Everton 1 Lyon 2: Second-half brawl mars Lyon win

Ashley Williams sparked a huge second-half brawl as a late Bertrand Traore goal compounded Ronald Koeman's Mersyside misery.

Published : Oct 20, 2017 12:52 IST

Everton and Lyon players fight at Goodison Park.
Everton and Lyon players fight at Goodison Park.

Everton and Lyon players fight at Goodison Park.

Everton's torrid start to the season continued as it crashed to a 2-1 defeat to Lyon in an ill-tempered Europa League clash at Goodison Park.

The defeat means the Toffees are rooted to the bottom of Group E with just one point from three games and manager Ronald Koeman will surely face fresh questions about his future.

Growing frustration on Merseyside was summed up by Ashley Williams sparking a brawl between both sets of players after a reckless shove on Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes, with fans unnecessarily lashing out at visiting players in the ensuing melee.

Williams perhaps ought to have been dismissed, but he incredibly made the most of his reprieve to cancel out Nabil Fekir's early penalty as momentum seemed to have swung the Toffees' way with 20 minutes to play.

But the final word was Lyon's as Bertrand Traore flicked home from close range to leave Everton with just two wins from its last 12 games.

Everton will welcome Arsenal to Goodison Park on Sunday, with Koeman knowing only a win will do to get this side's faltering season back on track.

After making five changes from the weekend draw with Brighton, Everton's hopes for a positive start were blown apart inside five minutes.

Fernando Marcal was unceremoniously hacked down in the box by Mason Holgate and Lyon captain Fekir stepped up to stroke the spot-kick into Jordan Pickford's bottom corner for his eighth goal of the season.

The shell-shocked host did not respond in thundering fashion and had to wait until the 21st minute for its first real sight of goal as the recalled Kevin Mirallas drilling a shot wide from outside the area, before Morgan Schneiderlin and Tom Davies went close.

Mirallas and Davies then combined in style just after the half-hour mark as the Belgian ghosted in behind the Lyon backline to meet the youngster's incisive throughball, but Lopes got down well to block the forward's effort from a tight angle.

Davies continued to be in the thick of the action and narrowly avoided scoring a spectacular own goal when he deflected Memphis Depay's free-kick onto the crossbar.

Davy Klaassen was denied a first Everton goal by a smart stop from Lopes, before the visiting team twice came close to doubling its advantage. Depay shot meekly at Pickford after being put clear through and Traore whipped a left-foot shot just past the Everton goalkeeper's far post after cutting inside.

Ademola Lookman was introduced at half-time for the ineffective Klaassen and he almost made an immediate impact, hooking a back-post shot straight at Lopes from Dominic Calvert-Lewin's knockdown.

Lyon continued to look threatening on the counter-attack, though, and only a superb last-ditch block by Schneiderlin denied Myziane Maolida what looked like a certain goal after 53 minutes.

Everton was struggling to make any significant inroads as the half wore on and its frustration boiled over in unsavoury fashion just after the hour.

Williams needlessly pushed Lopes over after he had gathered the ball, sparking a mass brawl that even involved some Everton supporters.

The Wales defender somehow escaped with just a yellow card after rucking with several opponents and came back to haunt Lyon just moments later, rising highest to thump home substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson's free-kick.

Another Sigurdsson dead ball crashed against the post shortly after – minutes before Lyon grabbed a decisive winner.

Maxwel Cornet's low ball into the box was impudently flicked towards goal by Traore and beyond Pickford to secure all three points and pile the pressure on Koeman.

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