In this column, we track the best Arab football talents plying their trade in the Premier League and round-up their accomplishments every week.
Leicester star Riyad Mahrez is never far from the headlines after his run of superb form for the Foxes, scoring a goal and providing an assist in Claude Puel’s side’s 4-1 win over West Brom.
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah struggled in Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat to Man United at Old Trafford, and Mohamed Elneny shone in Arsenal’s win over Watford.
Here’s a look at how these Arab footballers fared this weekend.
RIYAD MAHREZ – WEST BROM 1-4 LEICESTER
It was another stunning performance from Mahrez as he guided Leicester to a much-needed win over West Brom at the Hawthorns.
The Algerian scored one and provided an assist for Jamie Vardy – showing just why he is an £80 million target for Arsenal and Manchester City this summer.
His pass for Vardy’s strike was a gem. Collecting possession 40-yards out, the 26-year-old dropped a perfectly weighed pass into the path of the Englishman to equalise with an exquisite volley after 21 minutes.
Mahrez is starting to show signs of his class again after a failed attempt to leave the club during the January transfer window.
Rating – 8/10
Minutes – 87
Goal – 1
Assists – 1
Shots – 3
Shots on target – 1
Key Passes – 2
Passing Accuracy – 88.2%
Touches – 69
Passes – 51
MOHAMED ELNENY – ARSENAL 3-0 WATFORD
A stellar game from the Egyptian.
The 26-year-old was a constant presence in the midfield and appeared everywhere he needed to be in a bid to unlock the Watford attack for team-mates.
Although a pacy Watford midfield dictated proceedings at times, Elneny still pulled the strings in a rare start for Arsene Wenger’s men.
Rating – 7/10
Minutes – 90
Key Passes – 1
Passing Accuracy – 91.8%
Touches – 80
Passes – 73
Aerials won – 2
Tackles – 2
MOHAMED SALAH – MANCHESTER UNITED 2-1 LIVERPOOL
Frustrating performance from a player who had the chance to light it up on the big stage at Old Trafford.
The Egyptian ace was kept quiet by Ashley Young and was dispossessed seven times over the course of the match.
His sole chance of the game was a wild shot over the bar towards the end of the match.
The 25-year-old attacker has been a class act for Klopp’s side, proving he is human after all, in a season where he has netted 33 goals in all competitions.
Rating – 5/10
Minutes – 90
Shots – 1
Shots on target – 0
Key Passes – 1
Passing Accuracy – 75%
Touches – 42
Passes – 20
Dispossessed – 7
Pep Guardiola will not rush Benjamin Mendy back for Manchester City, however keen the Frenchman is to play.
Left-back Mendy is now back in training with the Premier League leaders after six months on the sidelines following cruciate ligament knee surgery.
Mendy, who made a huge impression in the early weeks of the season after joining City in a £49.1million move from Monaco, has said he hopes to return to action next month.
But City boss Guardiola wants to be on the side of caution and feels he may have to hold the 23-year-old back for his own good.
Guardiola said: “The most important thing after six months is to be careful.
“He believes, ‘I am strong, I will come back soon, I will play like I did before the injury.’ That is not happening.
“Even if he believes he is strong he is not strong enough. After six months, he has to be careful.
“But, of course, it’s so important he comes back. He trains in all the training sessions with us. The knee is going well because he was operated on by the best doctor in the world (Ramon Cugat) for doing that. It’s going really well.
“We are so happy because maybe he can help us for 20 minutes, 25 minutes.”
Mendy’s comeback would then follow a similar path to that of Ilkay Gundogan, who also suffered a serious knee injury in December 2016.
The German was eased back into action at the start of this season but it was not until a year after the injury that he began to start games regularly again.
Guardiola said: “We cannot forget Gundogan played in the past month a lot of games – I think all the games, 90 minutes, except the last one.
“But before that, he played one game, rested for two, one game, rested for two, because after six months, the next step is muscular injuries.
You have to try to avoid that.
“Maybe he (Mendy) can go to the World Cup and come back next season stronger.”
City head to Stoke on Monday night looking to claim the first of the four remaining wins they need to secure the title. Victory would re-establish a 16-point lead at the top of the table with eight games remaining, although City are not in league action again until facing Everton on March 31.
Jose Mourinho’s odd war of words with his own home fans continued on Saturday as he criticised the Old Trafford crowd’s reaction to a perceived negative pass played by midfielder Scott McTominay during Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Liverpool.
The moment came in the second half, when McTominay opted to play the ball back to his defence rather than looking for a more attacking option, prompting frustration from the crowd.
Some fans also booed Mourinho’s decision to take off two-goal hero Marcus Rashford late on in the game and replace him with returning midfielder Marouane Fellaini.
“The fans they can do what they want,” Mourinho said. “I am not upset at all with that reaction [about Rashford].
“But I am upset with the reaction they had with Scott McTominay. A kid of 20 years old was making all the right decisions and they wanted him to make the wrong decisions.
“When he decides to break the intensity of the game, it was a wonderful solution and the fans reacted against the kid. That was the bad one. To react against me, that was not the problem.”