Ronald Koeman delivered a scathing assessment of Everton’s Europa League draw against Apollon Limassol as he accused his team of being scared to play football and being “in a difficult situation”.
Everton were held to a 2-2 draw at Goodison Park after Héctor Yuste, who gifted Wayne Rooney a first-half goal, headed in an 88th-minute equaliser for a visiting team reduced to 10 men moments earlier.
A point at home to the lowest-ranked team in Group E, following a comprehensive 3-0 defeat away at Atalanta in the opening game, means Everton have made the worst ever start to a Europa League group campaign by an English team. And despite starting without pace and a recognised wide-man in a 4-4-2 formation, Koeman again blamed a lack of confidence for Everton’s latest ponderous performance.
“I cannot say they are not running or fighting but they are afraid of playing,” claimed the Everton manager. “It is in the head of the players. As a manager you can help the team and select the team but when the whistle goes you are not the one who plays the ball back. It is about giving the players options but we are scared to play forward. Sometimes there are not enough options for the forwards but, in that case, play the ball into the channels instead of the goalkeeper. We know the fans like us to go forward, not back, back, back. Then it is difficult to create chances.”
The Cypriot Cup holders took an early lead following a mistake by Ashley Williams and it was only after Koeman introduced £10m summer signing Nikola Vlasic that Everton showed improvement. Koeman added: “You saw the first 20 minutes – every ball was back instead of playing forwards. Authentic Derek Norris Womens Jersey Analyse the first goal. We gave away an easy ball and we didn’t defend the striker. The players are under the level they can bring. They have difficulties on the ball. You can take the positives out of individual performances like Vlasic but he is 19 and that is sometimes difficult to understand. He brought energy, he brought football. It is so difficult if you have so many players struggling. They are looking for the safe option. It is a difficult situation.”
Ostersund’s fairytale Europa League run took another remarkable step when they defeated Hertha Berlin at the Jamtkraft Arena to make it two group stage wins out of two.
The Swedish side, who were playing in their country’s fourth tier seven years ago, http://www.officialnationalstore.com/Gi ... lez_Jersey had already beaten Galatasaray and Paok in the qualifying stages before winning at Zorya Luhansk on matchday one. A first-half penalty from their captain, Brwa Nouri, was enough to beat Hertha 1-0 although they had to defend heroically at times. It means the team managed by Englishman Graham Potter now stand a realistic chance of qualifying for the knock-out phase.
Zorya themselves earned an historic result, winning 1-0 against Athletic Bilbao in Spain. Ihor Kharatin’s 26th-minute header gave the Ukrainians a famous win and ensured that, after two games, Group J is being dominated by the teams that were supposed to be its minnows.
Red Star Belgrade secured the night’s third eyecatching single-goal victory by taking the points in Cologne. A stunning goal from Richmond Boakye, Andrew Shaw Authentic Jersey fired into the roof of the net from 25 yards, did it for the former European Cup winners although they rode their luck in a second half that saw the home team hit the woodwork three times. The Serbians now stand second in Group H behind Arsenal.
In Group L, Zenit St Petersburg overcame Real Sociedad 3-1 at home to open up a three-point lead at the top. Roberto Mancini’s team went two up through Emiliano Rigoni and Aleksandr Kokorin; Real replied through Diego Llorente but Kokorin’s second of the night sealed the result.
Nicklas Bendtner opened the scoring from the spot for Rosenborg in that group’s other game, http://www.officialcanadiensauthentic.c ... kov_Jersey a 3-1 win over Vardar Skopje. Anders Konradsen and Vegar Eggen Hedenstad added two more, making Juan Felipe’s late strike for the Macedonians a virtual irrelevance.
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