It was a rather poor outing for Nigerian players in the Europa League as none failed to find the back of the net on Thursday night, with the duo of Henry Onyekuru and Alex Iwobi walking a tight rope in the competition after losing with their respective clubs.
It was, however, good news for winger, Samuel Chukwueze who started his first game in a month as Villarreal earned their first win since November in their tie away at Sporting CP.
ALEX IWOBI: Despite finding the net over the weekend, he could not replicate the form as he played the entire match duration in Arsenal’s shock 1-0 loss away at Belarussian side BATE Borisov.
The Nigerian did, however, give a good account of himself as he impressed with a game rating of 7.3 as the Gunners will now have to overrun the tie in seven days to qualify to the next round.
HENRY ONYEKURU: The Eagles forward was also on from start to finish and was particularly impressive as Galatasaray failed to fly at home as they lost 1-2 to visiting S.L Benfica who still have Tyrone Ebuehi sidelined through injury.
STEPHEN ODEY: The former MFM forward was on from the start but was withdrawn 10 minutes from time as FC Zürich bowed to the superiority of Italian side Napoli as they lost 3-1 at home to their visitors with Odey and Zürich now needing a miracle to progress to the next stage of the competition.
SAMUEL CHUKWUEZE: The Eagles’ young star was given the starter’s nod and did not disappoint as he showed series of the impressive display to help Villarreal to a 1-0 win over Sporting CP to boost their chances of making it into the round of 16 stage.
EMMANUEL DENNIS: The young forward was the star man for Club Brugge as they recover from an early goal to defeat Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg 2-1 in Bruges to hold a slim advantage going into the second leg next week.
The 21-year-old had a game rating of 7.7, completing 72% of his passes, winning a game-high 12 duels and also impressed defensively winning 4 tackles and making 3 clearance.
PETER OLAYINKA: He was introduced on the hour mark for Jaromir Zmrhal but could not get the match winner for Slavia Praha as they settled for a goalless draw at home to KRC Genk.
IYAYI BELIEVE: He made is European bow for new club Dinamo Zagreb, coming on in the 76th minute for Mislav Orsic in Dinamo 2-1 loss away at Viktoria Plzen who also had Ubong Ekpai on for 70 minutes before he was replaced.
KAYODE OLANREWAJU: The forward had to do with a place on the bench for the entire match duration as 10-man Shakhtar Donetsk battled back to ahard-foughtt 2-2 draw at home to Eintracht Frankfurt.