The English Premier League is producing mixed reactions on each passing match day as teams are battlering for the championship, too four finish as well as not to be relegated.
On Friday 5th April to Monday 8th April, teams were on the field of play for three points with Africans involved for different teams.
SOUTHAMPTON VS LIVERPOOL
On 5th April, Southampton invited Liverpool at St. Mary’s stadium to battle for three points and going into the game, Liverpool knew a win will make them go top of the EPL as Manchester City who they are fighting with for the championship had an FA cup assignment on Sunday.
Liverpool showed that they are not to lose points easily when they fought till the last whistle to collect three points after defeating Southampton 3-1.
The Guinean Naby Keita was trusted by Liverpool’s coach Jurgen Kloop a place in the starting line up after not been given game time for so long. Keita looked to lack confidence in himself a little bit and was easily dispossess on the ball in the early stages of the game. Naby Keita was was shaky when helping Liverpool defensively but on the other hand he did well going forward for Liverpool, no wonder he scored the equaliser for Liverpool in the 38th minute.
The Egyptian Mohammad Salah was also an important player for Liverpool as he was part of the Reds front three on the day. Salah played a big part in Liverpool’s first goal before registering his name on the score sheet in the 80th minute for give the Reds the lead in the game on the day.
Sadio Mane, the Senegalese, was dangerous and alert when on the ball and provided pace to Liverpool’s front three but should have done much better on the day his finishing touches in front of the goal mouth let him down.
The win for Liverpool takes them to the top of the EPL with 82 points From 33 games a game more than Manchester City.
NEWCASTLE VS CRYSTAL PALACE
On Saturday 6th April, Newcastle United invited Crystal Palace at St. James Park in a game Crystal Palace won by a goal to zero.
For Crystal Palace, the Ivory Coast international Wilfred Zaha was an important player as he started the game for Palace. Zaha with his pace and energy showed glimpse of magic on the right hand side of Palace’s attack and did very well win the penalty that gave Crystal Palace the three points.
The Senegalese Cheikhou Kouyate was introduced in the 85th minute replacing Andros Townsend and in the few minutes he was given, he did very well to solidify Crystal Palace midfield while the Ghanaian Jordan Ayew was in the squad for the day but was unused substitute.
For Newcastle United, the Ghanaian Christian Atsu was introduced on the 90th minute which was not enough time to shine on a day his team lost by a goal to zero to Crystal Palace.
HUDDERSFIELD VS LEICESTER CITY
The same Saturday saw Leicester City invading the John Smith stadium to battle for points with Huddersfield Town and playing away did not threaten Leicester City as at the end of 90 minute three points was in the bag.
As usual the Nigerian Wilfred Ndidi started for Leicester City and he made sure he controlled the game for Leicester City in the middle of the pack as he won balls and started moves for his team at the same time making sure his defence is well protected.
For his fellow Africans, Kelechi Iheanacho the Nigerian, had nothing show off in a match he was introduced in 90+3 minute replacing Jamie Vardy who scored a brace in a game Leicester City won by 4 goals to 1 while the Algerian Rachid Ghezzal was unused substitute .
Action continue on Sunday 7th April with teams involving Africans in action.
EVERTON VS ARSENAL
Goodson Park was the place to be on Sunday 7th April as three points awaited the winner between Everton and Arsenal.
The Egyptian Mohammad Elneny was the only African in the starting line up for Arsenal with the Gabonese Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and the Nigerian Alexi Iwobi on the bench as coach Unai Emery was resting players ahead of their game against Napoli in the Europa league on Thursday 11th April.
The Egyptian Elneny didn’t get to shine in midfield as he failed to make an impact in the absence of the injured Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey on the bench. He was woeful as he misplaced most of the passes no wonder he was substituted in the 46th minute for Aaron Ramsey.
The Nigerian Alexi Iwobi was introduced on the 74th minute and in the 16 minutes he was on the pitch he showed purposeful, creative and industrious. His coming in brought life into the game for Arsenal and won the man of the match award, a thing that tells he shined on the day despite his teams losing.
The Gabonese Pierre Emerick Aubameyang played in his own shell as he failed to create a shining moment and break the defensive live of Everton.
For Everton, the Senegalese Idrissa Gueya played in midfield and shielded the back four very well through out the match especially in the second half. His ball distribution was not good on the day but his presence in the game disturbed Arsenal in midfield on the day Everton won the match by a goal to 0 through a goal scored by Phil Jagielka for him to be the oldest player to score a goal in the EPL.
What is the Premier League?
The Premier League, normally referred to as the English Premier League [EPL] or sometimes the Barclays Premiership after the title sponsor. The EPL is the top level of the English football system. Contested by 20 clubs. The 2018 / 2019 season includes these clubs; AFC Bournemouth, Arsenal, Brighton & Hove Albion, Burnley, Cardiff City, Chelsea FC, Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham FC, Huddersfield Town, Leicester City, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Southampton FC, Tottenham, Hotspur, Watford FC, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers
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My name is Blessings Mpando from Lilongwe district born in December 1994. I am a Christian and a member of CCAP. I grew up in Lilongwe and completed my secondary education in 2010 before going on to complete my diploma in journalism at the Polytechnic Continuing Centre.