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African players dominate the opening weekend of the English Premier League

AP/Scott Heppell
Newcastle United’s Senegalese striker Papiss Cisse celebrates his goal against Southampton.
Published This article is more than 2 years old.

After a three-month hiatus, the English Premier League is back. And week one of the world’s most popular soccer league did not disappoint—the opening weekend produced high drama, entertaining football and, most importantly, lots of goals.

And one of the more interesting storylines to emerge from the first week is the part played by African players. In the nine games that took place, players with African roots scored 25% of the 27 goals. Ivorian Arouna Koné came on as a substitute, assisted on one goal, and scored another himself in Everton’s draw at home to Watford.

Meanwhile, Ghanaian André Ayew, the son of legendary Abedi Pele, produced this lovely finish in an overall impressive debut in English football for Swansea.

The performance of players from the continent during this weekend’s Premier League led the guys at Football is a Country to tweet this:

Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, and Nwankwo Kanu’s successes have contributed to the immense popularity of the Premier League in Africa over the last few years. Additionally, live broadcast of the games across the continent by the pan-African station, Supersport, has helped to deepen the game’s following. Of the nearly 1.5 billion followers of the Premier League, nearly a third live on the continent.

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