Nicolas Pépé in full light, Riyad Mahrez off topic and the Fennecs with him… The tops and flops after Algeria’s exit from the track against Côte d’Ivoire.
Pépé, executioner of a defenseless Algeria
With a goal and an assist, Pépé is the executioner of Algeria (3-1 victory for Côte d’Ivoire against the Fennecs). On his right side, the Gunner was untenable and put a cold on the Algerian defense for 85 minutes (before giving up his place). He cheerfully took advantage of the spaces left behind by the Fennecs and brought out all the weaknesses of a sick Algeria.
SEE AS WELL – Nicolas Pépé’s best moments with Arsenal off the pitch
The reference match of Ivory Coast
With this success against the defending champion, Patrice Beaumelle’s men may have held their benchmark match since the start of this AFCON and are one of the favorites of the tournament. Between commitment and mastery, the game offered by the Ivorians is up to the names that make up their workforce. In every compartment of the game, the Elephants were superior to defenseless Algerians. The explosive Pépé, the maestro Kessié in the middle or the untenable Konan behind, they were all there for the meeting, and finally took their revenge against the Fennecs.
Mahrez misses his match… and his CAN
Mahrez and Algeria go out the back door. While he shines brightly this season in club, it is quite normal to expect Mahrez to do the same in selection. Unfortunately, the captain of the Fennecs did not even create a small spark in this CAN, like the rest of the team. No involvement in the game, strangely imprecise in passing, Mahrez was unrecognizable, once again. If he is not the only culprit of the Algerian rout, the captain of the Fennecs is far from having been exemplary today. On the hour mark, when he had the opportunity to revive his team, Riyad Mahrez hit the post from the penalty spot, and himself buried the hopes of an entire nation. A match and a CAN to forget for the Algerian n°7 who leaves the competition with zero goals and as many assists to the storyteller.
From the first minutes, we felt that Algeria had still not recovered from the defeat against Equatorial Guinea. Nervous, Belmadi’s men showed imprecision, impatience, and broke their teeth on the Elephants’ defense, which was much more structured than theirs. Without a real game identity, Algeria did not really shake Côte d’Ivoire. As in 1992, the Fennecs, holders of the title, are eliminated in the group stages of the CAN.