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Dynamo Kiev 5-2 Everton - Everton’s European hopes crushed in Kiev

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Toffees made to pay for slack defending in the Ukraine

Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Everton's Europa League dream was snatched away from them by a ruthless Dynamo Kiev side who took full advantage of some terrible defending.

It was such a disappointing way to exit a competition that has created so many happy memories this season, but the 6-4 aggregate defeat leaves Everton with only a relegation battle to look forward to between now and May.

The frustrating thing is that Kiev did not look a particularly good side, especially defensively. But if you defend like Everton did then you are going to get punished at this level.

The opening goal from Andriy Yarmolenko was a fine strike, but you have to question Everton’s positioning as the forward was allowed time and space to run at the defence before firing the shot past a flat-footed Tim Howard.

Credit to Everton though they rallied and worked their way back into the game with Ross Barkley unlucky to hit the post with a left-footed effort.

They were level just before the half hour though when Romelu Lukaku curled home a wonderful long-range equaliser for his 18th goal of the season.

That should have been the signal for Everton to pin Kiev back, but a chaotic few minutes saw the Ukrainian side take a firm grip of the tie.

Catastrophic defending, particularly from the hapless Antolin Alcaraz, allowed Lukasz Teodorczyk and then Miguel Veloso to make it 3-1 in the space of three minutes.

There was still hope going into the second half as Everton only needed one more goal to progress, but you never felt confident that they wouldn’t concede at the other end.

Those fears were realised when Oleh Gusev made it 4-1 on the night 11 minutes into the second half after Everton failed to deal with a cross.

The Blues rallied again as Leon Osman and Arouna Kone came on, with Barkley unlucky again to hit the bar with a long-range effort.

The game was well and truly over and on the verge of humiliation though when Vitorino Antunes fired home a thunderous long-range hot into the top corner.

Phil Jagielka headed home Leighton Baines’ corner with eight minutes left to give Everton a brief flicker of hope. Osman and Lukaku also saw efforts save in the closing stages, but it was all too little too late.

All in all it was an embarrassing way to bow out of the competitions and once again brings us all down to earth after those two wins last week.

The recriminations will now begin, focusing particularly only Everton’s awful defending which was inexcusable at times.

The team, though, would do well to focus on Sunday’s game against QPR, with Premier League points still needed to ensure safety.