Sunday, April 22, 2018

What you might have missed: Refugee scores first Bundesliga goal as Sevilla end curse

SoccerNews in La Liga 17 Oct 2016


Barcelona, Chelsea and Real Madrid were among the big winners on a weekend that saw club football return after the international break.

Elsewhere, Manchester City stumbled by missing two penalties in a draw at home to Everton, allowing Arsenal to move level on points at the top of the Premier League.  

However, much more drama took place across the footballing world – with a magical moment in the Bundesliga and the end of a notable curse in Spain among the highlights.

Here, we look at some of the other stories from the weekend:



Scoring the winner with your first Bundesliga goal to give Werder Bremen a 2-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen would be a huge achievement in the career of any young player.

For Ousman Manneh, though, the accomplishment is barely believable.

Now just 19, Manneh only arrived in Germany at the age of 17 as an asylum seeker from The Gambia as his home country struggled with poverty and political troubles.

The attacker left his family to live in a home for refugees in Bremen and played for a local club in an amateur league before being snapped up by Werder.

Just over a year with Bremen’s youth side and second team followed, before Manneh became a first-team player for the 2016-17 season. Then, in the 59th minute on Saturday, he sealed the points for his side with a confident finish.

“I don’t even know what’s happened,” he told the Bundesliga’s website. 

“I don’t know if I really did score a goal or if that was just a dream. It’s an indescribable feeling and I just can’t believe it. I have been so proud to be the first Gambian to play four games, and now I’m proud to be the first one to score!”



Sevilla have won the Europa League for three consecutive seasons and have finished inside LaLiga’s top seven in each of those campaigns.

Therefore, it is hard to believe a team of their standing could go 22 away league matches over the space of 17 months without winning on the road.

But that is exactly what had happened ahead of Saturday’s trip to newly promoted Leganes, where they won 3-2 to finally break the curse.

Strikes from Franco Vazquez and Samir Nasri had them on their way, but two goals in the space of two second-half minutes from Timor and Alexander Szymanowski put the hosts level and it looked as if Sevilla had thrown away their opportunity.

However, Pablo Sarabia scored with a stunning curling effort five minutes from time and the relief was palpable.

With the monkey off their back, Sevilla sit third in the table, just one point off the top and believing anything is possible under Jorge Sampaoli.



Crotone were never expected to thrive after winning promotion to Serie A for the first time in their history.

However, the side from Calabria would have hoped they would have fared much better than this – they have now made the worst start to a Serie A campaign in 22 years.

Their miserable start to the season continued at Sassuolo on Sunday. Diego Galcinelli’s early goal looked to have given them a dream first victory, but goals on 83 and 86 minutes from Stefano Sensi and Pietro Iemmello broke the visitors’ hearts.

Crotone now have one point from eight matches and are rooted to the bottom of the table.

It is the worst start since Reggiana also had only point from eight. However, they are not the worst ever – Venezia lost all of their first eight games in 1949.



For five straight seasons Schalke have finished in the top six of the Bundesliga and hopes were high for 2016-17 after new boss Markus Weinzierl was heavily backed in the transfer market.

However, the campaign is not panning out well – even though a 4-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach prior to the international break gave them hope of reviving a season that had seen them start by losing five straight matches.

They then drew 1-1 at Augsburg on Saturday, but only after €20million summer signing Breel Embolo had to be rushed to hospital with a broken ankle following a bad challenge from Konstantinos Stafylidis, who later made a public apology.

Initial reports that he would miss the rest of 2016 were bad enough, but a later update from the club suggested the Switzerland international could be out for six months after the damage was found to be worse during surgery.

Schalke are sitting in the Bundesliga’s relegation play-off spot.



Prior to Sunday’s Basque derby between Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad, the previous five LaLiga meetings had produced four draws and a total of just seven goals.

That all changed at San Mames, though, with Athletic edging a thriller 3-2 to move up to sixth in the table.

Zurutuza had put visitors Sociedad in front early on, but a 21-minute blitz when a long-range strike from Iker Muniain was followed up with goals from Aritz Aduriz and Inaki Williams secured the points for Bilbao prior to Inigo Martinez’s late strike.

It was Athletic’s first derby win since March 2012.

That was not the only high-scoring game in LaLiga, with Villarreal thrashing Celta Vigo – recent conquerors of Barcelona – 5-0, while Atletico Madrid hit seven against Granada and Real Madrid put six past Real Betis.


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