedings for the Javier Aguirre’s men.I
Following the restart, it was Madrid who retook the lead courtesy of a Marco Asensio finish. But once again Leganes drew level through Roger Assale 12 minutes from time. But despite the late effort, Leganes could not find the winner, and that effectively ended their stay in La Liga.
Both Omeruo and Awaziem were unused substitutes in the encounter. Meanwhile, in the Serie A, William Troost Ekong was on the bench in Udinese’s 2-1 loss to Napoli.
Rodrigo De Paul gave I Bianconeri the lead in the 20th minute, but Arkadiusz Milik drew Napoli level eleven minutes later.
A Matteo Politano strike deep into injury time broke Udinese’s hearts and sealed the win for Genaro Gattuso’s side.
Victor Moses was a second-half substitute as Inter Milan missed the chance to close ground on Juventus following a 2-2 draw against Roma.
A win would’ve reduced the lead at the top to just three points ahead of Juventus clash against Lazio on Monday night.
Stefan de Vrij opened the scoring for Inter, but goals from Leonardo Spinazzola and Henrikh Mkhitaryan turned the tie around for Roma. However, a late Romelu Lukaku penalty after Moses was fouled in the box salvaged a point for the Nerazzurri.
In another Serie A game involving a Super Eagles star, Ola Aina was on from start to finish. Still, his Torino side were beaten by Fiorentina courtesy of goals from Lyanco (own goal) and Patrick Cutrone.
Finally, in Turkey, Anthony Nwakaeme was taken off at half-time in Trabzonspor home loss to Konyaspor.
Alexander Sorloth gave put Trabzonspor ahead in the 12th minute, but Riad Bajic levelled the scores for Konyaspor three minutes before the break. The second half produced five goals with Sorloth scoring his second from the penalty spot in the 56th minute.
Filip Novak then extended the home side’s lead five minutes later. However, late goals from Levan Shengelia, Nejc Skubic and Thuram turned the tie around for the away side.
The result ended Trabzonspor title hopes and crowned Istanbul Basaksehir the Super Lig champions. Okan Buruk’s men secured a 1-0 win over Kayserispor to go seven points clear with just one game left.
Nigeria’s Azubuike Okechukwu was not included in Basaksehir’s squad.