’s IZUCHUKWU OKOSI writing for All Nigeria Soccer as usual saw action from league games over the weekend in Europe and picks out four interesting takeaways from matches involving Nigerian players.

1. Lucky Eagles Ekong And Ajayi Escape Referees’ Bookings

The duo of Semi Ajayi and William Troost-Ekong were desperately lucky not to have been booked for unsportsmanlike attitudes in their clubs’ league games for West Brom and Udinese. 

On Sunday, Ekong was livid with Krzystof Piatek for simulation, then attempted to poke the Polish striker with a finger for  wanting a dubious penalty. 

The AC Milan star with a knowing smile went down clutching his face like he was felled by a bullet.

The referee Fabrizio Pasqua only gave Ekong a verbal warning for his reaction after it was initially thought the VAR could be needed for a possible penalty call.

Ajayi also got a ticking off for remonstrating from Gary Ward after Derby County’s Kieran Dowell fell to the ground under the slightest of challenge from the Nigerian a day earlier.

2. Omeruo Was ‘Weak Link’ Versus Atletico Madrid

Super Eagles defender Kenneth Omeruo did not cover himself in glory on Sunday evening against Atletico Madrid as the duo of Joao Felix and Alvaro Morata ran him ragged and twice between the 45 and 50 minutes almost committed two errors leading to goals.

The match commentators aptly described him as the weak link in Leganes’ defence although he noticeably played safer afterwards, clearing the ball without dallying and inviting pressure from the Atletico strikers.

3. Iwobi’s Goals Return To Improve At Everton?

Alex Iwobi made his debut for Everton on Friday coming off the bench to post an encouraging game.

Everton lost 2-0 against Aston Villa at the Villa Park.

Highlight of the former Arsenal player’s evening  was hitting the woodwork which could have got the Toffees back in the game when score was still 1-0.

Grabbing the headlines as a goal scorer wasn’t Iwobi’s forte whilst at Arsenal but it just seems that could be different in his new club with manager Marco Silva assuring that Iwobi will play in midfield in addition to his role on the left wing.

4. Moses Simon Likely To Perform Better At Nantes Than At Levante

The Nigerian scored the winning goal for Nantes in a 2-1 win over Amiens SC at Stade Crédit Agricole de la Licorne with six minutes to the end of the match.

Throughout last season Simon scored once in 19 matches for parent club Levante and even if he does not play up to 19 Ligue 1 matches this season, it is inconceivable to think he will not score again unless he gets injured and misses probably the rest of the season.

And it was nice to see Simon joining his new teammates in the their post match ritual of dancing before the fans which shows he is warmly accepted.

Izuchukwu Okosi

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