Mikel Obi and Wilfred Ndidi shared the pitch for the first time since June 2019, however the two were on opposing sides and in the FA Cup when Stoke City hosted Leicester City.
Leicester made light work of the Championship side, winning 4-0, but the battle between both Nigerian Midfielders wasn’t so clear cut.
While the younger Midfielder showed grit and physicality, the older – and more illustrious in the competition – was graceful and wound back the clock, putting on display a passing masterclass.
At 33, Mikel didn’t look at all sharp and worked a small patch on the pitch, but as the Stoke pivot, he acted very well like the lighthouse out in the raging sea.
He controlled play from deep, picking teammates with precise passes and opening up attacking channels.
However he was almost non-functional defensively, Leicester made sure of that as they travelled more and freely on the flanks; their attacking flow avoiding passage through the center of the pitch as much as they could.
That game strategy worked wonders for Brendan Rodgers’s men as they held their first half lead – the goal scored in the 34th minute through Justin James – and consolidated after the resumption.
Marc Albrighton (59′), Ayoze Perez (79′) and Harvey Barnes (81′) all scored to wrap up teh win for the Foxes.
Both Mikel and Ndidi played entire duration of the game for their sides.
The last time they shared the pitch was on international duty with the Super Eagles in the AFCON 2019 group match against Madagascar.
Nigeria lost 2-0, and Mikel did not play any further part in the championship until he announced his international retirement.