Riyad Mahrez thoroughly eclipsed Mohamed Salah in the weekend showdown between two of Africa's greats to become the continent's all-time record assist-maker in the Premier League, while Jordan Ayew played an unheralded role in Crystal Palace's breathless revival against Leicester City.
The biggest game of the weekend saw a fresh take on a familiar classic as Manchester City -- still gunning for the Premier League crown -- blitzed their erstwhile title challengers Liverpool. As well as being a meeting between old foes, the game marked a showdown between two of the finest African talents of any generation.
Neither City nor Liverpool are maybe quite the force they were but the Sky Blues were resplendent in their come-from-behind 4-1 victory, responding ruthlessly -- and with no shortage of style -- after Salah had lashed the visitors ahead in the 17th minute.
Julian Alvarez and Jack Grealish stole the plaudits fir City but Mahrez played a pivotal role wide on the right flank, sitting on Andy Robertson's shoulder, leaving the Scot conflicted, hesitant, and with little response to the Algerian's penetrating runs.
Out of possession, Mahrez unsettled Liverpool, stretching them beyond the point of comfort and allowing City's cohesive midfield quartet to take control, pulling Fabinho and Jordan Henderson out of position as Robertson raced belatedly to support them.
He was influential as City took the lead after halftime, picking up an astute ball from Alvarez before crossing for Kevin De Bruyne to touch home beyond the despairing Alisson. It was Mahrez's fifth assist of the season, and his 56th in the Premier League as he replaced Didier Drogba as the African player with the most assists in the top flight.
Only Leandro Trossard has more assists in the Premier League this season than Mahrez, who created a game-high six scoring chances and should have had the equaliser himself only to fire over soon after Salah had put the Reds ahead.
Mahrez's dribbling was also outstanding -- not least in the build-up to Alvarez's equaliser before the half-hour mark -- when his movement infield from the right flank immediately put Liverpool's defence on the back foot, and he ended the game with a carry distance of 430 metres, the highest in the division.
"Superb result and stellar performance from everyone today," Mahrez posted on social media after the match. "We keep believing, always."
Salah also broke a Drogba record -- becoming the all-time top-scoring African player in the Premier League -- but he had no answer to City's brilliance and was hauled off with 20 minutes to play.
There was a familiar face in the dugout for Palace's game against Leicester at Selhurst Park, as Roy Hodgson returned to replace Patrick Vieira, but the Eagles were anything but familiar as the typically conservative hosts let off the handbreak in a one-sided showing against their fellow strugglers.
A 2-1 victory for Palace -- sealed by Jean-Philippe Mateta's stoppage-time winner -- didn't do justice to an Eagles performance in which they had 31 shots to the Foxes' three.
Wilfred Ndidi, working manfully to attempt to protect the Foxes' defence, made six interceptions -- more than any other player in the Premier League this weekend -- and seven clearances as he sought to keep Leicester in it, but his efforts ultimately came to naught.
If Palace are to thoroughly banish any fears of relegation, they'll need to rely heavily on their African stars, many of whom came to the fore against the Foxes.
Wilfried Zaha, who's enjoyed some of the best days of his career under Hodgson, was responsible for seven of Palace's shots -- albeit with only one on target -- while the outstanding Eberechi Eze was an inspiration, creating three scoring chances while testing Daniel Iversen on several occasions and striking the free kick with which Palace equalised courtesy of a rebound off the keeper's head.
Jeff Schlupp, so often an unsung hero for Palace, created five scoring opportunities against his former club -- no one on the pitch registered more -- while his Ghana teammate Ayew produced one of his best performances of the season.
Introduced as a half-time substitute for Zaha, the 31-year-old also appeared to enjoy his reunion with Hodgson. His was the decisive assist, as he threaded a ball through Mateta in the 93rd minute to secure all three points in a match that ultimately proved to be Brendan Rodgers' last in charge of the Foxes.
"The last-minute goal is always wonderful when you are the team that scores it," Ayew told the club's official website. "It's a little step forwards; there is a long way to go but it is a big three points. It's very good. It's been a while since we've put in a good performance like this."
Each of the Ghanaian duo signed a new deal with Crystal Palace on the eve of the Leicester game, and while Ayew's goal record at the club -- 16 in 165 outings -- leaves him open to criticism, there won't be many grumbling about his new contract after the part he played in securing maximum points.
Jurgen Klopp praises Mohamed Salah for becoming Liverpool's record scorer in the Premier League after brace vs. Manchester United.
In Italy, Osimhen's outstanding run in Serie A was halted by injury, with the striker diagnosed with a lesion in his left adductor muscle.
Osimhen's absence is hardly likely to dent Napoli's Serie A aspirations -- the Partenopei are 16 points clear with 10 games to play -- but they came unstuck without him against AC Milan on Sunday, utterly outclassed in a 4-0 defeat.
Legendary Milan boss Arrigo Sacchi didn't believe that Osimhen's absence was to blame for Napoli's crushing loss.
"Yes, Osimhen was missing but let's immediately clear up the misunderstanding: with a Napoli team that was not gritty, was slow, and was very predictable, even Osimhen would have struggled," Sacchi wrote in his Gazzetta dello Sport column.
"One player could not have solved this situation."
Osimhen's absence may not have been the only reason the league leaders' run came to an end, but it could jeopardise their UEFA Champions League hopes; they are set to face Milan again in the quarterfinals.
However, it will need take a remarkable effort from his Capocannoniere rivals to unseat the Nigerian in the goal charts.
His recovery is set to be reassessed this week, although Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has indicated the forward is expected to be sidelined for a fortnight.
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The visitors failed to take all three points -- former Generation Foot wunderkind Ibrahima Niane equalised before the break -- but Moffi's latest strike continues his hunt for a French Golden Boot.
With nine games to play, Moffi -- who initially lost his place in Nigeria's starting XI to Kelechi Iheanacho during the recent international break -- sits sixth in the scoring charts, with his four goals at Nice added to the 12 he scored at Lorient during the first half of the campaign.
All eyes will be on Moffi in his next outing when Nice host Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday, offering the chance for the Nigerian to go head to head with his rival Mbappe.