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Lyon add more Europa woe on Everton

Everton have crashed to a 2-1 home defeat to Lyon in the group stage of the Europa League, leaving them winless in the competition and piling more pressure on manager Ronald Koeman.

The Dutchman’s charges got off to the worst possible start when Mason Holgate bundled over Memphis Depay in the box and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.

Nabil Fekir stepped up and rifled the penalty straight into the bottom corner, beyond the reach of Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, to put the visitors in front.

The Blues grew into the match after a shaky start, but almost found themselves two down in the 37th minute when a Depay free kick from 25 yards out rattled the crossbar via a deflection off Tom Davies.

Koeman’s side were looking increasingly dangerous as half time approached and they should have drawn level on 42 minutes when Davy Klaassen found himself clean through on goal, only to shoot straight at Anthony Lopes between the Lyon sticks.

Everton almost forced an equaliser early in the second half as substitute Ademola Lookman got on the end of Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s nod-on and attempted to guide the ball over the line, but Lopes stood tall and collected.

There was controversy just after the hour mark when Ashley Williams fouled Lopes and the Lyon keeper reacted angrily, the incident sparking a brawl involving both sets of players.

The Welshman was booked for his contribution, but the opposition were aggrieved that the Blues defender avoided a red card, and there was more contention to come.

Williams, who was lucky to still be on the pitch, headed Everton level in the 69th minute, powering Gylfi Sigurdsson’s free kick into the back of the net.

The Blues looked like they would go on to take maximum points, and they came close to edging their noses in front just moments later when another Sigurdsson free kick came back off the inside of the post.

Lyon had scarcely ventured into the Everton half by this point in the second half, but they snatched a winner against the run of play through Bertrand Traore, whose cheeky backheel from Maxwel Cornet’s cross eluded Pickford and found the back of the net.

The Ligue 1 club controlled the closing stages of the match, despite fleeting spells of late Everton pressure, and held on for three points. Boos from the home supporters rang out at the final whistle.

The result leaves the Toffees bottom of Europa League Group E with one point from three matches, while Lyon’s first win puts them second.

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