African Footballer of the Year and Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure was among the scorers in English FA Cup last-16 ties at the weekend.
Toure, voted the best footballer on the continent for the past two years, struck after five minutes as Manchester City romped to a 4-0 home win over second-tier Leeds United.
Fellow Ivorian Arouna Kone went one better with a brace as Wigan triumphed 4-1 at Huddersfield while Nigerian Victor Anichebe was on target for Everton in a 2-2 draw at giant-killers Oldham.YAYA TOURE (Man City)
The Ivory Coast midfielder gave his side the perfect start to their FA Cup fifth round tie against Leeds, scoring in the fifth minute with a fine strike after good build-up play from David Silva and Carlos Tevez. His goal sparked a 4-0 win that lifted the gloom around Eastlands after the champions’ recent
struggles in the Premier League.
VICTOR ANICHEBE (Everton)
The Nigeria forward scored Everton’s equaliser in a 2-2 draw at Oldham in the FA Cup fifth round. Anichebe showed great strength to work space for his blistering strike from just inside the penalty area. But David Moyes’ side were forced to settle for a replay at Goodison Park after Matt Smith scored a stoppage-time equaliser for the third-tier minnows.
DEMBA BA (Chelsea)
The Senegal striker was restored to Chelsea’s starting line-up and helped his team cruise into the FA Cup fifth round with a 4-0 win over League One minnows Brentford. Ba was selected ahead of misfiring Fernando Torres and it was his aerial challenge that allowed Juan Mata to run on to the loose ball and fire Chelsea into the lead in the 54th minute at Stamford Bridge.
AROUNA KONE (Wigan)
The Ivory Coast striker scored twice as Wigan swept into the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 4-1 victory at Championship club Huddersfield. Kone’s last goal came back in December, but he was restored to the Latics’ attack and responded with a 40th-minute tap-in for Wigan’s second goal and then added the fourth in the 89th minute with a powerful finish.
The Ivory Coast forward endured another match to forget as the Gunners suffered a shock 1-0 defeat against Championship team Blackburn in the FA Cup. Back from Africa Cup of Nations duty, Gervinho missed a golden chance to give Arsenal the lead and was eventually hauled off in the 70th minute in a match that marked the first time Arsene Wenger lost to lower league opposition in the FA Cup.
GIOVANNI SIO (Sochaux)
Sio could hardly have dared hope for a better start to his Sochaux career than a fine second half goal in a shock 3-2 home win over Paris Saint-Germain. The strugglers’ new French-Ivorian signing from Wolfsburg scored a beauty after a neat one-two with Sebastien Roudet.RYAD BOUDEBOUZ (Sochaux)
Sochaux’s Algerian midfielder was a dynamic presence in the win over PSG — and especially when, in the 84th minute and the visitors seemingly about to rescue a draw, he took a pass from Cedric Bakambu and went off on a run before releasing Sloan Privat, who provided the assist for Bakambu’s winner.
GUIEIDA FOFANA (Lyon)
Fofana, a 21-year-old France-born Malian defensive midfielder, bagged Lyon’s crucial second goal in the 4-0 thrashing of Bordeaux which put his club within three points of PSG at the summit of Ligue 1. Fofana has been making a name for himself since a 2011 move from Le Havre and his pile-driver was only his second goal in the top flight.
DIDIER YA KONAN (Hanover 96)
Back from the Africa Cup, the Ivory Coast striker scored his first Bundesliga goal since September as Hanover were held 2-2 at Nuremberg. The 28-year-old, who started on the right wing, fired home from close range for only his third Bunesliga goal of the season.
IBRAHIMA TRAORE (VfB Stuttgart)
The Guinea midfielder won a one-on-one with Hoffenheim captain Andreas Beck and fired in a early cross from the left wing for Austria striker Martin Harnik to put VfB Stuttgart 1-0 up after only three minutes at Hoffenheim. The early goal proved to be the winner for the guests.
KEVIN PRINCE BOATENG (AC Milan)
Former Ghana midfielder Boateng had a lively first half for the Rossoneri and it was his weighted cross from the right which caused panic in the Parma goalmouth and led to Milan’s opener in the 39th minute. Boateng also came close to scoring just before the hour after Guinean Kevin Constant’s delivery. Milan went on to win 2-1 to secure fourth place in Serie A.
KWADWO ASAMOAH (Juventus)
Apart from some glimpses of his ball-recovery skills, Asamoah produced a relatively unremarkable performance for Juventus, who fell to a 1-0 defeat at Roma — only the Bianconeri’s fourth reverse of the season. Fresh from his efforts at the Africa Cup, Asamoah was substituted by coach Antonio Conte on the hour.
ODION IGHALO (Granada)
Ighalo gave Granada a shock lead 26 minutes into their clash with Barcelona with his third goal in five games. The Nigerian went on to complete the full 90 minutes, but couldn’t prevent his side slipping to a 2-1 defeat as two second-half goals from Lionel Messi handed Barca all three points.
ABDELAZIZ BARRADA (Getafe)
Barrada played the full 90 minutes and set up Adrian Colunga’s opening goal in a 3-1 win over Celta Vigo. The assist was the Moroccan’s third in three games since returning from the Africa Cup.
LASS BANGOURA (Rayo Vallecano)
The Guinean was heavily involved as Rayo lost 2-0 at Real Madrid. He got a yellow card in the first half and could have received a second booking after half-time for handball. After being shown leniency by the referee, he nearly brought his side back into the game with a fine cross from the right that Leo Baptistao just failed to convert.