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Saturday, 02 March 2024 21:34

Awoniyi gifts Liverpool victory as Aribo rescues Saints, Onyeka’s Brentford hold Chelsea

THERE were contrasting fortunes for Super Eagles of Nigeria players in the top two tiers of English football today.

In the Premier League, Taiwo Awoniyi came on as a second-half substitute for Nottingham Forest but it was his former club Liverpool who benefitted from his presence.

The striker, who has scored six Premier League goals this season, played a huge part in Liverpool’s winner as the Reds stretched the gap at the top of the table to four points.

With the game in the ninth minute of stoppage time and just seconds from the final whistle, Awoniyi attempted to dribble on the edge of the Forest box instead of booting the ball away, and he paid dearly for the error.

The Nigeria international was robbed of the ball by Alexis Mac Allister who crossed to Darwin Nunez to head home the only goal of the game, earning Liverpool a 1-0 win.

Awoniyi’s error deprived Forest of a crucial point, leaving them 17th in the table, just four points clear of Luton Town who occupy the third relegation spot and have two games in hand.

In stark contrast to Awoniyi, Joe Aribo came on in the 70th minute of Southampton’s Championship clash at Birmingham City and scored in the sixth minute of added time to give the Saints a 4-3 victory.

It was Aribo’s third Championship goal this season and second in three matches as Southampton stay in fourth spot, seven points behind Ipswich who occupy the second automatic promotion place.

Championship leaders Leicester City, who were without their Nigeria stars Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho, lost 2-1 at home to Queens Park Rangers to record a third straight defeat in the league.

Back to the Premier League, Super Eagles midfielder Frank Onyeka started for Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium and played for 77 minutes as they drew 2-2 with Chelsea.

In other Premier League fixtures today, Tottenham Hotspur came from behind to beat visiting Crystal Palace 3-1, Everton lost 3-1 at home to West Ham United and Fulham, with Super Eagles stars Calvin Bassey and Alex Iwobi starting, dismissed Brighton 3-0 at Craven Cottage.


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