Eric Bailly's Ivory Coast start AFCON with 1-0 win over Equatorial Guinea
Manchester United defender Eric Bailly is currently at the Africa Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast.
Bailly went off injured in his last United game before his departure, the 3-1 victory over Burnley in December.
He was still deemed fit enough to travel for the tournament, and last night started the game as the Ivory Coast got their campaign underway.
The opponents were Equatorial Guinea and Bailly’s men won 1-0, thanks to a Max Gradel goal on five minutes. The United played the full 90 minutes as his side kept a clean sheet.
How did Bailly get on?
As per SofaScore, Bailly made two clearances, a block and two interceptions to help preserve the clean sheet.
There was also a tackle and he was not dribbled past at any point in the match.
On the ball, he had 49 touches and was largely reliable in possession with an 83.3 per cent pass success rate.
Between four duels in the air and on the ground, Bailly only lost one and did not do an awful lot wrong as Ivory Coast got their tournament underway with a win.
That has proved beyond other big hitters such as Egypt, Algeria and Hannibal’s Tunisia so far. Tunisia’s 1-0 loss to MAli ended in refereeing controversy.
Some United fans had their eye on Bailly on a night where the Red Devils were not playing and reacted to the central defender’s performance…
Uniteds best centre back , but can’t get in past lindelof and maguire it’s criminal— dan (@ddb_dan) January 13, 2022
Absolute shame we’re selling him— Robby (@rljr185) January 12, 2022
Bailly’s performance came amid links with AC Milan, who are reportedly keen on loaning him in before the end of the transfer window.
It remains to be seen whether Bailly can conduct negotiations over his future while he is away at an international tournament.
Bailly could be away until February 9 if the Ivory Coast make it all the way to the final, which may provide a stumbling block.
Sky Sports are also reporting that United are unlikely to let Bailly leave on loan, having tied him down to a new contract last April to preserve his transfer value in the event they sell him.
Bailly’s future may remain uncertain but it was definitely a strong way to start his bid for international glory.
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