While the likes of Odion Jude Ighalo and Elderson Uwa Echiéjilé are enjoying the break at home, their Super Eagles teammates, Alex Iwobi and Wilfred Ndidi are sweating it out in the English Premier League.
Eagles midfield enforcer, Ndidi and club, Leicester City handed Everton their fourth loss in five Premier League games.
Ndidi was on for the entire duration of the match as Jamie Vardy scored the only goal of an error-strewn encounter during which the Toffees rarely roused their supporters inside Goodison Park.
Vardy’s 58th-minute goal was one of the few highlights of a turgid affair.
Full-back Ricardo Pereira capitalised on defender Michael Keane’s error to play in the England striker, who finished with an angled drive past Jordan Pickford.
That is now three wins in four games for the Foxes, with those victories coming against Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton.
Those were the type of sides Leicester were beating during their title-winning season in 2015-16.
They lack the consistency of that campaign and have lost some key players since, but one standout act from that season has remained and he once again made the difference.
Vardy had only one shot on target in the match, but he made it count. It was one of his typical finishes, running on to a through ball before striking home left-footed from an angle.
The celebration was less typical – a cartwheel and a somersault.
The win moved the former English champions above Wolves into seventh place.
Next up for Ndidi’s Leicester is a trip to Newport County on Sunday in a FA Cup 3rd Round fixture.
Iwobi Helps Arsenal To High-Scoring Win Over Flimsy Fulham
For Iwobi, he played 83 minutes before being substituted for English player of Nigerian descent, Bukayo Saka, 17. His clubside, Arsenal won convincingly 4-1 against Claudio Ranieri’s Fulham.
Iwobi, who earlier in the day missed out on the final three-man shortlist for the African Footballer of The Year award made the assist for the Gunners first goal.
The 22 year old was under no pressure on the left hand side of the pitch as he lifts the ball into the box where Granit Xhaka has the freedom of the Emirates to knock-in in the first half.
Three more goals followed in the second period – although Fulham did threaten to fight back when Arsenal extended their lead through Alexandre Lacazette 10 minutes after the restart. However, Aaron Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put the game beyond doubt with two goals in the space of four minutes.
Having wobbled and tumbled over a challenging Christmas week, Unai Emery’s men got back on the bike. They stay 5th on the log, while stretching their lead over rejuvenated Manchester United to 6 points. The London side take a break from Premier League action when they travel to Blackpool on Saturday in the FA Cup.
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