Everton exit ends English hopes

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:37

Everton exit ends English hopes

After Arsenal and Manchester City were eliminated from the Champions League over the last two days, Everton were aiming to prevent England having no representation in the last eight of any European competition for the first time in 22 years.
Romelu Lukaku scored a stunning strike to cancel out Andriy Yarmolenko’s excellent opener but the hosts, who went through 6-4 on aggregate, fired themselves clear with two quick-fire goals from Lukasz Teodorczyk and Miguel Veloso.
Oleg Gusev then scored a close-range effort early in the second half before Vitorino Antunes fired in a wonderful strike from distance, while Yarmolenko almost added a sixth as he hammered a shot against the crossbar. Phil Jagielka headed in a late consolation for the visitors.
The loss means English clubs have endured their worst campaign on the European stage since the 1992-93 season.
It was a fairly relaxed opening to the match, but the contest came alive on 21 minutes when Yarmolenko picked the ball up off Danilo Silva before driving past Gareth Barry with a couple of stepovers and curling a stunning 25-yard strike past a watching Tim Howard.
The visitors didn’t let it affect them, though, and shortly afterwards Ross Barkley went close as he drilled a low shot across goal which came back out off the far upright.
Everton’s defence had looked nervous from the outset, and Yarmolenko almost caught the visitors out as Antolin Alcaraz and Jagielka failed to deal with a long ball forward, before the Kiev man drew an excellent stop from Howard low to his right-hand side.
Equaliser
Martinez’s side put themselves in the driving seat on 29 minutes, however, as Jagielka’s free kick eventually broke to Lukaku on the edge of the box, and the Belgian fired an excellent shot into the top corner for his eighth Europa League goal of the season – putting him level at the top of the scoring charts in the competition.
But Everton’s joy was short-lived as five minutes later Gusev’s cross came down off Yarmolenko, allowing Teodorczyk to react quickest and fire it low past Howard.
Things soon went from bad to worse for the visitors as Sergei Rebrov’s men added another just three minutes later. Another long ball caused problems for the defence, and Jagielka’s headed clearance fell to Veloso, who hammered in a 20-yard volley with the aid of a deflection.
The second half was just as action-packed, and 11 minutes after the break the hosts made it 4-1, Gusev latching on to the rebound from his own shot in the area and firing it in off the post with the Everton defence all at sea.
Christian Atsu tested Oleksandr Shovkovskyi at the other end, drilling in a long-range effort which the goalkeeper parried away, before Barkley hit the woodwork for the second time, cutting in from the right and firing a rasping strike against the post from distance.
It clearly wasn’t Everton’s night, and Antunes capped a wonderful evening for Rebrov’s men as he picked the ball up in space on 76 minutes, then unleashed a perfect shot from all of 35 yards which arrowed into the top corner.
With eight minutes remaining, Jagielka met Leighton Baines’ corner at the near post and nodded into the far corner, but it was too late as the hosts still needed two more, and the last-surviving British team in Europe were also knocked out.
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