2018 FIFA World Cup: Good signs for Nigeria
by Anthony Nlebem
October 28, 2016 | 3:20 am| | | Start Conversation
…as Eagles stars paint EPL red
Two weeks before the crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier involving Nigeria and Algeria come November 12, it was a week of good tidings for Super Eagles stars plying their trade at the Barclays Premier League Last week Sunday.
Five Nigerian stars showed their class as Manchester City’s sensational striker Kelechi Iheanacho alongside Premier League debutant Ahmed Musa and Chelsea’s hot winger Victor Moses were on song for their various clubs.
Ahmed Musa breaks EPL goal drought
After completing a mega £18m transfer deal from Russia outfit CSKA Moscow to Premier league champions Leicester City, a lot was expected from Ahmed Musa. But the 24-year Musa has struggled to command a first team play for Claudio Ranieri Leicester side.
Nevertheless, on Sunday, the Eagles star was on fine form as he scored his first Premier League goal in Leicester’s 3-1 home win over Crystal Palace.
It was the Nigerian star’s third start in six appearances for Leicester since his big-money move from Russian champions CSKA Moscow and he celebrated it with a superbly taken shot from outside the box in the 42nd minute for the opening goal.
Before now, there have been suggestions that CSKA will be willing to have him back should he fail to crack it in England.
It was most welcomed win for Leicester City after a poor start by the defending champions in the Premier League.
Leicester’s Italian manager Claudio Ranieri was full of praise for Super Eagles vice captain who he noted was getting settled to premier league style of play.
“Of course, Musa needed the goal. He’s a good player and for me, it was important that he understands the Premier League because it’s a different football. Now in the training sessions he’s getting better and has improved a lot and for this reason, I played him today,” Ranieri told Leicester’s official website.
It would be noted that Musa was nominated for the African Footballer of the Year Award.
Super-sub Iheanacho earns point for Man City
After going a goal down in the first half against Southampton, Manchester City boss, Pep Guardiola needed to make a change in the second half and felt confident to bring in Nigerian wonderkid Kelechi Iheanacho who replaced mis-firing Kevin De Bruyne at half time.
Guardiola tactics paid dividends as Iheanacho immediately added bite in City’s attack and netted the equaliser within ten minutes of being on the pitch.
It began with a pinpoint ball from Fernandinho who spotted Leroy Sane’s run towards goal – the young German took the ball to the left of the six-yard box where he delayed long enough to pick out the run of Iheancho who finished smartly from close range.
Iheancho was a constant thorn in the Saints’ defence and he combined well with Ilkay Gundogan to force a save out of Forster as the Blues tried to find what would likely be the winning goal.
Moses shines as Chelsea thrash Man United
Jose Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge was marred with heavy defeat against his former club, as Super Eagles forward, Victor Moses featured 90 minutes for Chelsea in their 4-0 bashing of Manchester United FC in Sunday’s Premier League match.
Super Eagles winger, Victor Moses, had a brilliant game as his lightening pace and dribbles was a handful for the Manchester United defenders to deal with, as he made his third straight start for the Blues.
Despite not writing his name on the scorer’s sheet, Moses was on the pitch from start to finish. Chelsea started the game like a house on fire as Rodriguez Pedro scored an early goal in the first minute before Gary Cahill extended the lead in the 21st minute.
In other Premier league matches played, Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi played for 67 minutes before he was replaced by Lucas Perez in a tactical substitution. The player put up a good performance, as he made several dangerous through passes into the opponent’s box.
Odion Ighalo also featured for 90 minutes for Watford and made several treats into the home side’s box, but was intercepted by a solid Swansea defence line.
With these blistering form displaced by Eagles players abroad, it a sign of what to expect come November 12 as Nigeria files up against Algeria.
Eagles Coach Gernot Rohr should capitalise on these guys fine form and ensure Nigeria defeats the Algerians at the Uyo stadium.
Big Read |