The football scene across Europe was filled with intense matches and dramatic moments, and Nigerian stars were involved as teams fought fiercely to clinch crucial victories in their respective leagues.
Boniface, Orban, Olatunji impress
In Belgium’s Challenger Pro League, on-loan Lorient star Taofeek Ismaheel made a stunning impact, scoring just three minutes after stepping onto the pitch to help Beveren secure an impressive 4-1 win over RSC Anderlecht II.
In another thrilling encounter in the Jupiler, Gent Orban fired blanks, while Victor Boniface claimed an assist as Gent and Royale Union Saint-Gilloise played out an entertaining 1-1 draw.
In Croatia’s HNL, Aliyu Ibrahim opened the scoring for Lokomotiva Zagreb. Still, two second-half goals from Dinamo Zagreb turned the tie around, handing the champions bragging rights in the derby.
Victor Olatunji’s fine strike proved to be the winner as Slovan Liberec secured a hard-fought 2-1 win at home to Zlin.
In a disappointing match for Zbrojovka Brno, Wale Alli’s 19th-minute effort ended up being mere consolidation as Hradec Králové made away with all three points with a narrow 2-1 win at the ADAX INVEST Arena in Brno.
Contrasting fortunes for Iwobi, Moffi, Maja
The Premier League in England saw intense battles as Alex Iwobi played the full 90 minutes during Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Everton at Old Trafford.
Unfortunately, Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho could not inspire Leicester City to a win as they stumbled to a 1-0 defeat against Bournemouth at the King Power Stadium.
Taiwo Awoniyi’s Nottingham Forest also suffered a 2-0 loss at Aston Villa, while Paul Onuachu was an unused substitute as Southampton crashed 4-1 at home to champions Manchester City.
In France’s Ligue 1, Terem Moffi and his teammates were outclassed by Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos as PSG romped to a 2-0 win at OGC Nice.
Meanwhile, in another thrilling match, Josh Maja got Girondins Bordeaux’s afternoon to a perfect start with a 37th-minute penalty, as the home side claimed a 2-0 victory over Bastia, giving Bordeaux a four-point advantage over third-place Sochaux in the race for automatic promotion.
Chukwueze, Dessers laugh last
What a goal by Samuel Chukwueze against Real Madrid. pic.twitter.com/E8qNsesohY— Oma Akatugba (@omaakatugba) April 8, 2023
Over in Germany’s 2. Bundesliga, Anthony Ujah was the hero for Eintracht Braunschweig, scoring a crucial 76th-minute goal that propelled his team past Kaiserslautern.
In Italy’s Serie A, Isaac Success, Kingsley Ehizibue, and Destiny Udogie all featured as Udinese forced visiting Monza to a 2-2 draw.
Ademola Lookman played for 52 minutes during Atalanta’s shocking 2-0 home defeat against Bologna.
In another exciting encounter, Cyriel Dessers provided the assist for Cremonese’s second equalizer before a stoppage-time winner from Leonardo Sernicola handed Cremonese an impressive 3-2 victory at Sampdoria.
However, despite the victory, Cremonese remain a massive ten points from safety with nine matches left in the league season.
Finally, in Spain’s La Liga, Samuel Chukwueze delivered a scintillating performance, powering Villarreal to a thrilling 3-2 win at Real Madrid.
The Super Eagles winger scored two goals, including an 80th-minute winner, had the most successful dribbles (7) in the game, and won ten of eleven ground duels, leaving the Bernabéu in awe of the Yellow Submarines’ star player.