Posted on Mar 05
Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita of Mali celebrates on March 3, after scoring against Sporting Gijon during a Spanish league football match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona.

Mali midfield magician Seydou Keita curled the ball into the net with 10 minutes left to set up a 3-1 win for 10-man Barcelona over Sporting Gijon in La Liga at the weekend.

The goal gave second-place Barca a lead which was doubled in the closing minutes and kept the defending World, European and Spanish champions 10 points behind Real Madrid with 13 rounds of the title chase remaining.

Egyptian striker Mohamed Zidan snatched his fifth goal in as many games for Bundesliga outfit Mainz, but could not prevent his team losing 2-1 to leaders Borussia Dortmund.

ENGLAND

ALEX SONG (Arsenal)

The Cameroon midfielder lofted a sublime pass to Robin van Persie as the Gunners came from behind to beat Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield. Song's perfectly-weighted delivery was met by a sublime volley from van Persie in stoppage time and the Dutch forward celebrated his 31st goal of the season by pretending to kiss Song's boot.

Arsenal's Cameroonian defender Alex Song jumps for the ball during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield in Liverpool, north-west England on March 3.

STEVEN PIENAAR (Everton)

The South African midfielder provided an assist for Royston Drenthe as Everton drew 1-1 at QPR. Pienaar's pin-point pass picked out Drenthe in the 31st minute and the Dutch winger lashed home from 25 yards.

DIDIER DROGBA (Chelsea)

The Ivory Coast striker was a subdued figure as Chelsea crashed to a 1-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion in a fixture that proved to be Andre Villas-Boas's last as Blues manager. Drogba hardly had a sight of goal and "AVB" was sacked less than 24 hours after the loss, which left his side fifth in the Premier League.

CHEICK TIOTE (Newcastle)

The Ivory Coast midfielder was involved a controversial clash that led to Benin midfielder Stephane Sessegnon's dismissal in the 1-1 draw against Sunderland. Sessegnon caught Tiote with his arm in the 58th minute and, although there was only minimal contact, the Newcastle star went down dramatically, prompting the referee to show a red card.

MAHAMADOU DIARRA (Fulham)

Newcastle United's Ivorian midfielder, Cheik Tiote (L) vies with Sunderland's Lee Cattermole (R) during an English FA Premier League football match at St James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, on March 4.

The Mali midfielder marked his Fulham debut with an assist as the Cottagers routed Wolves 5-0. Former Real Madrid star Diarra, who joined Martin Jol's team as a free agent last month after being released by Monaco, wasted little time showing his class after coming on in the 69th minute as his pass set up Clint Dempsey for the fifth goal.

FRANCE

SIAKA TIENE (Paris Saint-Germain)

Tiene made his first appearance for PSG since representing Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations in a 4-1 win over Ajaccio that sent Carlo Ancelotti's side back to the top of the table. Having replaced the injured Maxwell with 14 minutes remaining, Tiene helped create PSG's fourth goal with a deep cross that Clement Chantome volleyed back across goal for Nene to convert.

Toulouse's Tunisian defender Aymen Abdennour reacts after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match Olympique Marseille versus Toulouse at the Vélodrome stadium in Marseille, southeastern France on March 3.

AYMEN ABDENNOUR (Toulouse)

Tunisia centre-back Abdennour claimed the only goal of the game to give Toulouse an impressive 1-0 win at Marseille that took them up to sixth in the table. Abdennour pounced in the 66th minute, climbing above Souleymane Diawara and Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda to meet Etienne Didot's right-wing corner with a powerful header.

JONATHAN PITROIPA (Rennes)

Burkina Faso winger Pitroipa was the star of the show as Rennes beat Brittany rivals Lorient 2-0 to climb to fourth place in the Ligue 1 standings. The 25-year-old finished off a slick counter-attack to put the visitors ahead in the 41st minute and then set up Moroccan team-mate Youssouf Hadji for Rennes' second goal 11 minutes from the end.

GERMANY

Mainz' Slovakias defender Radoslav Zabavník and Mainz' Egyptian forward Mohamed Zidan (R) celebrates scoring during the German first division Bundesliga football match Borussia Dortmund vs FSV Mainz 05 in the western German city of Dortmund on March 3.

MOHAMED ZIDAN (Mainz 05)

The Egypt striker has now scored in each of his five games, but could not stop the team losing 2-1 to his former club Borussia Dortmund, whom he left only in January. The 30-year-old equalised for Mainz from a tight angle on 74 minutes, but Dortmund reclaimed the lead just three minutes later when Japan's Shinji Kagawa scored the winner.

MAME BIRAM DIOUF (Hanover 96)

The Senegal striker, who joined Hanover in January from Manchester United, scored his second goal in five games in his side's 2-2 draw with Augsburg. The 24-year-old's 69th-minute header put the hosts ahead before Augsburg's Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker levelled the scores with an 89th-minute penalty after a foul on Augsburg's Cameroon midfielder Marcel Ndjeng.

ITALY

SULLEY MUNTARI (AC Milan)

AC Milan's midfielder Sulley Muntari of Ghana controls the ball during their Italian Serie A football match Palermo vs AC Milan at Barbera Stadium on March 3.

The AC Milan star, who had a perfectly good goal ruled out in the 1-1 draw with Juventus last week, played a crucial role in the 4-0 rout of Palermo when his lay-off set up Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the Swede's first goal of three in the 21st minute.

BOUKARY DRAME (Chievo)

The France-born Senegal defender gave Chievo a 1-1 draw with title-chasing Juventus, finding the target with a 76th-minute equaliser following a mazy dribble from Davide Moscardelli.

SPAIN

SOFIANE FEGHOULI (Valencia)

The Algerian scored the winner in Valencia's 1-0 away victory at Granada that strengthened his side's hold on third position. The goal wrapped up a sucessful week for the midfielder, who scored the winner on his international debut against Gambia last Wednesday.

FORMOSE MENDY (Sporting Gijon)

The Senegalese winger made his full debut for Gijon in their 3-1 defeat by Barcelona at the Camp Nou. Mendy, who started his career in France, did well to create Sporting's equaliser in the second half, crossing for Davd Barral to finish from close range.

SEYDOU KEITA (Barcelona)

Barcelona were struggling to take the three points with 10 men until a curling left footed shot from the Malian midfielder with 10 minutes remaining.

Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita of Mali celebrates on March 3, after scoring against Sporting Gijon during a Spanish league football match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona.

Arsenal's Cameroonian defender Alex Song jumps for the ball during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield in Liverpool, north-west England on March 3.

Newcastle United's Ivorian midfielder, Cheik Tiote (L) vies with Sunderland's Lee Cattermole (R) during an English FA Premier League football match at St James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, on March 4.

Toulouse's Tunisian defender Aymen Abdennour reacts after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match Olympique Marseille versus Toulouse at the Vélodrome stadium in Marseille, southeastern France on March 3.

Mainz' Slovakias defender Radoslav Zabavník and Mainz' Egyptian forward Mohamed Zidan (R) celebrates scoring during the German first division Bundesliga football match Borussia Dortmund vs FSV Mainz 05 in the western German city of Dortmund on March 3.

Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita of Mali celebrates on March 3, after scoring against Sporting Gijon during a Spanish league football match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona.

Arsenal's Cameroonian defender Alex Song jumps for the ball during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield in Liverpool, north-west England on March 3.

Newcastle United's Ivorian midfielder, Cheik Tiote (L) vies with Sunderland's Lee Cattermole (R) during an English FA Premier League football match at St James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, on March 4.

Toulouse's Tunisian defender Aymen Abdennour reacts after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match Olympique Marseille versus Toulouse at the Vélodrome stadium in Marseille, southeastern France on March 3.

Mainz' Slovakias defender Radoslav Zabavník and Mainz' Egyptian forward Mohamed Zidan (R) celebrates scoring during the German first division Bundesliga football match Borussia Dortmund vs FSV Mainz 05 in the western German city of Dortmund on March 3.