Ten-man Everton have been knocked out of the Europa League, following a dismal 3-0 defeat away at Olympique Lyonnais.
Second half goals from Bertrand Traore, Houssem Aouar and Memphis Depay were enough to put a killer blow into Everton’s Europa League campaign as the second-half collapse only compounded the Blues’ miserable winless run.
The Blues also needed Apollon Limassol to beat Atlanta in their game but the Cyrpiot side were only able to manage a 1-1 draw against the group leaders.
Traore, who scored the winning goal at Goodison Park just two weeks ago, opened the scoring in the 68th minute when he pounced on a mistake from the Everton backline and slotted under an onrushing Jordan Pickford.
Les Gones second came just under ten minutes later when second-half substitute Aouar curled his effort past the glove of the outstretched Pickford, who had already made a save in the build-up.
If the collapse hadn’t begun after conceding the first goal, it had definitely kicked into speed following the second, as the Blues were reduced to 10 men after Morgan Schneiderlin received a second yellow card.
With moments to go, Depay, applied the third and final blow as he headed home Lyon’s third goal, from inside the six-yard box.
Everton are now unable to qualify with two group games remaining.
Tactically better start by the Blues
When David Unsworth named his line-up prior to the game, many Everton fans raised an eyebrow at the fact there was no recognised striker in the team.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin was only named to start from the subs bench so club record signing Gylfi Sigurdsson started up front in a seemingly false nine like role.
The bizarre experiment going forward didn’t work but the Blues looked solid in defence.
With Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka resting back on Merseyside, Cuco Martina replaced Baines whilst Mason Holgate swapped his right-back role to partner Ashley Williams at the heart of the Everton defence.
For 45 minutes, it worked.
Everton were rarely tested by Bruno Génésio’s side but when they were, they cleared their lines with a calm and purpose not seem this season.
The first-half was given an extended period of stoppage time after Martina went toppling over a Lyon defender and landed awkwardly on his neck.
The Curaçao international had to be stretched off and is set to be kept in a French hospital overnight.
Chances in the second-half
The Blues kicked off the second half with a chance from Idrissa Gana Gueye that should have flown past a beaten Anthony Lopes.
The Senegalese international had a golden opportunity only moments into the second-half after he was teed up following good play from Ademola Lookman.
Finding the net would have been the perfect start to the second period for the travelling Toffees as they’d already shown that they could halt the Lyon attack.
Energetic work from Lookman carved out another chance for the Blues but Sigurdsson was unable to direct the ball past an off-balance Lopes. In fact, he was unable to make contact the ball altogether as replays showed he missed making a contact by the tiniest of margins.
Sigurdsson went close again moments later after being set up by Calvert-Lewin, who had replaced Gueye minutes earlier, but he could drill his shot wide of Lopes’ far-post.
It was only matter of moments after the Icelandic international golden opportunities that Everton’s collapse began.
The defeat also means that it is now likely that David Unsworth's hopes of being made permanent manager have been dealt a significant blow, after failing to win any of his first games in temporary charge.
It is also now five consecutive defeats in a row for Everton - the first time the club have suffered such a run in 12 years yet to have to change their focus pretty quickly once again.
Their attention now turns to Sunday and the Premier League as they host Marco Silva’s Watford at Goodison Park before much of the squad departs for the international break.