Everton slump to draw against 10-man Apollon Limassol
Europa League, Goodison Park - Everton 2 (Rooney 21, Vlasic 66) Apollon Limassol 2 (Sardinero 12, Yuste 88).
Everton slumped to a 2-2 draw against 10-man Appollon Limassol at Goodison Park in what is a huge blow to their Europa League hopes.
The Toffees conceded early after an Ashley Williams mistake let in Adrian Sardinero, who scored the late equaliser in the game against Lyon, to slot home at the second attempt following a good save from Jordan Pickford.
However Everton drew level thanks to Wayne Rooney in the 21st minute after another defensive error – this time from Hector Yuste whose terrible back-pass caught his goalkeeper unaware and left the former England captain with an empty net.
Apollon Limassol EvertonGetty Images
Teenager Nikola Vlasic scored his first Everton goal having come on at half-time to give Ronald Koeman’s side the lead with a cool finish before Valentin Roberge was sent off late on for a nasty stamp on another substitute, Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
But the Cypriots were not finished and Yuste made up for his earlier error with a headed goal two minutes from time.
It means Everton remain bottom in Group E after their 3-0 defeat against Atalanta two weeks ago.
Sluggish Everton pay price for Koeman's poor team selection. Koeman named a strong team for this match, a sign that he is clearly taking the Europa League seriously, but the team lacked pace. Sandro worked hard but is clearly struggling under the weight of not having scored for his new club yet whilst Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson are not the type of players to get in behind. Leighton Baines is not the player he once and although Jonjoe Kenny got forward regularly he's no Seamus Coleman. It wasn't until the introduction of Vlasic, and then later Calvert-Lewin that Everton started to look dangerous. Koeman has to look at this going forward.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Bruno Vale (Apollon Limassol) Sigurdsson was decent with a lovely pass for Vlasic's goal whilst the Croatian teenager was excellent when he came on, however Vale earned his team their point tonight. He made a fine save to deny Tom Davies but it was his excellent reaction stop right at the death to keep out Calvert-Lewin's header that was his crucial moment. A good performance from the experienced keeper.
Everton - Pickford 6, Kenny 6, Holgate 5, Williams 3, Baines 5, Schneiderlin 6, Sigurdsson 7, Gueye 5, Davies 4, Rooney 6, Ramirez 4. Subs: Vlasic 7, Calvert-Lewin 6, Klaassen 5.
Apollon Limassol - Vale 7, Pedro 6, Yuste 6, Roberge 3, Vasiliou 5, Sachetti 4, Allan 6, Alef 6, Jakolis 5, Sardinero 7, Maglica 6. Subs: Schembri 5, Jander 5, Zelaya 5.
13' - GOAL! EVERTON 0-1 APOLLON (SARDINERO) Oh Ashley Williams that is very poor. He tries to pass to Baines but under-hits it. Apollon pounce and the ball is squared and Sardinero, the man who equalised against Lyon, taps home after Pickford saves his first effort.
21' - GOAL! EVERTON 1-1 APOLLON (ROONEY) Yuste has just one-upped Williams in bad defending here. Vale plays it out to him but his pass back to the keeper is awful and Rooney has an open goal. That is just shambolic and terrible for Apollon after all their hard work.
66' - GOAL! EVERTON 2-1 APOLLON (VLASIC) And it's the teenager's first Everton goal! Rooney's pass is intercepted but it falls to Sigurdsson who plays a very clever pass. Vlasic gets the ball out from under his feet and fires it past the goalkeeper.
86' - RED CARD ROBERGE! Oh and it's a straight red for Roberge for a high challenge on Calvert-Lewin.
88' - GOAL! EVERTON 2-2 APOLLON (YUSTE) Oh my word! Apollon have equalised! Klaassen gives away a free-kick with a really stupid challenge and Yuste jumps highest and flicks it into the corner. He's more than made up for his mistake earlier if they can hold out!
90' - WHAT A SAVE! That's a tremendous save from Vale.The ball comes from the right from Vlasic and Calvert-Lewin is free in the box. He heads it into the ground but Vale reacts brilliantly to save. It was close to him but that's still excellent from the Apollon keeper.
Everton are the first English side to pick up just one point after their first two Europa League group stage games.
There were just 118 seconds between Apollon Limassol's red card and their equaliser against Everton.
Wayne Rooney is the 1st player to score a Europa League goal in successive seasons, but with different English clubs since Clint Dempsey.