Yaya Toure leads Ivorian goal fest in England

AFP , Monday 18 Apr 2011

It was a wonderful weekend for Ivorian stars in England with a Yaya Toure goal taking Manchester City to the FA Cup final and Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou scoring for Chelsea in the Premiership

Yaya Toure

The joy of the trio contrasted with the dejection of compatriot Emmanuel Eboue, who conceded the penalty deep in stoppage time that allowed Liverpool snatch a draw at faltering title contenders Arsenal.

Leading French Ligue 1 scorer Moussa Sow from Senegal was on target for table-toppers Lille, Nigerian Taye Taiwo converted a match-winning penalty for Marseille and Malian Modibo Maiga bagged a brace for mid-table Sochaux.





The Ivory Coast midfielder fired City into the FA Cup final for the first time since 1981 with a 52nd-minute winner in the 1-0 victory against Manchester United at Wembley. Toure capitalised on a mistake from Michael Carrick to shoot past Edwin Van der Sar and later dedicated the semi-final goal to brother and City team-mate Kolo, who is suspended after testing positive for a banned substance.



The Ivory Coast striker underlined his continued importance to Chelsea with a man-of-the-match display capped by a goal in a 3-1 win at West Bromwich Albion. Drogba has been linked with a move away from Chelsea since the signing of Fernando Torres, but was selected ahead of the misfiring Spaniard at The Hawthorns and responded by bagging a 22nd-minute equaliser with a predatory finish.



The Ivory Coast forward justified his selection ahead of Nicolas Anelka with his 11th goal of the season in a 3-1 win at West Bromwich Albion. Kalou drove in the rebound for his first goal since February after Drogba's shot was saved in the 26th minute.



The Ivory Coast defender was guilty of a costly mistake as his clumsy challenge allowed Liverpool to score a stoppage-time equaliser in the 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal had just taken the lead through a late penalty from Robin van Persie when Eboue rashly barged over Lucas Leiva and Dirk Kuyt converted the spot-kick to leave Arsenal six points behind Premier League leaders Manchester United.



The Nigeria striker put Albion ahead against Chelsea but his team eventually crashed to a 3-1 defeat. Odemwingie struck in the 17th minute with a fine finish from Jerome Thomas's pass. It was his 12th goal of the season and the third in his last four matches.


ASAMOAH GYAN (Sunderland)

The Ghana striker was unable to stop Sunderland sinking to their eighth defeat in nine matches as the Black Cats were beaten 2-0 at Birmingham. Gyan has gone six matches since his last Sunderland goal and his team are now only five points clear of the relegation zone.




TAYE TAIWO (Marseille)

Nigerian international left-back Taiwo netted a high-pressure penalty in Marseille's 2-1 win at Montpellier that will be seen as instrumental if Didier Deschamps's side are able to successfully defend their Ligue 1 title. With eight minutes remaining, Taiwo calmly slotted his spot-kick into the bottom-right corner to earn OM a vital win that moved them within a point of league leaders Lille.



Senegal striker Sow netted his 21st goal of the season but Lille endured a frustrating afternoon as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Bordeaux. Sow, the league's top scorer, struck in the 58th minute, running on to Yohan Cabaye's pass and clipping a low shot inside the right-hand post.



Maiga was on target twice as Sochaux defeated Caen 3-2 to climb to ninth in the standings. The Malian striker claimed his first in the 81st minute, nodding into an empty net after a mistake from Caen goalkeeper Alexis Thebaux, before completing his brace with a back-post header from Marvin Martin's flighted right-wing cross. It took his tally for the season to 13 league goals.





The Senegal striker had a bad day as his side were beaten 3-0 at league leaders Dortmund. Isolated up front, Cisse had few chances as his side were swept aside by rampant Dortmund. To make matters worse, Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez scored a hat-trick in the 5-1 rout of Leverkusen which gives the Germany star a two-goal lead as the Bundesliga's top scorer. Cisse is second with 20 goals in 28 games.


ANTHONY ANNAN (Schalke 04)

Having sat out Schalke's 2-1 win over holders Inter Milan in the Champions League, the Ghana midfielder made his eighth league appearance of the season in the Royal Blues 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen. The 26-year-old is bidding for a place in the starting line-up when Schalke host Premier League giants Manchester United on April 26 at the Veltins Arena .




SAMUEL ETO'O (Inter Milan)

Another blank for the Cameroon striker and that makes it six games without a goal. He looked tired and out of sorts as Inter Milan lost 2-0 at Parma to further undermine their hopes of retaining the league title. Several chances came his way, but he was unable to convert any of them and his form is troubling for the club who are now eight points behind AC Milan and out of the Champions League.


The 19-year-old Ghana midfielder is already being touted as the next Michael Essien and he displayed his potential once again when he came on as a substitute after 60 minutes against Roma. The sides were level 1-1 at that point, but with Afriyie Palermo went on to win 3-2.




SEYDOU KEITA (Barcelona)

Mali midfielder Keita was a second-half substitute for Barcelona as the champions drew 1-1 at rivals Real Madrid in the 'El Clasico' to stay on course for a third successive league title. The 31-year-old Keita replaced injured defender Carles Puyol on 57 minutes as Barcelona were forced to reshuffle their team.


Togo forward Adebayor played his first 'El Clasico', coming on in the 66th minute as 10-man Real Madrid came from behind to salvage a point. Adebayor, on loan from Manchester City, replaced Xabi Alonso as coach Jose Mourinho went for a more direct approach and almost scored three minutes after his introduction, only to be let down by a poor first touch.

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