After a disappointing start to the season, Sofiane Feghouli will finally have something to cheer about. The Algerian international notched his first goal of the season for Valencia as the Spanish side beat Kuban Krasnodar of Russia 2-0 on the road in the second group stage match of the UEFA Europa League.
Feghouli’s goal came in the 81st minute with Valencia already leading 1-0. His free-kick struck a defender and bounced into the corner of the net, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance and doubling the lead for Miroslav Đukić’s side.
Feghouli played the full 90 minutes for Valencia, for the first time this season, and started for just the third time. The goal will hopefully boost his confidence after struggling in the first two months of the season.
Cote d'Ivoire striker Wilfried Bony scored his third goal in four competitive matches for new side Swansea City as they thrashed Romanian visitors Petrolul Ploiesti 5:1 in the first leg of their Europa League qualifying play-off.
Bony netted on 58 minutes with a shot the goalkeeper helped in while desperately trying to make the save.
Nigeria striker Ideye Brown bagged his first goal of the new season to help Ukrainians Dinamo Kyiv to a 3:2 win at Kazakhstani side Aktobe. The Super Eagles star's goal was created by Morocco playmaker Younes Belhanda in the 52nd minute and he returned the favour five minutes later for Belhanda to score what proved the winner.
Nigeria forward Victor Moses scored the opening goal of the game for Chelsea as they beat hosts FC Basel 2:1 in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League semi-final tie on Thursday.
The Super Eagles star headed the Blues ahead in the 12th minute and they held the advantage until the 87th minute, when Fabian Schar equalised for the Swiss side from a controversial penalty.
Brazilian star David Luiz however snatched a last-gasp win for Chelsea from a free kick.
Egypt winger Mohamed Salah had a subdued performance for FC Basel and unable to impose himself as he did in the previous round against Tottenham Hotspur.
Rising Egypt winger Mohamed Salah was FC Basel's most dangerous player until his extra-time exit as they beat Tottenham 4:1 on penalties in the Europa League to reach their first European semi-finals.
The match had ended 2:2 at Sankt Jakob-Park to ensure a 4:4 aggregate score, with extra-time failing to produce any winners, albeit Salah's international team-mate Mohamed El-Nenni hit the woodwork.
Togo star Emmanuel Adebayor was among the Spurs players to miss from the spot when he skied his effort.
Salah and El-Nenni, both just 20 years old, put in monumental shifts for the Swiss champions, but it was the silky skills of Salah that had Tottenham wishing he was on their side.
Four Africans stars were on target for their clubs in Thursday night's Europa Cup quarter-finals first leg games.
Nigeria's Victor Moses, Senegal's Papiss Cisse, Togo's Emmanuel Adebayor and Pierre Webo of Cameroon all hit the back of the net.
Moses played 65 minutes of the game and blasted Chelsea's second goal into the top left in the 32nd minute as they beat Russian side Rubin Kazan 3:1.
Adebayor's effort into the roof of the net helped English side Tottenham fight back from 2:0 down to draw 2:2 with Swiss visitors FC Basel. Inspired in part by Egypt wing wizard Mohamed Salah, Basel raced to a 2:0 lead after just 34 minutes before Adebayor struck five minutes to the break.
Chelsea striker Demba Ba says he wants the club to focus on winning trophies rather than achieving a top-four finish which would secure Champions League qualification.
The Blues face Rubin Kazan in the last eight of the Europa League and have an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City following their 1-0 victory over Manchester United on Monday.
And Ba says that, having never won a trophy in his career, he would rather pick up silverware than achieve a top-four finish because it is what players are remembered for.
"The top four is very important - but we want a trophy," Ba told reporters. "We are looking very good in two competitions, the Europa League and the FA Cup.