African Cup of Nations - Premier League watch

Sun, 12 Feb 21:58:00 2012

Players from Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Newcastle United, QPR and Wigan Athletic are represented in the 2012 African Cup of Nations.

FOOTBALL Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast in action against Zambia in the African Cup of Nations final - 0


Marouane Chamakh (Morocco)

1-2 v Tunisia - Played 78 minutes (7)

He may have had a distinctly ineffectual season with his club but the Arsenal striker was liberated in the colours of Morocco. A constant handful, Chamakh utilised his physical attributes to hold the ball up well and attract a string of fouls. He could have had two penalties and was only denied a deserved goal by a fantastic save after a cute one-two in the first half.

2-3 v Gabon - Did Not Play

1-0 v Niger - Player 90 minutes (6)

The Arsenal man assisted the only goal, playing in Younes Belhanda, but looked offside in the build-up. Elsewhere it was typical Chamakh, squandering two presentable chances and making questionable decisions in the box. He did, at least, look interested in a dead rubber for Morocco.

Gervinho (Ivory Coast)

1-0 v Sudan - Played 89 minutes (6)

Along with Salomon Kalou he flanked central striker Didier Drogba, but it was the Arsenal man who was the blunt prong of Ivory Coast's attacking trident as he proved somewhat wasteful. A succession of shots were sent over the bar and Gervinho's passing in the final third often left something to be desired: a not unfamiliar scenario for a talented yet inconsistent forward.

2-0 v Burkina Faso - Played 90 minutes (5)

More profligacy from the Arsenal man as he missed three presentable chances and displayed a general lack of end product. Not his best game in an orange shirt.

2-0 v Angola - Did not play

3-0 v Equatorial Guinea - Played 90 minutes (6)

As usual his running was direct, his energy good but his composure in the last third wanting. Seems to lack confidence at the crunch.

1-0 v Mali - Played 90 minutes (8)

An excellent goal, his first of the tournament, as he dribbled from inside his own half before beating goalkeeper Soumaila Diakite with a low shot. It capped a lively display on the wing from the Arsenal man.

0-0 Zambia (7-8 penalties) - Played 120 minutes, missed penalty in shoot-out (7)

Along with Kolo Toure, was the beaten side's best player with some driving runs. Won the penalty that Didier Drogba missed, then fluffed his lines in the shoot-out.


Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)

1-0 v Sudan - Played 90 minutes, scored (8)

The striker did what he does best with his 52nd international goal proved decisive in his country's opening game. After 39 minutes he met a fine cross from Chelsea colleague Salomon Kalou with a typically accomplished header. His link-up play was also effective and he should have made it 2-0 when volleying over the bar in the second half.

2-0 v Burkina Faso - Played 90 minutes (7)

Superb cross for Kalou's opening goal and a fine second-half turn in the area to set up a chance for Gervinho. Led the line and his team with power and desire.

2-0 v Angola - Came on after 79 minutes (6)

Was rested with qualification assured, but given a late run-out to lead the line and close out the win. Held the ball up well.

3-0 v Equatorial Guinea - Played 90 minutes (7)

Missed a penalty but scored twice and was his usual dominant sense as he led the line to crush the co-hosts' hopes.

1-0 v Mali - Played 90 minutes (7)

His penchant for going to ground too easily was again in evidence, but a good centre forward display, and hit the post with a header early on.

0-0 Zambia (7-8 penalties) - Played 120 minutes, missed penalty normal time, scored in shoot-out (5)

Another quiet game when it really mattered, only showed a couple of good touches as he struggled to get into the match. Ballooned a spot-kick over that would have won the game but bravely converted in the shoot-out.

Salomon Kalou (Ivory Coast)

1-0 v Sudan - Played 64 minutes (7)

Kalou dovetailed well with Drogba as part of Ivory Coast's three-man attack and was a sprightly presence on the left, particularly when creating the only goal of the game as he beat his man and delivered a cross for his Chelsea colleague. He could have had a goal himself in the second half before being replaced for former Leeds star Max Gradel.

2-0 v Burkina Faso - Played 65 minutes (8)

Capped a good first half performance with a well-taken goal after 16 minutes. Was injured though, pulling up and coming off soon afterwards. Hopefully just a tweak. Booked in the first half, apparently for dissent.

2-0 v Angola - Did not play

3-0 v Equatorial Guinea - Came on after 85 minutes (5)

Had little time to make an impact, hardly touching the ball.

1-0 v Mali - Played 90 minutes (7)

Another good display on the wing from the Chelsea player who came close in the second-half when his shot was tipped over the bar by Soumaila Diakite.

0-0 Zambia (7-8 penalties) - Played 63 minutes (6)

A quiet game by his standards, he worked hard and ran willingly but did not create much of note.Looked dejected when subbed off.

Manchester City

Kolo Toure (Ivory Coast)

1-0 v Sudan - Played 90 minutes (6)

Playing against the team ranked 120th in the world meant Toure was up against a lower calibre of striker than he is used to in the Premier League and the Manchester City defender was largely untroubled as the Elephants started with a win. However, Sudan did threaten on occasion and even hit the bar.

2-0 v Burkina Faso - Played 90 minutes (7)

The better of Ivory Coast's two central defenders, with Sol Bamba looking vulnerable at times.

2-0 v Angola - Played 90 minutes (7)

One of the few first-teamers given a full 90 minutes due to a lack of playing time at Manchester City. Largely untroubled.

3-0 v Equatorial Guinea - Played 90 minutes (6)

Unfussy but didn't have much to do, with most of the hosts' limited threat coming from wider positions.

1-0 v Mali - Played 90 minutes (7)

A very impressive performance at the back from the Manchester City man who showed great anticipation to limit Mali's chances.

0-0 Zambia (7-8 penalties) - Played 120 minutes, missed penalty in shoot-out (7)

Poor Kolo was superb at the back all match, denying Zambia a couple of chances, but his weak penalty in the shoot-out set up the defeat.

Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast)

1-0 v Sudan - Played 90 minutes (7)

Though perhaps lacking the dynamism that has accompanied his performances for City this season, the younger Toure was still dangerous from his position in central midfield, dragging one effort wide and then shooting over the bar with seven minutes remaining.

2-0 v Burkina Faso - Played 81 minutes (6)

The Manchester City midfielder had one of those days where he never really got out of second gear. Fortunately he did not need to as they won at a canter.

2-0 v Angola - Did not play

3-0 v Equatorial Guinea - Played 90 minutes (7)

Dominated the midfield and wrapped up the win with a smashing free-kick.

1-0 v Mali - Played 90 minutes (8)

Exceptional for 70 minutes as he produced a commanding midfield performance before tiring towards the end.

0-0 Zambia (7-8 penalties) - Played 87 minutes (6)

Had an uninspiring game, barely touched the ball in the final third and should have been taken off earlier.

Newcastle United

Demba Ba (Senegal)

1-2 v Zambia - Played 90 minutes (5)

It was a frustrating day's work for the man who has been terrorising Premier League defences for the best part of a year. Zambia gave Senegal a tough workout and Ba pounced on a rare chance after 70 minutes, only to hit the woodwork.

1-2 v Equatorial Guinea - Played 58 minutes (5)

Another disappointing outing for the Toon star, whose touch was poor and movement sluggish in admittedly testing conditions and hostile atmosphere. His poor showing at these finals is one of the main reasons for their surprise early exit.

1-2 v Libya - Played 45 minutes (5)

In a performance that will have delighted Newcastle fans, Ba mentally was already on the plane back to Tyneside as he went through the motions in another lifeless Senegal performance before his new clubmate Papiss Cisse replaced him at half-time.

Papiss Cisse (Senegal)

1-2 v Zambia - 67th minute substitute (6)

Newcastle's new £10 million man only played 24 minutes but almost created a goal for Ba when chipping the ball up and crossing for his club-mate, who hit the woodwork. Otherwise he failed to make a lasting impact in his short time on the pitch.

1-2 v Equatorial Guinea - Played 90 minutes (5)

Fared no better than Ba as he toiled in the rain and mud, largely well-shackled by their determined hosts. Got a few decent touches in wide positions but his delivery and shooting was as poor as Ba's movement. Newcastle have not seen the best of their pairing.

1-2 v Libya - 46th minute substitute (6)

Could not lift a lacklustre Senegal side as he played the second half of their defeat to Libya. His only moment came when he made a run into space in the box, but Moussa Sow failed to locate him with what would have been a simple pass.

Cheik Tiote (Ivory Coast)

1-0 v Sudan - Played 80 minutes (7)

Patrolling the midfield from a deep-lying role, Tiote was involved in the only goal of the game as it was his glorious cross-field pass that found Kalou, who teed up Drogba with his subsequent cross. The Newcastle man also played in Gervinho with another fine pass, only for the Arsenal forward to miss the target.

2-0 v Burkina Faso - Played 90 minutes (6)

A solid if unspectacular midfield display from the Newcastle man, who was booked for a foul on Jonathan Pitroipa.

2-0 v Angola - Did not play

3-0 v Equatorial Guinea - Did not play

1-0 v Mali - Played 90 minutes (7)

A solid, if unambitious performance in the middle from the Newcastle United player who kept it simple by constantly passing the ball sideways.

0-0 Zambia (7-8 penalties) - Played 120 minutes, scored penalty in shoot-out (6)

Had a solid if unspectacular game in centre-mid. Was booked, and netted his penalty comfortably.

Queen's Park Rangers

Adel Taarabt (Morocco)

1-2 v Tunisia - 46th-minute substitute (7)

The playmaker made an immediate impact following his introduction as a substitute as he saw a firm effort turned round the post. However, some of his crossing was disappointing as he failed to turn the game in favour of his country.

2-3 v Gabon - 66th-minute substitute (5)

Introduced midway through the second half but had little impact as Gabon went on the win the match in dramatic circumstances.

1-0 v Niger - Did Not Play

Armand Traore (Senegal)

1-2 v Zambia - Did Not Play

1-2 v Equatorial Guinea - Did Not Play

1-2 v Libya - Did Not Play

Wigan Athletic

Mohamed Diame (Senegal)

1-2 v Zambia - Played 90 minutes (5)

An early departure for Remi Gomis saw Diame drop back into a more defensive role inside 30 minutes but he still managed to enjoy a decent chance on 62 minutes when just failing to get the necessary connection on a free-kick.

1-2 v Equatorial Guinea - Played 66 minutes (7)

Was actually one of Senegal's better players, putting in some vital challenges and decent going forward. However he was surprisingly taken off with his side chasing a goal, and they missed his defensive capabilities in the latter stages.

1-2 v Libya - Played 90 minutes (6)

Playing in a more advanced role than he usually does for Wigan, Diame had an average game as Senegal exited the tournament with a third defeat and were out-fought. Had a supremely optimistic penalty appeal turned down in stoppage time.

Expert rating in brackets


Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account