Everton suffered a three-goals-to-nothing defeat to Olympique Lyonnais in their fourth group match of this season’s Europa League completion.Having earned only a single point from all their matches : it is now mathematically impossible for the English club to advance to the next stage of the competition despite having two extra matches to play.
Olympique Lyonnais dominated the first half of the game by virtue of their greater percentage of ball possessions, their more attempts at goal and their ability to forced their opponent to defend against their incessant attacks in their own half of the pitch. Everton appeared to be content with only defending, a state of affairs not unrelated to an attempt by their interim coach not to many concede goals so as to increase the chances of the management of the club giving him a permanent appointment.
For a long spell in the first half, the game was played in Everton’s half of the pitch, as the home team came out in search of a goal. Ademola Lookman did threaten on few occasions from the left flank but there were no end products to his efforts.
Bertrand Traore and former Manchester United’s winger, Memphis Depay, troubled Everton defence with their dribbling runs and inter-linking play, which enabled the duo to breach the Toffees’ defence on several occasions. Lyon were also very effective from flanks where their right and left fullbacks – Rafael and Ferland Mendy – operated . The duo was able to direct dangerous crosses into their opponent’s eighteen yard box from the flanks.
Jordan Pickford made very important saves from Traore and Depay to keep the score-line at a goalless draw in the first half.
Lyon eventually found a way round Everton’s compact defending in the second half, as they succeeded in scoring three un-replied goals.
In spite of the tidiness of Everton’s passes in their own half, Bertrand Traore was able to score his side’s first goal after profiting from a mis-cleared ball that fell in front of him ; the former Chelsea winger latched onto the ball and ran diagonally with it into the eighteen yard box and got round Pickford in the process before curling the ball into the net.
Lyon became re-invigorated after scoring their first goal and they started to pile pressure on Everton. Second half substitute, Mariano Diaz’s effort at goal was deflected out of play by Pickford only for Deplay to latch onto the ball and passed it to Houseem Aouar, who beat Pickford with a curling shot.
Everton’s problems were further compounded when Morgan Schneiderlin was sent off the pitch after receiving a second yellow card.
Memphis, who had tormented the visiting team in the course of the match, sealed victory for his side when he scored their third goal with a powerful header in a move that was initiated from the right flank by Rafael.
Lyon are now second on the table in their group that is topped by the Italian team Atlanta.