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Friday, December 13
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Sep 14, 2017 at 6pm UK
AtalantaAtalanta BC
3-0
Everton
Masiello (27'), Gomez (41'), Cristante (44')
FT(HT: 3-0)
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Live Commentary: Atalanta BC 3-0 Everton - as it happened

:Headline: Live Commentary: Atalanta BC 3-0 Everton - as it happened:
Relive Everton's Europa League defeat to Atalanta BC with our live text commentary.
By , Reporter | 2y

Everton have suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Atalanta BC in their Europa League Group E opener, going down 3-0 to the Italians.

Andrea Masiello gave the Serie A outfit the lead just before the half-hour mark, before Alejandro Gomez doubled their advantage in the 41st minute.

Bryan Cristante rounded off the scoring just before half time to inflict a third defeat in a row on the Toffees in all competitions.

Hello and welcome to our live text coverage of the Europa League meeting between Atalanta and Everton at the Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia. The match serves as the Group E opener for both sides, and team news is coming your way...
EVERTON XI: Stekelenburg; Holgate, Keane, Jagielka, Baines; Schneiderlin, Besic; Rooney, Vlasic, Sigurdsson; Calvert-Lewin
ATALANTA XI: Berisha; Palomino, Masiello, Toloi, De Roon; Cristante, Freuler, Castagne, Hateboer; Gomez, Petagna
Starting with the visitors, Everton, and they've made several changes from the side that was thrashed at home by Tottenham Hotspur last weekend. Maarten Stekelenburg replaces Jordan Pickford in goal, Mason Holgate is added to the defence and Muhamed Besic brings some steel to the midfield.
It's all change up top for the Blues as Sandro Ramirez drops to the bench, Wayne Rooney moves into an advanced midfield position and Dominic Calvert-Lewin leads the line. Recent signing Nikola Vlasic also starts.
Alejandro Gomez is the danger man for hosts Atalanta this evening. He will play alongside Italy Under-21 international Andrea Petagna in what appears to be an attacking lineup. Everton will need to keep tabs on the Argentinian, who scored 16 goals and provided 10 assists last season.
Meanwhile, former Middlesbrough man Maarten de Roon takes up a place in the midfield in the absence of playmaker Josip Ilicic, a summer signing from Fiorentina. One of Italy's top defence prospects, Mattia Caldara starts on the bench.
Everton's form in the run-up to this one has been something of a concern. They've made an indifferent start to the Premier League campaign with only the one win so far and head into this game off the back of defeats to Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
While there's no shame in losing to such quality opposition, the manner of the defeats has set a few alarm bells off. The Blues are really struggling to get any shots on target and their lack of an out-and-out striker to replace Romelu Lukaku is sorely felt. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is the makeshift in that role this evening.
So, is Calvert-Lewin up to the task of leading the Everton line in Italy? His pace and agility are top-drawer and he'll have plenty of support from Rooney, Sigurdsson and Vlasic. I can see him causing Atalanta a few problems, but this is a lot of responsibility to place on young shoulder.
Atalanta were a surprise package in Serie A last season, claiming an unlikely fourth-placed finish to secure European football for the first time in 27 years. Like Everton, however, they started the new campaign slowly with defeats to Roma and Napoli, but got off the mark with a 2-1 win over Sassuolo on Sunday.
Speaking of Sassuolo, that's where this game is being played. Atalanta's home stadium, which lies 120 miles away, is being renovated, so tonight's contest takes place at the Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia.
Here's what Everton boss Ronald Koeman had to say in the run-up to this one...
KOEMAN: "I am the manager and I take this competition really seriously. We won our qualifiers. We can show it won't be different tomorrow. We have more players available. You can make some rotation, but we start with a strong team. After last weekend we need to react."

So Koeman is calling for a big reaction from his players following the weekend's defeat to Spurs, which is fair enough. Everton played without any aggression or confidence in that match and will need to raise their game this evening, although Atalanta should prove as stern a test as Tottenham or Chelsea.
The Blues can also take solace from the fact they're unbeaten in Europe. It's played four, won three, drawn one, those matches being two-legged affairs against Slovakia's Ruzomberok and Croatia's Hajduk Split.
Atalanta didn't have to pass through the qualifying rounds like their opponents. They entered at the group stage following their fourth-placed finish last term and also share Group E with French outfit Lyon and Apollon Limassol of Cyprus, who play each other tonight.
PREDICTION: I think these teams are equally matched. Goals are a problem with Everton, but between Sigurdsson's creativity and Calvert-Lewin's pace they could nick one. That said, Atalanta are capable of doing them damage, so I'm going for a 1-1 draw.
England clubs tend to struggle on Italian soil. Take a look at this...


Just minutes to go until kick off now and the stadium is filling up nicely. The home support has travelled almost as far as the Everton fans to see this one. Minute-by-minute updates on the way...
KICK OFF! Atalanta get the match underway, kicking from left to right in the first half.
Hans Hateboer causes Everton a few early problems on the right flank. He cuts into the area and tangles with Wayne Rooney, who holds him off, but the Dutchman still gets his cross in. A combination of Phil Jagielka and Maarten Stekelenburg puts it behind for a corner, which Atalanta squander. Good early pressure from the hosts who have kept the Blues under the cosh.
Andrea Petagna gains possession in the box and attempts to take on Michael Keane, who wins the ball but can't prevent the corner. Gomez swings in the resulting corner, but the Everton defence clears its lines. The visitors attempt to break through Nikola Vlasic, though it comes to nothing.
Morgan Schneiderlin pings a long ball forward searching for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but it lands kindly for a Blue shirt to collect. Atalanta have edged the possession so far and Everton will have to be more creative than that if they want to hit them on the break.
Everton have started stringing a few passes together now in the middle of the park, but a break in play interrupts their rhythm. Morgan Schneiderlin goes in hard on Alejandro Gomez and takes him clean out, though he got the ball first. The referee blows for a foul but keeps his cards in his pocket.
Much better from Everton, who have just carved out a couple of half-chances. First Gylfi Sigurdsson lets fly from outside of the box after being lined up by Calvert-Lewin, but the Iceland international's effort is straight at Etrit Berisha in the Atalanta goal. Moments later, Rooney spots the keeper off his line and goes for a cheeky lob, putting it narrowly over.
There's almost an opening for Atalanta as Gomez and Andrea Petagna exchange passes. The latter is looking for a return ball, but Phil Jagiekla puts in an interception at just the right moment, timing his tackle just right to put the ball out for a throw.
Everton have set out a tight stall this evening. Holgate appears to be man marking Gomez and is doing a fine job of it, while the experienced Jagielka has put in some good interceptions. Remo Freuler has just collected the ball inside the box and pulled the trigger, but Michael Keane was on hand to make the block.
Koeman's side may be organised at the back, but they're struggling to hold the ball up in midfield. Muhamed Besic and Morgan Schneiderlin are losing the battle so far, so I wouldn't be surprised to see Everton introduce Idrissa Gueye in a holding role at some point.
GOAL! Atalanta 1-0 Everton (Andrea Masiello)
Atalanta take the lead just moments after firing a warning shot. Masiello pops up unmarked at the near post but his shot is met by a great reaction stop from Stekelenburg, who puts the ball behind for a corner. Gomez steps up to take the corner and there's Masiello, on hand to guide the ball beyond Everton's Dutch goalkeeper from close range. How will the Blues respond?
Rather than go on the offensive after conceding, Everton have fallen onto the back foot again. Gomez carries the ball into the final third, but a last-ditch challenge from Schneiderlin denies him. The visitors are well off the pace tonight and only look like falling further behind.
CLOSE! The Italians are inches away from doubling their advantage. A cross comes into the area from Petagna wide on the left and Hans Hateboer meets it with a right-footed volley. It was heading for the bottom corner, but an interception from Michael Keane deflected it to safety. Meanwhile, the goalscorer Masiello has been booked for lunging at Sigurdsson.
Calvert-Lewin has proven ineffective up top for Everton. He's losing the physical battle against the Atalanta defenders, but it's not entirely his fault since the service has almost been non-existent. It's that midfield area where the Blues are losing this one, but if Koeman's side can make it to half time at 1-0, I think they can turn this around with a couple of changes.
Another half-chance for the hosts as Gomez surges forwards and shoots on the turn. Stekelenburg saves with relative ease. At the other end, Rooney picks up possession in the home side's half and attempts a ball over the top, looking for Calvert-Lewin, but the youngster doesn't have the legs to latch onto it.
GOAL! Atalanta 2-0 Everton (Alejandro Gomez)
What a fantastic goal from Alejandro Gomez. He's been bullying that Everton back line all night and this finish was straight out of the top drawer. The Argentine gained possession 25 yards out and curled a shot straight into the top corner, leaving Stekelenburg with no chance!
GOAL! Atalanta 3-0 Everton (Bryan Cristante)
This is getting embarrassing now and that mountain Everton had to climb has become Everest. Atalanta's third comes from Bryan Cristante, who was put clean through on goal by an unmarked Petagna. One low strike beyond Stekelenburg later and the hosts are 3-0 up.
HALF TIME: Atalanta 3-0 Everton
A disastrous start for Everton in Italy. Apparently, they've learned nothing from those back-to-back Premier League defeats. They've playing with little aggression, are losing the midfield battle and struggling to contain Gomez. Three-nil is a fair reflection of the first half, and you have to wonder how many Atalanta are capable of netting tonight.
Ronald Koeman will be furious with his players and a change of personnel is inevitable at the break. I'm expecting Besic or Schneiderlin or both to be taken off and Idrissa Gueye introduced. Ashley Williams could also be introduced to beef up the Blues' defence and Sandro Ramirez is an option to boost the Toffees' frontline, not that they stand much chance of getting back into this.
And here's a worry stat for the Blues...


KICK OFF! Everton get the match back underway. They've never come back from three goals down in Europe before, and I'm surprised to see Koeman hasn't made any changes at the break to at least try and accomplish that feat.
Nikola Vlasic shows off his pace and shrugs off his marker with a swift turn. He powers towards the area and attempts to thread a pass through to Calvert-Lewin, but the Croatian puts too much on it, allowing Berisha to collect off his line.
Castagne swivels on the edge of the Everton box and gets a sight at goal. He shoots low, but Stekelenburg is equal to it, palming it clear with a strong hand. This is still too easy for Atalanta.
Everton attempt to press, but create nothing resembling a shot on goal. Vlasic's hold-up play is good. He picks out Rooney on the edge of the area and the veteran floats a cross towards the back post, but there are no takers. There are very few positives to draw from this Everton display.
CHANCE! Some of these Atalanta players have been simply unplayable tonight, particularly Petagna, who has just tanked his way straight through the Everton defence and played a square pass to Gomez in front of goal. The Argentinian hits it first time, but blazes his effort over the bar. Close on this occasion!
OFF THE BAR! Everton try and conjure something up from a free kick 25 yards out. Sigurdsson's cross finds the head of Keane, but he fails to get any power behind it. Holgate's follow-up is straight at Berisha. Atalanta break quickly, the ball soon finding its way to Freuler in the box and his vicious strike almost snaps the crossbar in two!
Everton have been poor across the pitch tonight. They haven't contained Atalanta's front pair, have been out-muscled in midfield and predictable going forward on the rare occasions their opponents have allowed them to do that. This does not look like a team which spent almost £150m over the summer.
Gylfi Sigurdsson is penalised for a foul, becoming the first Everton player to go into the book tonight. Meanwhile, Koeman is preparing to bring on Davy Klaassen and Sandro Ramirez. Koeman could bring any one of these players off, to be fair.
SUBSTITUTIONS: Here's confirmation of those Everton changes. Klaassen and Sandro come on in place of Rooney and Schneiderlin. Rooney was one of the Toffees' better players this evening, while Schneiderlin was poor. Klaassen will add extra creativity and Sandro pace, but does this Everton side really have three goals in it? I think everyone knows the answer to that one.
The Blues have the chance to put some pressure on Atalanta via another Sigurdsson free kick, but the hosts' defences clears its lines easily. Everton have lacked bite all season, but it's obvious their problems run deeper than failing to replace Lukaku, and this display has double underlined that point.
There have been a few breaks in play which will no doubt add some injury time to the match. First Masiello falls awkwardly and requires treatment, then Baines takes a knock and looks shaky on his feet. The Everton man is fine to soldier on though, but I'm not so sure about Atalanta's first goalscorer.
Half-chances for Everton, but nothing much to write home about. Sigurdsson's deflected effort wins the Blues a corner, but the resulting cross from Baines is headed clear by Toloi. Moments later, Besic hits a screamer from 30 yards out, but it would have been well over even if this way rugby.
SUBSTITUTION: Everton make their final change and it's Mirallas on for Calvert-Lewin. I'm guessing Sandro will move to the centre of the attack and Mirallas will play wide on the right.
There's a half chance for Atalanta as Gomez's cross finds Hateboer on the back post. The defender gets his head to it, but an offside flag grinds the move to a halt. Meanwhile, the hosts have made another change, with Cristante replaced by Kurtic for the final minutes.
More pressure from the Italians as a curling cross almost find Cornelius at the back post, but his teammate misses it at full stretch despite getting half a yard on Baines.
More half chances fall Everton's way in the closing stages. Sigurdsson's cross is nodded on by Jagielka for Mirallas to smash inside the box, but he puts it wide. Moments later, Sandro turns on the edge of the area and unleashes a tame strike that fails to trouble Berisha.
Three will be three minutes of stoppage time to play. Just three more minutes of humiliation for the Blues.
FULL TIME: Atalanta 3-0 Everton
It's a night to forget for Everton and their travelling supporters in their Europa League Group E opener as they go down to a superior Atalanta side 3-0. They were outclassed across the pitch and can have zero complaints about that scoreline. Pressure mounts on big-spending Ronald Koeman.
That's all we have time for here, but stick with Sports Mole for our ongoing coverage of the Europa League this evening. Our full report from this match will appear here.
Many thanks for reading!
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4Chelsea169253124729
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool16151040142646
2Leicester CityLeicester16122239102938
3Manchester CityMan City16102444192532
4Chelsea169253124729
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd166642519624
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves165922319424
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs166553023723
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd165741916322
9Arsenal165742424022
10Crystal Palace166461418-422
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle166461723-622
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton165472024-419
13Burnley165382129-818
14Everton165291928-917
15Bournemouth164481824-616
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham164481828-1016
17Aston Villa164392328-515
18Southampton164391835-1715
19Norwich CityNorwich1632111734-1711
20Watford16169930-219
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