Everton 1 - 5 Atalanta
Davy Klaassen gets a rare chance to press his claims for more first-team involvement
Everton were out-played, humbled and then outright humiliated at Goodison Park as shocking defending condemned them to a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of by Atalanta.
What began as an opportunity for some of the players who had been relegated to the fringes of the first-team picture since David Unsworth took over from Ronald Koeman a month ago to stake a claim for greater involvement ended in shambles as the Italian side ran riot in the closing stages, shortly after Sandro Ramirez had given the Blues hope at 2-1.
Everton were trailing 2-0 with 20 minutes left following a brace by Bryan Cristante and a penalty save from Joel Robles early in the second half when the Spanish striker scored his first competitive goal since signing from Malaga over the summer.
Any hopes of the Toffees completing a comeback were cut off at the knees by a spectacular effort from Robin Gosens which made it 3-1 before his fellow substitute and former Cardiff flop Andreas Cornelius plundered two more late goals. Like Arsenal, the last team to register five goals at Goodison a month ago, it was Atalanta's first away win of the season.
With Everton's interest in the Europa League already over, this penultimate group game was, for them at least, a meaningless fixture but Unsworth handed chances to impress to Joel Robles, Davy Klaassen, Sandro Ramirez and Kevin Mirallas who all started while Cuco Martina returned after recovering from a neck injury.
Beni Baningime got another opportunity in central midfield and Ashley Williams replaced Phil Jagielka in defence but there was no place in the starting XI for Nikola Vlasic.
Playing in front of vast expanses of empty blue seats, Everton made a purposeful enough start with Rooney attempting to pick Sandro out in the centre with a good, low cross early on but it was all-too familiar failings at the back that saw Unsworth's side concede the first goal before a quarter of an hour had elapsed.
Castagne breezed past Martina and Klaassen down the right, easily evaded Michael Keane as he drove into the box and while Williams got a foot to his square pass, it fell straight to Bryan Cristante who easily converted.
The Blues offered almost nothing in attack by way of response until Mirallas got in behind the Italians' back line, eventually shot and was foiled by the goalkeeper. The rebound fell invitingly for Sandro who had most of the whole goal to aim at but he snatched at a half-volley and sliced it well over.
Eight minutes before the break, Martina picked up Sandro's backheel, his cross was beaten out to Davies but his quick shot was headed off the line impressively.
Williams picked up his customary yellow card when he clattered through just before half time but Atalanta wasted the resulting free kick.
And Everton had the last real chance of the first half when a defensive header dropped to Mirallas just inside the box but his first-time effort was saved.
Everton's evening almost got worse early in the second half when Williams scythed Cristante down and conceded a penalty but Robles kept the deficit at one by guessing the right way and making the save and then foiling Alejandro Gomez again on the rebound.
Atalanta came at them again, though, and this time it was Kenny to the rescue when he cleared a header off his own goal line.
A foul by Mirallas just outside the area handed Rooney a free-kick opportunity in the 57th minute which was headed behind and the subsequent corner came to nothing.
At the other end, Keane was barged off the ball outside the area but Robles got a touch to the resulting shot that flew over the crossbar.
Atalanta did double their lead in the 63rd minute, however, as more poor defending let the Blues down. Williams was out-jumped as the ball was flighted in and it was headed home from close range by Cristante.
Everton finally found the net with 20 minutes to go with a fine finish from Sandro. Mirallas collected a long pass into the channel, found the Spaniard and he cut a shot across the 'keeper and inside the far post.
And Sandro forced a double-handed save from the 'keeper six minutes from the end with a stinging shot from 20 yards out before Keane was adjudged to have fouled his man before planting a header off the bar and on to the line.
Any chance of saving face with a late equaliser evaporated when the ball was cleared as far as Gosens on the edge of the area and he lashed a shot off the post and in.
A minute later, his fellow substitute Cornelius turned Everton's own recent introduction, Morgan Feeney, and fired between Robles's legs to make it 4-1 and the big forward completed the rout when he headed in with effectively the last touch of the game.
Full details: Match Page