Everton produced another hugely disappointing display as they were beaten 3-0 by Atalanta in their Europa League Group E opener in Reggio Emilia.
The Toffees went into the match having suffered a 3-0 home loss to Tottenham five days earlier and with boss Ronald Koeman stressing they would “need to react” in Italy after that poor performance.
But they were abject once again here, with their sloppiness being punished by a dynamic Atalanta side who scored three times in the first half through Andrea Masiello, captain Alejandro Gomez and Bryan Cristante.
Tweet of the match
Star man – Alejandro Gomez
While it looked as if Everton should have done more to try to stop it, the Atalanta skipper’s goal was still a fine effort, fired into the corner of the net from just outside the box. Gomez was frequently at the heart of things as his side went at their opponents.
Worries for Koeman
Everton went into this season with high hopes having spent big but their last two outings have been a major reality check. As against Tottenham, the Toffees – with six changes in the team – mustered little in attack, looked very vulnerable at the back and did not really seem to know how to address the situation. Sunday’s trip to Manchester United appears daunting to say the least.
Everton have now lost four out of four away matches against Italian sides, having also been beaten by Inter Milan in 1963, AC Milan in 1975 and Fiorentina in 2008.
Everton: Maarten Stekelenburg 7 (out of 10), Mason Holgate 5, Michael Keane 5, Phil Jagielka 5, Leighton Baines 5, Muhamed Besic 5, Morgan Schneiderlin 4, Nikola Vlasic 4, Gylfi Sigurdsson 5, Wayne Rooney 5, Dominic Calvert-Lewin 5. Subs: Davy Klaassen (for Rooney, 66) 5, Sandro Ramirez (for Schneiderlin, 67) 5, Kevin Mirallas (for Calvert-Lewin, 76) 5.
Who’s up next?
Chievo v Atalanta (Serie A, September 17)
Manchester United v Everton (Premier League, September 17)