Salah ignites Liverpool's season, Osimhen keeps Napoli top

Hislop: Bundesliga taking shape nicely (1:37)

Shaka Hislop lauds Bayern Munich's return to form but is thankful teams such as Union Berlin are showing some fight in the early days of the race for the title. (1:37)

Mohamed Salah scored his fourth goal of the week as Liverpool defeated Manchester City 1-0 in the English Premier League on Sunday to -- potentially -- ignite their campaign.

Victor Osimhen, meanwhile came off the bench to help Napoli remain atop Italy's Serie A, and Sadio Mane, Joshua Zirkzee, Ademola Lookman and Mohammed Kudus were among the goals across Europe's biggest leagues.

Liverpool had struggled recently in the Premier League -- notably in their defeat by Arsenal in the previous round of matches -- but they hosted City having demolished Rangers 7-1 in the UEFA Champions League, and were bolstered by their recent record against Pep Guardiola's side, having lost just one of the previous six meetings in all competitions.

Salah had seemingly been out of sorts in the league, having scored just once in his previous seven outings in the top flight, but his midweek hat-trick against Rangers -- the fastest in Champions League history -- suggested a return to form, and he was a constant threat in the blockbuster between the Premier League's two most dominant forces over the past five years.

The Egyptian superstar led the line for the Merseysiders, with Darwin Nunez dropped to the bench, and he appeared motivated both to stretch City in behind and keep the centre-backs on their toes by competing for the more direct balls. He was Liverpool's key threat during the first hour, with the Reds keeping the reigning champions' attacking talents at bay, while probing and menacing through Salah, who was denied by Ederson when played through early in the second half.

Salah appeared to be heading for the bench four minutes before opening the scoring, with the fourth official having erroneously raised his number on the board, but the clerical error perhaps even spurred the Egyptian -- who seemed renewed when the mistake was explained to him -- to break the deadlock in this high-intensity encounter.

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Salah owed much to a mistake by Joao Cancelo, who misjudged Alisson's long punt forward, but the attacker capitalised on the opening in some style, racing through to send Liverpool into the lead.

This was the third time that Alisson has assisted Salah in the Premier League -- no goalkeeper has set up a player more often in the league's history -- but it surely ranks as their most valuable link-up, particularly if it breathes life into Liverpool's title hopes.

Perhaps, ironically, it was a game against City specifically that Salah needed to reinvigorate his own league season, with the attacker regularly enjoying himself against Pep Guardiola's side. He's had a hand in 14 goals against City in all competitions -- more than against any other opponent -- and has scored in four consecutive home league outings against the Citizens.

"Hopefully it gives us more confidence so we start winning games," Salah told the Reds' official website after the match.

"The last few weeks, as you saw, we were not [at] our best. We started already from the last game, and this game as well we won so we just need to carry on.

"We're still far away from [the title race]. We don't have to think about the title at the moment, [although] it's in my head we're going to fight for it.

"We just need to focus more and take one game at a time... You can see the team is unbelievable, the club, everybody here; we should be in a better position than where we are now," he concluded. "The players are excited to win again and I think that gives us a good push for the next games."

Salah now has 121 league goals for Liverpool, moving him beyond club great Steven Gerrard; only Robbie Fowler, with 128 strikes in the top flight, is ahead of the 30-year-old.

In Germany, Salah's ex-sidekick Mane weighed in with a delightful chip as Bayern Munich routed Freiburg 5-0 in the Bundesliga.

Mane has helped the Bavarians to register 20 goals in their past five matches, with the Senegal superstar having a direct hand in a quarter of those efforts.

This was one of his more subtle efforts, with the attacker quick to react to a defensive lapse before deftly lifting the ball over Mark Flekken for the hosts' fourth.

Mane's magnificent campaign -- the highlight of which was firing Senegal to a maiden Africa Cup of Nations triumph in Cameroon earlier this year - was not enough to secure him the Ballon d'Or, as Real Madrid and France striker Karim Benzema pipped him to the crown in Monday's awards ceremony. He did, however, win the inaugural Socrates award -- for philanthropic work undertaken in his homeland.

Nigeria's Osimhen is one African player who may fancy his chances of winning the World Footballer of the Year award in the future, as he could rival the globe's finest strikers if he continues in his current vein in the years to come.

The 23-year-old made it two goals in two games when he again came off the bench to send Napoli on their way to a victory that kept them atop the Italian standings.

After striking in the 4-2 Champions League victory over Ajax Amsterdam -- signalling his return after a month on the sidelines -- Osimhen scored the Partenopei's 69th-minute winner in their 3-2 rollercoaster against Bologna.

Goals from Zirkzee and Musa Barrow had appeared primed to secure a point for Bologna as the thrilling contest headed towards the final 20 minutes, before Osimhen outpaced the defence before meeting a through-ball with a cool left-footed finish.

Napoli, without a league title since 1990, now have 10 consecutive wins in all competitions, and they stand two points ahead of nearest challengers Atalanta.

The latter are enjoying the services of a Nigerian dangerman of their own this term, and Lookman extended his fine recent run at the weekend with a 46th-minute winner against Sassuolo.

The Nigeria forward has adapted quickly to life in Italian football, and he has scored three goals in his past three games. Could this be the season when Lookman finally realises the immense potential that has appeared only fleetingly in recent years?

Elsewhere, there were mixed fortunes for some of Nigeria's other most prominent Europe-based stars.

Frank Onyeka marked his 27th Premier League appearance with his first assist, as Brentford defeated Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0, but Emmanuel Dennis and Taiwo Awoniyi were impotent as Nottingham Forest were defeated 1-0 by Wolverhampton Wanderers. Forest's Nigerian duo have three goals between them this term, and are yet to convince that they can drag the Tricky Trees out of danger.

In France, Moses Simon netted his fourth goal of the Ligue 1 campaign as Nantes romped to a 4-1 victory over Brest, but his compatriot Terem Moffi faces a spell on the sidelines after turning his ankle in Lorient's 0-0 draw with Stade de Reims.

In the Netherlands, Kudus came off the bench to net Ajax's seventh goal in their 7-1 demolition of Excelsior.

Fellow Ghanaian Brian Brobbey scored two for Ajax in a rampant display before Kudus beat Stijn van Gassel with a sharp close-range effort seven minutes after his introduction to extend his remarkable start to the campaign.

The 22-year-old has eight goals in 14 appearances across the Champions League and Eredivisie, and his goalscoring form should delight Black Stars fans.