Hot-shot Ba bags brace for Newcastle
Juventus’ Kwadwo Asamoah
Senegalese Demba Ba became the leading English Premier League scorer this season with six as he bagged both Newcastle United goals in a 2-2 weekend draw at Reading.
Previously unhappy with the decision of manager Alan Pardew to use him as a wide striker, Ba has netted five times in three outings to overshadow team-mate and compatriot Papiss Demba Cisse.
Malian Jimmy Kebe and Ivorian Gervinho were also on target in the Premier League and giant Angolan Manucho, once on the books of Manchester United, struck twice for Valladolid in a six-goal Spanish La Liga romp.
DEMBA BA (Newcastle)
The Senegal striker became the leading scorer in the Premier League by twice equalising in a 2-2 draw against Reading. His first goal was a sublime volley on the run following a clipped pass from Ivorian Cheick Tiote. But controversy surrounded his second when he inadvertently diveted the ball into the net off his hand with an attempted header.
JIMMY KEBE (Reading)
The Malian opened the scoring in the 58th minute when he slotted a low shot inside the near post but the eventual draw meant his side stayed in the bottom three.
The Ivorian drew the Gunners level against Chelsea with a well-worked shot that saw him take just one touch before beating Petr Cech from eight yards. But his goal was not enough to inspire an Arsenal revival as Chelsea won 2-1.
FOUED KADIR (Valenciennes)
The Algeria midfielder scored one goal and made another as Valenciennes ended Marseille’s 100 percent start to the season with a stunning 4-1 win at Stade du Hainaut. Kadir put the hosts 3-0 up shortly before half-time, capitalising on a botched throw from Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda to roll the ball into an empty net, before crossing for Anthony Le Tallec to head home the hosts’ fourth goal just after the hour mark.
YOUNES BELHANDA (Montpellier)
Belhanda broke the deadlock as defending champions Montpellier won 2-0 at Nancy to register only their second win of the new season. The Morocco playmaker struck in the 65th minute, bending a low shot into the bottom-left corner from the edge of the box for his second goal of the campaign. His Senegalese colleague Souleymane Camara made the points safe in the final minute with a fine 25-yard drive.
CHEICK DIABATE (Bordeaux)
Giant Mali striker Diabate got on the score-sheet for the first time this season to seal Bordeaux’s smash-and-grab 2-0 success at previously unbeaten Lyon. The towering centre-forward out-jumped Mouhamadou Dabo to head home from close range in the 82nd minute, as Francis Gillot’s side extended their unbeaten run to 10 games in all competitions.
JOEL MATIP (Schalke)
The Cameroon international scored his first goal of the season in a 2-2 draw at Fortuna Dusseldorf. Matip hit the target with a well-timed header in the 20th minute from a Christian Fuchs free-kick, seven minutes after Klaas-Jan Huntelaar had put Schalke in front. But Fortuna hit back with two second-half goals.
DIDIER YA KONAN (Hanover)
Three days after scoring twice in a 4-1 win over Nuremberg, the Ivory Coast star was kept at bay by the Hamburg defence in 1-0 defeat. He came close, however, with an acrobatic scissors kick which went over the bar in the 61st minute.
KWADWO ASAMOAH (Juventus)
Asamoah was used only as a second-half substitute by Juventus caretaker coach Massimo Carrera in a 4-1 win over Roma. By then the ‘Old Lady of Turin’ had done the damage, but the former Liberty Professionals striker can look forward to a possible starting place against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday.
KEVIN PRINCE BOATENG (AC Milan)
Boateng showed an improved performance as the Rossoneri laboured to a 1-1 draw at Parma when they really should have won the match. Boateng had several attempts on goal, but after seeing ‘Little Pharaoh’ Stephan El Shaarawy – an Italian who has an Egyptian father – score for his side the Ghanaian woke to media claims he’d been a “flop”.
ALEX SONG (Barcelona)
It was another assured performance at the back from Cameroon midfielder Song in a 3-2 win over Sevilla and he has fitted well into the Barcelona defence with Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol injured. It was a tough task as Barca faced the physical Alvaro Negredo in attack and although the defence struggled at times, Song generally did well and was also able to bring the ball out at the back.
Manucho’s Valladolid future was in doubt mid-year, but against Rayo Vallecano the Angolan produced one of his best performances for the club with a double in a 6-1 win. He got his first goal after 13 minutes with a simple header and set up two others before scoring again with a tidy far-post finish.
OBAFEMI MARTINS (Levante)
After making an immediate impact with a winning goal in his debut last week against Real Sociedad, it was a disappointing match for the Nigerian against Osasuna as Levante crashed 4-0. He showed only glimpses of his pace and his only chance was a first-half header that was comfortably saved.