Europe

Lower League Top five: Virtuoso Mancuso

The Empoli winger is the highest performing player from the lower leagues this week, with Serie B well-represented in the rankings.

 
6:00pm on Wednesday 25th September 2019
By
Martin Macdonald

Lower league players are people too, folks! Within the second divisions of some big European countries, we have been treated to some excellent performances, particularly in Italy's Serie B.

Mancuso was the star of the show at the Arena Garibaldi as Empoli secured a 3-2 away victory versus Pisa to put them fourth in the table. The 27-year-old had a hand in all three goals as he netted the opener with five minutes to go in the first half and also in the 89th minute. Five minutes into injury time, he assisted the dramatic winner from Davide Frattesi.

In a rarity for FootballCritic, our top two performers actually featured in the same match, as it was Marconi who netted the two goals for Pisa in their losing 3-2 effort against Empoli. A valiant effort indeed as he scored in the 46th minute, as well as what was meant to be the equaliser in the 93rd, only for the visitors to score again to make it 3-2. Heartbreak.

Huesca successfully overcame Extremadura 1-0 thanks to a goal from Juan Carlos in the first half, but their victory was just as much down to goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez, who saved every single shot on target (8) from the hosts. Add to that 100% of aerial duels won and a decisive clearance, and it was a damn good day at the office.

The first half at the Stadion De Vijverberg Doetinchem belonged to Hamdaoui as De Graafschap comfortably defeated FC Eindhoven 4-0. He opened the scoring with a lovely, glanced header after cleverly drifting into the box unmarked, and then set up the second with a neat pass inside for Gregor Breinburg to score.

Bassi got Nancy off to a flyer at Stade Marcel Picot Tomblaine as he opened the scoring in their 3-0 victory over Chambly Oise. Only four minutes into proceedings, the 21-year-old spun his defender inside the box before rifling a cracking finish into the bottom corner. Then, after the break, he set up Makhtar Gueye with an unselfish pass to his left to make it 2-0.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

The aforementioned Gregor Breinburg (8.85) was unlucky not to be featured in the top five as he got on the scoresheet just like De Graafschap team-mate Mohamed Hamdaoui, with the latter gaining more points for an assist to Breinburg himself.

ROUND TO FORGET

Not a vintage performance from Sikou Niakate, to say the least, for Guingamp versus Sochaux. He attempted zero tackles during the match, lost his only aerial duel, and had two direct errors leading to opposition goals. Better luck next time...

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