Thursday 22 February 2018

Frustrations at Goodison grow after another sloppy outing

Everton 2 Apollon Limassol 2

Apollon Limassol’s Hector Yuste scores their second goal. Photo: Andrew Yates/Reuters
Apollon Limassol’s Hector Yuste scores their second goal. Photo: Andrew Yates/Reuters

Simon Hughes

Narrow, one-paced; experienced players routinely making errors. Frustration inside Goodison Park with Ronald Koeman simmering.

The mood was reflected mid-way through the first half here when possession eventually found its way to Jonjoe Kenny, the 20-year-old right back from Kirkdale.

For a good minute or so, Everton had kept the ball but made no attacking progress, largely because there were no options in wide areas. When Kenny suddenly became involved following a pass from Wayne Rooney, the ironic cheer said it all.

Though Everton operated with greater speed after the introduction of Nicola Vlasic at the break, it had been difficult to establish which tactical responsibilities had been placed on Gylfi Sigurdsson, who had spent the first half awkwardly trying to influence proceedings by drifting in from the left.

Vlasic seemed much better suited in Sigurdsson's place and with the removal Idrissa Gana Gueye, Sigurdsson - now in the centre - was able to supply Vlasic's for his first Everton goal.

Yet still, Everton's defensive flaws would show and moments after Apollon Limassol were reduced to 10 men late in the game, they would equalise.

Everton's Wayne Rooney attempts an overhead kick. Photo: Craig Brough/Action Images via Reuters
Everton's Wayne Rooney attempts an overhead kick. Photo: Craig Brough/Action Images via Reuters

Apollon's lead came early, when Ashley Williams gave possession to Anton Maglica under no pressure. From the subsequent cross, Spaniard Adrian Sardinero needed two shots at goal to score.

It required a terrible mistake at the other end involving Apollon goalkeeper Bruno Vale and Hector Yuste for Everton to regain some composure in their play. Yuste's back-pass was so wayward it left Rooney with an open goal.

Koeman could really not afford to drop points here, especially with two fixtures against Lyon to follow this one. But even with Roberge's late red card, drop points they did; Yuste redeeming himself by heading past Jordan Pickford.

Everton's Wayne Rooney reacts after the match. Photo: Craig Brough/Action Images via Reuters
Everton's Wayne Rooney reacts after the match. Photo: Craig Brough/Action Images via Reuters

Irish Independent

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