How Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd and Premier League stars fared in final AFCON group games

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The Africa Cup of Nations Group Stage is over and all 24 teams have played their part in what has already been a tournament full of drama in central Africa.

Heading into match day three, there was still plenty to play for as nations went head to head to secure their spot in the knockout stages.

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Following the final round of group fixtures, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Guinea, Morocco, Gabon, Nigeria, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Mali and Gambia all secured their places in the Last 16.

They were joined by Cape Verde, Malawi, Tunisia and Comoros who advanced to the next round as the four best third-placed teams, while giants Ghana and reigning champions Algeria finished bottom of their respective groups and crashed out of the tournament.

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Here is a full round-up of how each Premier League player got on in the final round of Group Stage fixtures at AFCON 2021.

What was your favourite moment during the Group Stage at AFCON 2021? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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How Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd and Premier League stars fared in final AFCON group games
© AFP via Getty Images Riyad Mahrez’s Algeria were knocked out in the Group Stage

Arsenal

Thomas Partey was sent home early following his side’s shock 3-2 defeat to Comoros which saw Ghana finish bottom of Group C, despite the midfielder playing the full 90 minutes and grabbing an assist for the second goal.

Mohamed Elneny once again started for Egypt in their 1-0 win over Sudan on Wednesday, with his side advancing to the last 16 after finishing second in Group D.

Nicolas Pepe’s Ivory Coast finished as Group E winners after their 3-1 defeat of Algeria on Thursday, with the winger playing 85 minutes, grabbing an assist for the first goal before scoring the third.

Omar Rekik was an unused substitute for Tunisia as they advanced to the knockout stages as one of the best third-placed teams despite their 1-0 defeat to Gambia on Thursday, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s tournament is over with Gabon after flying back to London for medical reasons.

Aston Villa

Bertrand Traore’s Burkina Faso finished as runners-up in Group A following their 1-1 draw with Ethiopia, with the winger making a return to captain the side and play the full 90 minutes on Monday.

Trezeguet also advanced to the Last 16 with Egypt after their 1-0 win over Sudan, coming on as a 66th minute substitute on Wednesday.

Brentford

Frank Onyeka made his first appearance at AFCON for Nigeria as the Super Eagles defeated Guinea-Bissau 2-0 on Wednesday, coming on as a 76th minute substitute to help his side win Group D and advance to the next round.

Brighton

How Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd and Premier League stars fared in final AFCON group games
© AFP via Getty Images Brighton’s Yves Bissouma competing for Mali

Yves Bissouma started and played 63 minutes of Mali’s 2-0 victory over Mauritania, whilst picking up a 60th minute booking, to help his side win Group F on Thursday.

Ulrick Eneme Ella also advanced to the Last 16 with Gabon, although he missed Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Morocco after testing positive for Covid-19.

Burnley

Maxwel Cornet is through to the Last 16 with Ivory Coast as the Elephants finished top of Group E following a 3-1 victory over reigning champions Algeria, although the 25-year-old remained as an unused substitute on Thursday.

Chelsea

Edouard Mendy finally made his first appearance at this year’s tournament following a bout of Covid-19, as he started and kept a clean sheet in Senegal’s 0-0 draw with Malawi to finish top of Group B on Tuesday.

Crystal Palace

Like Mendy, Cheikhou Kouyate was part of the Senegal squad who advanced to the knockout stages on Tuesday, with the midfielder playing the full 90 minutes and picking up a first half booking in the 0-0 draw with Malawi.

Jordan Ayew’s tournament is over after Ghana were knocked out on the same day, as the striker played the full 90 minutes of their embarrassing 3-2 defeat to Comoros in Group C.

Wilfried Zaha is also through to the knockout stages following Ivory Coast’s 3-1 victory over Algeria on Thursday, with the winger only coming on as an 85th minute substitute for Arsenal ’s Nicolas Pepe.

Everton

Alex Iwobi’s tournament continues following Nigeria’s progression to the Last 16, and the winger played the full 90 minutes in the 2-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau in Group D on Wednesday.

Leicester

How Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd and Premier League stars fared in final AFCON group games
© AFP via Getty Images Nigeria won Group D after three games

Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi were also part of the Nigeria squad who advanced to the next round on Wednesday, with both players starting in the 2-0 defeat of Guinea-Bissau, although Iheanacho was pulled off with five minutes to go.

Daniel Amartey will be back in contention for the Foxes this month after Ghana were sent home on Tuesday following their 3-2 loss to Comoros, despite the defender starting and playing the full 90 minutes.

Nampalys Mendy will join Iheanacho and Ndidi in the Last 16 following Senegal’s 0-0 draw with Malawi on Tuesday, where he played 72 minutes before being substituted.

Liverpool

How Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd and Premier League stars fared in final AFCON group games
© Getty Images Mohamed Salah’s Egypt are through to the Last 16

Sadio Mane’s Liverpool absence will continue after Senegal reached the knockout stages after winning Group B. Mane played the full 90 minutes as his side drew 0-0 with Malawi on Tuesday.

The same goes for Mohamed Salah, as Egypt finished as runners up in Group D after their 1-0 win over Sudan on Wednesday, with the Pharoah captaining his side over the full 90 minutes.

Naby Keita completes the trio of Reds’ players in the next round of AFCON and he had quite the game on Tuesday, captaining his sides 2-1 defeat to Zimbabwe and scoring a screamer as well as picking up a booking over the 90 minutes.

Man City

Riyad Mahrez is set for an immediate return to the Etihad Stadium as reigning champions Algeria were dumped out of the competition following their 3-1 defeat to Ivory Coast on Thursday, as the winger captained his side and missed a crucial 60th minute penalty.

Man Utd

Eric Bailly is through to the Last 16 with Ivory Coast following their 3-1 win against Algeria on Thursday, although the defender was an unused substitute in this game after starting the first two.

Hannibal Mejbri’s Tunisia qualified for the knockout stages as one of the best third-placed teams following their disappointing 1-0 defeat to Gambia, where the midfielder appeared as a 68th minute substitute on Thursday evening.

Southampton

Moussa Djenepo’s Mali are through to the Last 16 of AFCON 2021 after their 2-0 win against Mauritania on Thursday, although Djenepo failed to feature after being left out of the squad.

Watford

How Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd and Premier League stars fared in final AFCON group games
© Getty Images Comoros shocked Ghana 3-2 to advance to the knockout stages

William Troost-Ekong’s AFCON adventure continues with Nigeria after the Super Eagles finished top of Group D following their 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau on Wednesday, with the captain playing the full 90 minutes and scoring his side’s second goal.

Imran Louza and Adam Masina have also shared the same success after Morocco’s 2-2 draw with Gabon sent them through as Group C winners, although Masina was the only one to feature, playing the full game, as Louza was an unused substitute.

Ismaila Sarr’s Senegal are through to the Last 16 but the winger has yet to feature as he continues his rehabilitation from injury, although his nation are hopeful he can still feature should they continue to progress in the tournament.

West Ham

Said Benrahma has made an unexpected early return to east London after Algeria were knocked out of the Group Stage following their 3-1 defeat to Ivory Coast on Thursday, in which Benrahma started but was substituted at half-time.

Wolves

Romain Saiss was also part of the Morocco side who have advanced to the Last 16 but he only came on as an 89th minute substitute during Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Gabon in Group C, despite starting the first two games.

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