Everton were totally outplayed by Atalanta as they succumbed to a 3-0 defeat in their Europa League Group E opener at Citta del Tricolore on Thursday.
Atalanta 3 Everton 0
Masiello denied and then scores
Gomez doubles La Dea’s lead
Cristante adds a third before HT
Freuler hits the crossbar
Ronald Koeman’s side failed to show up in the first half and found themselves out of the tie by half-time after conceding three goals in the space of 17 first-half minutes.
They managed to keep the hosts at bay in the second half, but struggled to create many chances in an attempt to get back into the contest.
— Everton (@Everton) September 14, 2017
The Serie A outfit settled down quickly in front of a vocal home crowd and threatened for the first time on five minutes when Andrea Petagna saw his snapshot deflected behind off Michael Keane.
The Toffees created a couple of chances around the quarter-hour mark as Gylfi Sigurdsson fired straight at Etrit Berisha from 25 yards out, before Wayne Rooney chipped the ball just over the crossbar from an angle on the right.
Andrea Masiello almost broke the deadlock in the 26th minute after Petagna chested the ball down for him at the back post, but the defender was expertly denied at close range by Maarten Stekelenburg.
However, Masiello opened the scoring from the resulting corner which deflected off Phil Jagielka into his path at the back post, and the unmarked Italian slotted home from a few yards out.
Masiello found himself in an advanced position again in the 34th minute as he latched onto a clever reverse pass from Petagna, but Stekelenburg raced out to block the shot at point-blank range.
Stekelenburg had to be alert once more to deny Alejandro Gomez at his near post three minutes later, but there was nothing the keeper could do to prevent the Atalanta captain from doubling their lead on 41 minutes.
Gomez received the ball outside the area on the left and he shaped to the right before curling a shot into the top-right corner of the net.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s men then put the game to bed three minutes later as they hit Everton on the counter, with Petagna playing in Bryan Cristante through the middle and he slotted past Stekelenburg from eight yards out.
The Merseysiders made a bright start to the second half as Dominic Calvert-Lewin slipped in Rooney on the right in the 46th minute, but the striker’s low effort was kept out by Berisha.
However, that’s about as good as it got for them as Stekelenburg was called into action again at the other end three minutes later to parry away Petagna’s crisp shot from outside the box.
Gomez should have done better when he blasted over from 14 yards out after the ball broke to him inside the area from a 54th-minute counter, while Remo Freuler was denied by the crossbar moments later after being set up by Petagna as La Dea caused more problems down the right flank.
There were a couple of late chances for the visitors with Kevin Mirallas steering a header off target from Jagielka’s flick-on at a corner, while Mason Holgate fired over the bar from a tight angle on the left after being played in by Sandro Ramirez.
Andreas Cornelius could have added gloss to the scoreline when he was picked out inside the box by Gomez, but the Dane’s first-time shot was saved by Stekelenburg.