Everton 2-1 Lyon: match report
Ronald Koeman needed a response from his Everton players as they gear up for a huge weekend in the Premier League when they play Arsenal on Sunday. He got just that and while they didn't get the result to match, it is something build on for a team devoid of personality since a massive outley in the summer.
The three biggest signings of the summer didn't start with Wayne Rooney not even making the squad. Meanwhile, Sandro and Sigurdsson have to suffice with a place on the bench.
It looked like the under-fire manager had gotten his team selection wrong when a Memphis Depay pass found Fernando Marcal inside the box and the left-back got a toe to it before being cleaned out of it by a late and clumsy Mason Holgate tackle.
Nabil Fekir, the Lyon captain stepped up and sent the penalty out of Pickford's reach with just six minutes on the clock. Toffee fans sat dejected as they faced the prospect of another 84 minutes of humiliation.
Everton, however, continued to battle as the rain fell at Goodison and while they threatened, they also look exceedingly open at the back. They also had to resort to long distance shots as their inability to get creative in the final third was hurting them yet again.
A change at half-time sprung Everton to life though. Ademola Lookman came on for Davy Klaassen and the Toffees gave the visitors plenty to chew on in the opening exchanges. As they pushed for the equaliser, Ashley Williams scuffled with a host of Lyon players after pushing keeper Anthony Lopes as he grabbed the ball.
The fight nearly broke into the stands and fans even got involved with one excited spectator throwing a punch with a child in his hands.
Williams and Traore ended up being booked for the scuffle and just three minutes laters, Williams was wheeling away to the same section of the crowd celebrating a lovely header from a set-piece, perfectly delivered by substitute and €50 million man, Gylfi Sigurdsson.
After grabbing the elusive equaliser, Everton figured they might as well use the momentuam and grab a winner. It was Lyon who would snatch that momentum from the home side when Gnaly Cornet crossed low to Bertrand Traore, who flicked the ball past Jordan Pickford.
Everton huffed and puffed but they had exerted all of their energy and used up all of their luck in search of the equaliser. As the game wore on, they had chances but Lyon actually looked more like grabbing a third on the break,
The fighting between Williams and a select few Lyon players continued at the final whistle but when the shouting and roaring ends, Everton have to accept the fact that they lost another game, at home, with their manager's job on the line and with elimination from the Europa League staring them in the face.
Everton v Olympique Lyon: latest news live online
Everton v Olympique Lyon live: preview
Everton and Olympique Lyon are two clubs with a fair share of tradition in European competition but they have managed to avoid each other until now; tonight's clash at Goodison will be the first encounter between these two clubs. This will be only the second time the Merseysiders have faced French opposition, after having crossed paths with Lille in the 2014/15 edition of this competition. Everton entertain Lyon, mired in bottom place in Group E on one point and with question marks over the future of manager Ronald Koeman. His side crashed to a 3-0 defeat to Atalanta on MatchDay 1 and let slip a one-goal lead to be held by Apollon at home in their second outing. So there is no margin for error if they are to emerge from the group – especially if Atalanta beat Apollon in tonight’s other Group E game.
In the Premier League, Everton haven’t been faring much better – they are hovering just above the relegation places in 16th on eight points after eight games. They have only managed to keep a clean sheet once – against Sunderland on the opening day. That wouldn’t be as much of a problem if they were scoring – Everton’s strikers have found the net just five times – Romelu Lukaku, who they sold to Manchester United over the summer, has double that on his own... Only the bottom two, Bournemouth and Palace have worse figures in front of goal. Wayne Rooney’s return and the arrivals of Sandro Ramírez from Málaga and Gylfi Sigurðsson from Swansea have yet to ignite the team in attack.
Lyon are only one point better off than Everton in the group after surrendering the lead in both of their games so far to Apollon and Atalanta. In contrast to tonight’s hosts they have been doing better domestically. The team sits sixth with 16 points from the first nine games. Bruno Génésio’s team had a flying start to their Ligue 1 campaign then seemed to lose their stride only to regain their composure by sneaking a stoppage-time win over Monaco at the weekend. Les Gones lost key player Alexandre Lacazette in the summer but more than made up for it by signing Dominican striker Mariano Díaz from Real Madrid. But more on Mariano later…
Everton team news
Happily Koeman has no new injury worries to report. Right-back Jonjoe Kenny returned to train with the squad at Finch Farm yesterday after returning from international duty with England’s Under-21s with a few fitness concerns. Midfielder James McCarthy, who missed the start of the season with a knee injury, is nearing his return but won't feature against Lyon. Apart from that, there are no updates on Everton’s long-terms casualties – Ross Barkley remains out after surgery on a groin injury, Seamus Coleman is on the mend after suffering a nasty broken leg against Wales in March and defender Ramiro Funes Mori is out until January after undergoing surgery to trim torn cartilage in his left knee.
Man to watch: Wayne Rooney. Everton’s favourite son returned home in July and was back to his old tricks in no time – scoring a wonderful goal on his first game back – a friendly against Kenyan outfit Gor Mahia then sending Goodison wild with delight hitting the winner in his first home game during his second stint with the club. What else can we say about Wazza that hasn’t already been said? – great movement, skill, great in the air and used to big occasions like this. He’s the team’s top scorer with four goals, just ahead of Oumar Niasse.
Olympique Lyon team news
Bruno Génésio will be without two of his key players at Goodison: left-back Ferland Mendy was taken off in the dying minutes of the Monaco game and has been unable to shake off a thigh problem; the loss of top goal scorer Mariano Díaz is an even bigger blow. The Dominican, centre-forward, who has been in stunning form, has a groin strain and won’t be risked. Also staying at home are Pape Cheikh Diop, who has yet to get over a sprained ankle, Clement Grenier also has a niggling problem with his foot and veteran left-back Jérémy Morel is also out. That means Génésio must improvise to fill the left-back slot which likely be filled by Brazilian Fernando Marçal.
Man to watch: Memphis Depay. With Mariano sidelined the onus will be on the former Manchester United forward to deliver the goods. In his pre-match press conference, Génésio said that Memphis needs to think more about what the team needs – the Dutchman has contributed three goals this season, including one from the penalty spot against Apollon. Also listed is teenage promise Myziane Maolida who could be handed a run-out if Lyon find themselves running out of inspiration in attack.
Everton v Olympique Lyon live online: possible line-ups
Everton: Stekelenburg; Holgate, Keane, Jagielka, Baines; Besic, Schneiderlin, Vlasic, Sigurdsson; Mirallas, Rooney.
Lyon: Lopes; Tete, Marcelo, Diakhaby, Marçal; Ndombele, Tousart; Traoré; Fekir, Aouar; Memphis.
Everton v Olympique Lyon enhanced betting odds:
Both teams go into the game at 3/1 to come away with three points and it’s 11/1 to end without goals. A 3-3 draw is currently at 40/1. For Wayne Rooney to open the scoring, odds of 6/1 are being offered while Lyon’s Fernando Marçal is at 33/1 to be the first name on the scoresheet.