Some of Africa's biggest stars across Europe's major leagues are limping towards the end of 2020, while others are ending a testing year on a high.
Here are the pick of the African storylines from the weekend's most notable fixtures.
Mendy's moment of madness
Edouard Mendy has been an overwhelming success since arriving at Chelsea, helping the Blues end their defensive troubles that accompanied Kepa Arrizabalaga's every performance, and giving Frank Lampard's side the faint look of a side who could challenge for the title.
After 12 matches with Chelsea, Mendy equalled the record of the Londoners' legend Petr Cech in terms of goals conceded (three) and clean sheets (nine), and his arrival exuded calm and confidence throughout the Blues' beleaguered backline.
In the space of a week, however, the Senegal stopper's form appears to have turned, and he's endured two sub-par performances which have raised some concern.
Against Leeds United, Mendy got away with it; despite conceding inside fourth minutes when he hesitated in dealing with Kalvin Philips' long ball -- appearing to be caught in two minds -- allowing Patrick Bamford to steal in ahead of Kurt Zouma to open the scoring.
Chelsea ultimately bounced back to take all three points, but they weren't able to repeat the trick against Everton as they fell to a 1-0 defeat on Saturday.
The loss ended Chelsea's 17-game undefeated streak, and Mendy was largely to blame, having again demonstrated poor decision-making and lack of nimbleness when faced with a bright, mobile striker.
This time, it was Dominic Calvert-Lewin who got the better of the West African, with Mendy panicking as the England international snuck in ahead of Ben Chilwell, and the ex-Stade Rennais man went clattering into the Everton forward.
A penalty was duly awarded -- there was no need to consult VAR -- and Gylfi Sigurdsson promptly converted past Mendy.
With Hakim Ziyech absent with injury, and Chelsea's other new signings failing to ignite, the Blues laboured for an equaliser, with Everton ultimately seeing out a valuable victory as Lampard's team struggled for answers.
Speaking after the match, the ex-England midfielder refused to criticise his goalkeeper.
"He's been fantastic since he's been here," Lampard told Chelsea's official website.
"I don't think it was clearly just his mistake either. The mentality of the team to deal with second balls in the early parts of the game wasn't so good."
After two tricky weekends, and no clean sheets in their last three matches, Chelsea will be hoping they can quickly rediscover their erstwhile defensive resiliency.
From bad to worse for Aubameyang
Chelsea's troubles at Goodison Park were nothing compared to Arsenal's toil at home against Burnley, as Mikel Arteta's side fell to a 1-0 defeat to extend their winless Premier League run to five matches.
Despite the many subplots that have emerged in the Gunners' unravelling -- Granit Xhaka's meltdown, Mesut Ozil's exile, Arteta's steep learning curve -- things would certainly look a lot brighter for the North Londoners if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rediscovered his scoring boots.
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The Gabon hitman did find the net on Sunday, but unfortunately for him, the ball rippled the wrong net, as the striker rose to head Ashley Westwood's corner beyond Bernd Leno.
It was a moment of misfortune that summed up a miserable afternoon for the attacker, who registered two shots on target -- out of four overall efforts -- in a performance in which both his work rate and movement off the ball were again queried.
Unable - or unwilling - to run the channels, or to beat a man, or to lead a press, Aubameyang has always been considered something of a one-dimensional player.
When he's scoring 22 goals a year, no-one is complaining, but with only two goals -- one from open play -- in 2020-21, it's become hard to see exactly what Auba is contributing.
Schlupp and Eze deny Spurs
Completing a disappointing weekend for London's big three, Tottenham Hotspur were also on the receiving end of an unfavourable result on Sunday, as they let a one-goal lead slip to draw 1-1 with Crystal Palace.
It was a turnaround made in Africa, as Nigerian Eberechi Eze's sharp freekick flummoxed Hugo Lloris, who could only parry the ball back into the box in the 81st minute.
Jeffrey Schlupp -- impressive throughout in an unfamiliar right wing role -- swept in to fire home from close range, as the Eagles denied Spurs the chance of extending their lead ahead of Liverpool at the top of the table.
Ghana's Schlupp created two goalscoring chances during a lively showing, while he also beat his opposite man twice, and hit the target with two of his three attempts on goal.
His presence on the right gave Palace balance, while Eze -- truly coming into his own after a midyear move from Queens Park Rangers -- was scintillating on the opposite flank.
Beyond his role in the goal, he also created five goalscoring chances for his teammates and hit the woodwork as he affirmed his quality at the highest level.
Kadewere dispatches Paris Saint-Germain
African firepower has been influential in Olympique Lyonnais' strong start to the season, and one of their two African frontmen -- Zimbabwe's Tino Kadewere -- was the match-winner on Sunday as they defeated Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in a top of the table showdown.
From the early stages of the match, PSG struggled to cope with Lyon's proactive 4-3-3 formation -- the same strategy that proved so effective in the Champions League last season -- and Karl Toko Ekambi could have opened the scoring during the opening quarter of an hour after being played in by Houssem Aouar.
Kadewere opened the scoring after the half-hour mark, picking up a defence-splitting pass from Toko Ekambi to fire an angled drive beyond Keylor Navas.
It was the Southern African's fifth goal during an increasingly encouraging campaign, and as his relationship with Cameroon's Toko Ekambi - already on seven goals himself - continues to blossom, OL will continue to look like potential title contenders.
Their first triumph in Paris in 14 attempts takes them level with league leaders LOSC Lille on 29 points, one clear of PSG.
Wamangituka extends his scoring run
Last weekend, Silas Wamangituka was one of the African players highlighted in this column after he was booked for cheekily walking the ball into the back of the net after getting the better of Werder Bremen keeper Jiri Pavlenka.
The yellow card won't have mattered much for the 21-year-old, who had earlier opened the scoring with a penalty to take his Bundesliga tally to five goals and two assists in 10 German top flight outings this season.
The best was yet to come, as the wonderkid delivered yet another masterclass in the 5-1 evisceration of Borussia Dortmund away from home this weekend.
Again he scored twice -- either side of Giovanni Reyna's first-half effort for BVB -- and then contributed the assist for Tanguy Coulibaly's 63rd-minute effort - Stuttgart's fourth goal - during a magnificent display that takes them up to seventh.
Operating this time on the right flank, the Congolese attacker again converted a penalty -- after Emre Can had fouled Mateo Klimowicz -- and then demonstrated his composure in front of goal after being picked out by Orel Mangala.