Dismal display shows no change in poor form

Thursday, 14 September, 2017 0comments  |  Jump to last
Everton carried their shocking recent form forward into the Europa League giving up three goals before the break.

Ronald Koeman promised a strong team but he has named six changes from the side that performed so poorly against Spurs last Saturday. Dominic Calvert-Lewin comes in up-front to replace the labouring Sandro, who has so far failed to show any of the dynamism, skill and firepower he displayed for Malaga. Besic and Vlasic start with Gueye and Klaassen dropping to the bench. Mason Holgate is at right back with Jagielka replacing the awful Ashley Williams, and Stekelenburg plays in goal, with Pickford on the bench.

Everton took to the field wearing their washed-out grey and off-white second kit, as the teams swapped ends before Atalanta kicked off with some touchline action and a few throw-ins. Rooney was forced to defend and an early corner kick given up, headed away by Rooney.

The first few minutes were played mostly in Everton's half, with another corner, headed away again by Rooney and something of a break by Calvert-Lewin but a terrible giveaway at the end of his run.

The Greys weathered the storm and picked up more possession without getting anywhere close to the Atalanta area. Schneiderlin slid in a little hard, forcing an acrobatic leap and squeal from the Italian. Sigurdsson final got close and fired in on goal, forcing a parried save. Rooney then tried an audacious chip that drifted over the bar as Everton finally showed some intent.

A great cross in from Calvert-Lewin was not attacked and ran through to the keeper. Rooney tried anther placed shot that was blocked away with a header. At the other end, Holgate had to defend and gave up another corner, headed behind by Rooney for another corner, a good inswinger that Jagielka finally dug out for a throw-in.

A good release-ball was won by Calvert-Lewin but again his product was lacking, passing it straight to a defender as support arrived. Keane got in a great block to deny the shot as Atalanta found some dangerous space on the D. Cristante was next to be allowed space to shoot, this also blocked at close range.

A simple move saw Atalanta slice through the spacious Everton defence and Stekelenburg did very well to divert it behind but the corner bounced through off two Everton players to Masiello who had a simple tap-in at the far post.

Everton tried to respond but the 'home' side now had the impetus and Everton looked really poor, unable to retain possession or carry forward an attack. More horrific moments in the Everton defence saw Stekelenburg make a desperate stop to prevent Everton falling further behind as they threatened to lose any kind of control on the play.

Rooney picked out Calvert-Lewin with a lovely chip but he just didn't attack the chance and allowed it to bounce through harmlessly. And Everton were soon back in defence, fending off wave after wave of attack from Atalanta, who won another corner, but they were whistled for pushing.

From nothing, Gomez lashed in a brilliant strike that gave Stekelenburg no chance — an object lesson, as if one was needed, in how to score goals. Then, a loose ball forward was intercepted and, on the counter, Cristante had no trouble in sliding it past Stekelenburg. A pretty shocking first half from Everton and they again paid the price for failing to push forward.

With no changes after the break, Everton showed more invention, with Calvert-Lewin flicking a nice ball to Rooney who fired in on goal but, without the smarts of Gomez, straight at the keeper. At the other end, Petanga fired in a shot that forced a save from Stekelenburg.

Everton tried to hold and probe but another mistake set up a rapid counter from Atalanta ending in a shot from Gomez under pressure that flew over the Everton bar. Everton won a free-kick wide right clipped in by Sigurdsson but with nothing from it, and Atalanta swarmed the other way, De Roon clipping one over Stekelenburg and off the top of the bar!

Everton staged something passing for an attack but no real threat on goal. Sigurdsson saw yellow after being mugged for the ball and lunging after his tormentor, summing up the paucity of Everton's play. Koeman decide to make changes after the hour, with Everton winning a free-kick that Sigurdsson delivered in well but keeper Berisha was out to punch. Everton showing no real invention, and little likelihood that they could even pull a goal back. Klaassen and Sandro replaced Rooney and Schneiderlin.

Sigurdsson put in a really good ball this time but no Everton head could profit. The second half was now looking like a repeat of the Spurs game, with Atalanta taking pity and turning it into a training match.

Finally Sandro played a forward pass for Sigurdsson and a shot on goal, deflected for a corner. Besic was then tempted to step forward and fire over from long range. Kpoeman's final change was to replace Calvert-Lewin, who had been rather poor, with Kevin Mirallas.

Sandro tried to inject more forward intent, playing in Holgate for the cross, deflected out for a corner from Sigurdsson that was headed on to Mirallas and well wide. Sandro then spun his man and fired in but from way too far outside the box.

Holgate got over on the left-side channel and saw his shot deflect behind but no corner.

Scorers: Masiello (27'), Gomez (41'), Cristante (44')

Atalanta: Berisha, Toloi, Palomino, Masiello [Y:33'] (77' Caldara), Hateboer, Cristante (82' Kurtic), Freuler, de Roon, Castagne, Petagna (79' Cornelius), Gomez.
Subs not Used: Gollini, Orsolini, Haas, Bastoni.

Everton: Stekelenburg, Holgate, Jagielka, Keane, Baines, Besic, Schneiderlin (66' Sandro), Rooney (66' Klaassen), Vlasic, Sigurdsson [Y:61'], Calvert-Lewin (76' Mirallas).
Subs not Used: Pickford, Williams, Martina, Gueye.

Referee: Vladislav Bezborodov (Russia).


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