There were a certain amount of mixed emotions wrapped up in the slightly contrasting 'celebrations' of two characters well-known to English Football fans, as they partied after recent football matches they had competed in over the weekend. On the one side was the highly enjoyable experience for Yaya Toure, as he was able to lift the African Cup of Nations trophy with his beloved Ivory Coast for his very first time. Contrast that with the extremely agitated state of mind in which the best player in the world toasted his 30th birthday in Madrid on Saturday night, after Real were thrashed 4-0 by local rivals Atletico.

Both Toure and fellow Manchester City teammate Wilfried Bony will miss tonight's Premier League game for their domestic club, an awkward away tie at Stoke City, after they followed their Ivory Coast compatriots back home to celebrate their triumph. The duo are now not expected back in the north-west of England city until later in the week. In one way, their supporters will no doubt not begrudge them taking part in the extended celebrations, after their nation took the trophy for the first time in 23 years. However, with City suffering in the league at present in their absence, and now a hefty seven points behind title favourites Chelsea, they may return to discover that their hopes of retaining the title have all but disappeared over the horizon, should results go against them again tonight.

Certainly, Chelsea will be odds-on to defeat Everton at Stamford Bridge, so if they do and City slip up to Stoke, the gap could be extended to a mighty ten points.

Ronaldo's birthday party was deflated by the unexpected bashing in La Liga by Atletico, with the Ballon d'Or winner rather untypically voted as the worst Real player in the game in a Marca poll.

Marca is a Spanish national daily sport newspaper. His agent, Jorge Mendes, defended his right to celebrate after the heavy defeat for his club, following some criticism that was directed his way after the party was made known to the Real fans. However, he recognised that the star player was not in the most jovial of moods: "He was very angry."

The rout at Atletico on Saturday (combined with other results over the weekend) leaves Real still at the top of La Liga, but now only one point ahead of close rivals Barcelona and only four points ahead of reigning Spanish champions, Atletico. Barca had by contrast enjoyed a comfortable away victory on Sunday, as they defeated Athletic Bilbao 5-2.