Wednesday,21 November, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1333, (23 February - 1 March 2017)
Wednesday,21 November, 2018
Issue 1333, (23 February - 1 March 2017)

Ahram Weekly

After Africa

Following Egypt’s delightful run in the Africa Cup of Nations, Salah stars against Torino as Warda makes an impressive first appearance for PAOK

After three assists in two games against Crotone in the Italian league and Villareal in the Europa League, Mohamed Salah continued his magnificent form against Torino this week as our Egyptian superstar returned fresh from the Africa Cup of Nations. Egypt reached the final of the ACN but lost to Cameroon 2-1.

Salah started against Crotone in game week 24 to make his first appearance after coming back from his international duty and immediately reminded Roma fans of what he can do. The electric winger won a penalty for his side in the 17th minute but in form Dzeko woefully put it wide before Salah grabbed the assist that his first half performance deserved when he passed the ball to Nainggolan who finished delightfully from just inside the box after a mazy run from Salah.

Salah didn’t stop there as an even better assist in the 77th minute gave Dzeko the chance to make up for his penalty miss. Once again he had Salah to thank as the Egyptian star left him with the easy task of tapping the ball in an open net from three yards with a brilliant cross pass.


Salah

The game ended in a 2-0 win for the visitors with Salah obviously the standout player in the game after grabbing the assists for both goals in addition to the missed penalty.

Roma then travelled to Spain to face a very strong Villarreal side. It seems as if Dzeko was bothered by his penalty miss in the previous game but he grabbed the headlines for the right reasons this time as he notched a brilliant hat-trick after Emerson opened the scoring with a stunning curling effort to all but confirm Roma’s progress to the next round.

Salah started the game on the bench and had instant impact as soon as he came on as he assisted the first of Dzeko’s goals only three minutes after coming on. Once again a brilliant run from Salah down the right side left him in great position inside the box but he opted to pass the ball to Dzeko who was in a better position to score and rightly so. The Bosnian made no mistake from eight yards.

Back in the starting lineup against Torino, Salah tormented the visitors throughout the 90 minutes. Deadly Dzeko opened the scoring yet again with a sweet strike before Salah scored with a delightful volley from a loose ball inside the box. A few minutes later the woodwork prevented Salah from scoring an absolute beauty as his curling effort seemed destined to beat Joe Hart into the far corner but unfortunately for Salah he was denied his second goal of the night.

Paredes added a stunning third from outside the box before the visitors pulled one back in the dying minutes. But there was still enough time for Salah to play a part in the last goal of the game. A cross from the left hand side saw Salah skillfully back heel it to Totti who laid it into the path of Nainggolan who scored another brilliant goal to add to the three beauties of his side on the night.

The 4-1 win ensured that Roma stayed second in the league table with 56 points from 25 games, behind Juventus who are top of the table with 63 points, also from 25 games.

Leaving Italy and moving to Greece, Amr Warda, another Egyptian standout in the African championship, made his debut for PAOK as he played the full game in their 4-0 win over Veria FC. Warda didn’t score but he played an absolutely brilliant game and managed to assist both the third and fourth goals on the night. Warda’s assists came via a brilliant corner kick in the 50th minute which was met by Prijovic who headed the ball in. The second assist was even better as Warda’s magnificent through ball sent Pelkas one on one with the goalkeeper and the attacker made no mistake from inside the box. Apart from his two assists Warda did everything and grabbed the headlines as his link-up play with his new teammates was a joy to watch according to all the match reports.

His performance deserved a goal that unfortunately didn’t arrive but hopefully the young star will manage to score his first goal for his new side in the next game.

PAOK stayed third in the league table with 39 points from 21 games behind high flying Olympiacos who are top with 51 points. Panionios have 41 points from the same number of games.

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