Everton’s Europa League hopes have been dealt a severe blow after conceding a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw against Apollon Limassol.
Some immediate thoughts on tonight’s game:
Ashley Williams has failed to impress in an Everton shirt since moving from Swansea last year and his cause wasn’t helped by another horrendous error. Like at Old Trafford a fortnight ago, Williams gave the ball away deep inside his own half allowing the opposition to go on and score. Unfortunately for Ronald Koeman he has little choice but to keep playing the Welshman given the number of injuries he has to central defenders
There was a lot of expectation on Sandro Ramirez’s shoulders when he joined over the summer and the young Spaniard is clearly struggling to cope with that burden. The effort and desire was there, and he certainly showed glimpses of his qualities tonight, but he is clearly badly lacking in confidence.
Once again Everton found themselves lacking in pace so Ronald Koeman responded by throwing on Nikola Vlasic at half-time. The Croatian’s vibrancy immediately energised the team, who looked much more of an attacking threat in the second half. He took his goal well and had a few other opportunities to double his tally. The 19-year-old is definitely in contention to start on Sunday.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin also impressed coming off the bench as Everton began to dominate during the second half. He came close to sealing the game with a wonderful curling effort late on and surely must be restored to the starting line-up against Burnley.
The draw, in truth, is harsh on Everton who dominated the second half but were made to pay dearly for failing to kill the game off. The equalising goal was a disaster from start to finish, with Davy Klaassen committing a silly foul to concede the free-kick and Everton failing to properly mark their men in the penalty area. This was Everton’s “easiest” game on paper and a failure to win leaves them facing an uphill challenge to try and get out of the group.