Lyon sink Everton jersey on stormy night to pile pressure

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Lyon sink Everton jersey on stormy night to pile pressure on Ronald Koeman
The pressure on Ronald Koeman increased as Everton slipped tamely to another Europa League defeat, more or less ending their interest in this competition and leaving them stuck at the bottom of their group with just a single point from three games.

The Everton manager has possibly had enough of Thursday night football anyway, or so his team selection suggested. Whether Everton have had enough of him depends on whether his gamble of fielding a weakened side pays dividends at the weekend, when at least three or four regulars are likely to be back. Koeman admitted he picked the starting lineup with one eye on the home match against Arsenal on Sunday, which might explain why Wayne Rooney was not even in the squad 15 years to the day since his famous goal against the Gunners announced the 16-year-old’s arrival to the world beyond Merseyside.
Perhaps his manager hopes that with a full week’s rest he might be able to turn the clock back at the weekend with another late winner.
The beleaguered Everton manager could certainly do with something going his way for a change. This game was Frank Thomas Youth jersey only six minutes old when Lyon, also without a win in Group E, took the lead through Nabil Fekir’s penalty. Mason Holgate’s challenge on Marcal was undoubtedly rash and ill-timed but what had stretched the home defence in the first place was a burst of speed from Memphis Depay, a player Koeman tried to sign for Everton last season.
Everton’s attempts to get back into the game were as laboured as they have been all season. Kevin Mirallas sent a low shot narrowly wide midway through the first half, though significantly it was from outside the penalty area. Everton were finding it difficult to do what Lyon were managing surprisingly easily, getting players into forward positions within sight of goal.
It took the home side over half an hour to find a way through the Lyon defence, and when they did Anthony Lopes proved equal to Mirallas’s shot after Tom Davies had threaded a pass to allow a shot from a narrow angle.
That encouraging Frank Thomas Womens Jersey sign was put into perspective within a couple of minutes when Depay rattled Jordan Pickford’s bar with a long-range free-kick, Davies managing to get a possibly important headed deflection as the shot came in. Everton’s best chance of turning round level came five minutes before the interval when Davy Klaassen found himself bearing down on goal only to produce an unconvincing shot that lacked the power to beat Lopes. Depay was guilty of the same thing right at the end of the half, wasting a good position by shooting too close to Pickford, prompting a frustrated Bruno Génésio to turn in his technical area to kick an advertising board in annoyance.
Koeman sent on Ademola Lookman for the second half, at the expense of the ineffective Klaassen, and the substitute immediately set up an attack then got on the end of it to bring a save from Lopes.
Everton at least looked a little more direct and threatening with someone of Lookman’s pace on the pitch, though they were once again indebted to Pickford for keeping them in the game when Houssem Aouar dispossessed Davies and the goalkeeper had to come out smartly to deny Myziane Maolida.
The match was held up for a couple of minutes after an hour when a rugby-type scuffle broke out at the Gwladys Street end. It was occasioned by a foul challenge on Lopes by Ashley Williams that several Lyon players deemed excessive.
The goalkeeper had been off Frank Thomas Youth jersey the ground making a catch, and ended up being pushed into the advertising hoardings behind his goal. Spectators became involved as an ugly melee developed, though no serious blows were traded and the referee contented himself with yellow cards for Williams and Bertrand Traoré. Uefa will probably want to look into any suggestion of brawling, though in reality it was less of a slugfest than a tangle of players, photographers and bystanders in a limited space.
It had the effect of rousing the Goodison crowd in a way that little actual play had managed and a combination of vocal encouragement and Gylfi Sigurdsson’s arrival as substitute finally brought about an equaliser. Sigurdsson’s delivery with a free-kick into the area was perfect, leaving Williams an unmissable headed chance to turn from villain to hero from six yards.


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