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Home Sport Football European

Sloppy Everton's dropped points crank up the pressure on Koeman

Everton 2 A Limassol 2

By Paul Burrows

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

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

Sigurdsson was able to supply Vlasic for his first Everton goal via a delicate assist. 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.

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

It required a terrible mistake at the other end involving Apollon's Portuguese keeper Bruno Vale and another Spaniard in Héctor Yuste for Everton to regain some composure in their play. Yuste's backpass was so wayward that it left Wayne Rooney with an open goal.

Individually, indeed, Koeman had chosen a strong team.

Nine of his players would expect to start against Burnley on Sunday. The selection reflected Everton's position in Group E after their 3-0 humbling in Italy two weeks ago against Atalanta.

Koeman could really not afford to drop points here, especially with two fixtures against Lyon to follow this one.

But even with former Sunderland defender Valentin Roberge's late red card for a high challenge on sub Dominic Calvert-Lewin, drop points they did, Yuste redeeming himself by heading past Jordan Pickford.

EVERTON: Pickford, Kenny, Holgate, Williams, Baines, Gueye (Vlasic 45), Schneiderlin, Davies (Klaassen 67), Sigurdsson, Ramírez (Calvert-Lewin 67), Rooney. Subs: Mirallas, Martina, Stekelenburg, Lookman

A LIMASSOL: Esteves do Vale, Guerra, Yuste, Roberge, Vasiliou (Zelaya 83), Saldanha, Jakolis (Schembri 61), Sachetti (Ribeiro 77), Rodrigues, Sardinero Corpa, Maglica. Subs: Martinez, Afonso da Silva, Stylianou, Kissas

Referee: T Bognar (Hungary)

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