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Osimhen injury a blow for Napoli, Ghana wonderkid stuns Mourinho

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Why Laurens isn't sure Pochettino would succeed at Man Utd (1:53)

Julien Laurens explains his reservations about how Mauricio Pochettino would do at Manchester United. (1:53)

Victor Osimhen's immense Serie A progress hit an unexpected roadblock this weekend as the Nigeria striker picked up a horror injury in Napoli's 3-2 defeat by Internazionale, while another African in Serie A, Felix Afena-Gyan, enjoyed a weekend he will never forget.

Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah ended his Premier League goalless run against Arsenal, while Ismaila Sarr had a mixed outing as Watford brought the curtain down on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's troubled Manchester United tenure.

But first, to Italy...

Osimhen faced criticism following his debut season in Italy, as he struggled to live up to the weighty expectations that accompanied his €80 million transfer from Lille during the summer of 2019.

Injury problems and disciplinary issues didn't help, while a goal return of 10 league goals all term left him under pressure heading into the current campaign.

This season, however, Osimhen has answered critics emphatically.

He's spearheaded Napoli's super start to the season -- as they've established themselves as genuine title contenders -- and had scored five in 10 in Serie A heading into this weekend's showdown with reigning champions Internazionale.

On Sunday, things unravelled, as the Partenopei were defeated 3-2 away -- their first league loss of the season -- while Osimhen was also withdrawn in some discomfort 10 minutes into the second half.

The Super Eagles frontman, challenging for a high ball with Milan Skriniar, clashed heads with the Slovakia centre-back, and crumpled to the turf in pain, with his face quickly swelling.

There was no chance of him returning to action, and he was taken to hospital in Milan while Napoli hoped for positive news.

A club statement on Monday confirmed that the forward must undergo surgery after sustaining multiple facial fractures, suffering damage both to his orbital bone and his left cheekbone.

The positive for Napoli is that their statement makes no mention of any concussion or brain injury, although it remains to be seen how long the forward must stay sidelined.

Nigeria fans - with one eye on the Africa Cup of Nations in January - will watch on nervously.

There were better fortunes in Italy for Osimhen's compatriot David Okereke, who maintained his excellent form in Serie A.

The Nigerian had scored Venezia's third goal in their 3-2 victory over AS Roma earlier this month, and scored the only goal of the game this weekend as the Winged Lions defeated Bologna to move six points clear of the dropzone.

Also in Italy this weekend, Ghanaian wonderkid Felix Afena-Gyan made headlines worldwide after Roma boss Jose Mourinho revealed a bet he'd lost to the 18-year-old.

The teenager was introduced from the bench by the Portuguese coach on Sunday evening, with 16 minutes to play and the capital club struggling to break down Andriy Shevchenko's Genoa away from home.

It took Afena-Gyan just eight minutes to break the deadlock, as he fired home an angled effort after being played in by Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

In the third minute of stoppage time, having earlier received a booking, the youngster silenced the hosts with a second goal, wrapping up all three points for Roma with a sensational curling effort from range.

The second finish, in particular, was a dazzling effort that belied the fact it was only the starlet's third Serie A appearance -- all from the bench -- so far this season.

He becomes the youngest player to score two for Roma since the early 90s, while no player younger than Afena-Gyan has scored a brace in Europe's five major leagues so far this term.

The 18-year-old, who has already been invited to join Ghana's senior side, has paid tribute to Mourinho's tutelage.

"He's teaching me a lot and I am learning a lot from him," Afena-Gyan told the club's official website.

"He's someone who has achieved a lot during his career and he is a great person. I am glad to be working with him."

Premier League talking points

After playing his part in Egypt's progression to the African World Cup qualifying playoff round during the international break, Mohamed Salah returned to Premier League action in style this weekend.

He scored Liverpool's third in their 4-0 rout of Arsenal, ending his five-game goalless streak to net his 11th league goal of the season.

Senegal's Sadio Mane was the Reds' star performer though, opening the scoring six minutes before half time after excellent work from Trent Alexander-Arnold, before later weighing in with the assist for Salah's goal in the 73rd minute.

The Egypt superstar and Ballon d'Or contender made no mistake with a volley from close range to meet Mane's cross, with the Senegal forward having earlier headed past the impressive Aaron Ramsdale, who denied both African stars on several occasions.

Mane's header was his 102nd Premier League goal, and he's now only two away from equalling Didier Drogba, Africa's previous all-time top scorer in the division.

It wasn't a controversy-free evening for the attacker, however, as his hefty challenge on Takehiro Tomiyasu -- for which he was arguably fortunate to have evaded a yellow card -- prompted a touchline spat between Jurgen Klopp and Mikel Arteta.

"It was a completely clean situation with two guys jumping in the air but the Arsenal bench were going for it," Klopp told journalists after the match.

"I'm sick of these moments when everyone is going for Sadio."

Also in the Premier League this weekend, Ismaila Sarr -- who once single-handedly ended Liverpool's hopes of an 'invincible' season -- endured a mixed outing as Watford trounced Manchester United 4-1.

While the Senegal international did get on the scoresheet with a cool finish late in the first half, he'd earlier been guilty of missing two penalties.

His first effort was saved by David de Gea, only for Kiko Femenia to score the follow-up, but the officials ordered the spotkick to be retaken after the Spanish full-back was deemed to have encroached.

De Gea was again equal to Sarr's second attempt, although this time, there was no opportunity for a follow-up.

Sarr was removed with injury 22 minutes from time following a challenge from Donny van de Beek, and will now be assessed this week ahead of next weekend's trip to Leicester City.

In Germany, Nigeria's Taiwo Awoniyi took his tally for the season up to eight goals as he opened the scoring in Union Berlin's 2-0 derby victory over Kevin-Prince Boateng's Hertha.

The ex-Liverpool forward could be one of the key beneficiaries if Osimhen's aforementioned injury setback affects his Africa Cup of Nations participation.