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Sessegnon volley helps Black Cats lick Swansea


Benin midfielder Stephane Sessegnon stole the English Premier League show at the weekend with many fellow Africans on Cup of Nations duty in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

His superb angled volley opened the scoring for Sunderland against Swansea and the Black Cats went on to win 2-0 as a revival under new manager Martin O'Neill continued.

Algerian Foued Kadir scored twice and Cape Verdian Ryan de Graca and Ivorian Koro Kone once in French Cup ties and Cameroonian Joel Matip was on target for Bundesliga co-leaders Schalke.


Benin international Sessegnon struck a superb volley in the first half to help his team to a 2-0 win over Swansea at the Stadium of Light. Craig Gardner added the other goal as the club enjoyed their first victory over the Welsh side in nearly 50 years.

The Ghana-born midfielder, on-loan from Arsenal, endured a dramatic day at Molineux as Wolves lost 3-2 to Aston Villa. He created Michael Kightly's goal after a wonderful piece of skill in the build-up. But in the second half he had to be taken off after being inadvertently kicked in the head.

SHOLA AMEOBI (Newcastle)
Nigeria striker Ameobi has his chances but could not stop his team slumping to a 5-2 defeat at Fulham. He went wide with an early chance and headed wide again midway through the first half before seeing Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale tip wide a rasping effort.

FOUED KADIR (Valenciennes)

Three Ligue 1 clubs fell in the French Cup round of 32, but Algerian midfielder Kadir helped ensure that Valenciennes did not join them by scoring a brace in a 3-1 win at home to Ligue 2 side Bastia. Kadir cancelled out Bastia's opener with a 29th-minute tap-in and then made the game safe in the 61st minute after team-mate Gael Danic had given the hosts the lead.

Mendes was the star of the show as Ligue 2 Le Havre threatened a serious upset at Marseille's Stade Velodrome. The 22-year-old forward from Cape Verde Islands scored the game's opening goal in the sixth minute and teed up Alexandre Bonnet for what should have been the winning goal in the dying stages of normal time. Bonnet volleyed wide from seven yards, however, and OM went on to secure a 3-1 win in extra time.

A January signing from Slovak outfit Spartak Trnava, 22-year-old Ivorian forward Kone wasted no time in endearing himself to the fans of his new club by scoring a 48th-minute winner in a 2-1 victory over Ligue 2 representatives Istres.

JOEL MATIP (Schalke 04)

The Cameroon midfielder scored Schalke's first goal after three minutes as the Royal Blues enjoyed a 3-1 win over Stuttgart which took them level on points with fellow leaders Bayern Munich and Dortmund. The 20-year-old defensive midfielder was a strong presence while making his 16th appearance of the season having established himself as a first-team regular.

CHINEDU OBASI (Schalke 04)
The Nigeria striker was lent by Hoffenheim during the German league's winter break and started on the right wing for the Royal Blues. The 25-year-old was a constant thorn in the Stuttgart defence in the 3-1 win before he came off on 75 minutes.

JOEL OBI (Inter Milan)

The Nigeria midfielder came on at half-time in Inter's 2-1 over Lazio when Romania full-back Cristian Chivu had to go off. Obi played a fluid role on the left alongside Japan's Yuto Nagatomo. Obi lined up in midfield but frequently swapped places with the marauding Nagatomo.


Playing in an attacking midfield position, the Ivorian was at the heart of Espanyol's better moves, especially in the first half, in a 3-0 victory over Granada. He set up the first goal with Baena heading home his corner kick and in the second half his free-kick came back off the woodwork for Rui Fonte to score the third.

PAPAKOULI DIOP (Racing Santander)
The Senegalese midfielder had a quiet game as Santander crashed 2-1 at home to Getafe, which ended a five-match unbeaten run. Diop worked hard in the middle of the pitch but struggled to build play or break up Getafe's passing, especially in the second half.