Dec 7, 2017 at 6pm UK at ​Tsirion Stadium
Apollon LimassolApollon Limassol
0-3
Everton

Sachetti (78')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Lookman (21', 27'), Vlasic (86')
Baningime (73')

Live Commentary: Apollon Limassol 0-3 Everton - as it happened

Live Commentary: Apollon 0-3 Everton - as it happened
© Offside
Relive Everton's Europa League victory over Apollon Limassol with Sports Mole live text coverage.

Everton have ended a dismal Europa League campaign on a high note by defeating Apollon Limassol 3-0 in their final group match to register their only win of the phase.

Ademola Lookman bagged a brace for the Toffees in Cyprus before Nikola Vlasic added a third in the dying stages to cap off the win.

The victory helped Everton avoid the humiliation of finishing bottom of their group, though their return of four points from six matches is the worst haul by an English side in the history of the competition.

Find out how the action unfolded with Sports Mole's text commentary below.


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4.56pmGood evening and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Europa League clash between Apollon Limassol and Everton, a game in which only pride is at stake considering neither team can qualify for the knockout phase of the competition ahead of kickoff. Team news incoming...

4.57pmEVERTON XI: Robles; Baningime, Feeney, Charsley; Schneiderlin, Besic, Klaasen; Vlasic, Mirallas, Lookman; Hornby

4.59pmSo that's the Everton lineup, and we'll have the Apollon Limassol team for you as soon as it's announced, but meanwhile, here's what the visitors' bench looks like...

5.01pmEVERTON SUBS: Hewelt, Collins, Duke-McKenna, Denny, Broadhead, Lavery, Gordon

5.03pmAPOLLON XI: Kissas; Jander, Roberge, Pitian, Pedro; Sachetti, Allan, Martinez; Papoulis, Schembri, Sardinero

5.04pmAPOLLON SUBS: Vale, Zelaya, Stylianou, Yuste, Pittas, Vasiliou, Jakolis

5.05pmThis is a much-changed Everton side with a number of youngsters being given a chance to shine in Cyprus, and that's hardly surprising considering the Blues have no chance of reaching the knockout phase and will have one eye on this weekend's derby clash with city rivals Liverpool.

5.07pmThere are debuts for youth players Harry Charsley and Fraser Hornby. The former will play at wing-back on the left, while Hornby has the honour of leading the Everton attack. He will have support from Mirallas, Vlasic and Lookman in the final third.

5.09pmIt's a 4-2-3-1 formation for the visitors tonight and something of a makeshift backline. Three quarters of their defence are fledglings, while Besic has dropped back from his usual position in the middle of the park to play at centre back. Schneiderlin will operate as an enforcer while Klaassen will take on a box-to-box role.

5.11pmNew Everton manager Sam Allardyce, whose first game in charge was last weekend's 2-0 win over Huddersfield, is not overseeing this match due to a "pre-arranged medical appointment". Coaches Craig Shakespeare and Duncan Ferguson are taking charge in his stead.

New Everton boss Sam Allardyce is presented to the crowd ahead of the match with Huddersfield Town on December 2, 2017© SilverHub


5.13pmAs we mentioned before, this match is all about pride. Neither team can qualify, but it would be a momentous achievement for Apollon Limassol if they were to finish their Europa League campaign above Premier League opposition in the group standings.

5.15pmEverton, meanwhile, could pick up an unwanted record this evening by becoming the only English side to go through an entire Europa League group campaign without registering a single win. The last thing their season needs is more negativity.

5.17pmThey're up against a tenacious team tonight. Apollon have already held Atalanta and Lyon to draws in this competition, which is more than Everton managed, and escaped with a 2-2 stalemate in the reverse fixture at Goodison Park.

5.19pmExperienced midfielder Fotis Papoulis is one to watch for the hosts. He will captain the side from the middle of the park, while Andre Schembri will provide their goal threat.

5.21pmEverton are only the second Premier League side to visit this ground for a competitive fixture, the other being their city rivals Liverpool, who won 2-1 here in 1992.

5.23pmNo English side has ever lost on Cypriot soil, so a defeat for Everton would see them set not one, but two unwanted European records.

5.24pmThe Blues have haemorrhaged goals in the Europa League this season, having let in at least two in every group stage match. Only Vardar can match that record. Overall, they are the third-highest conceders in the competition on 15. Austria Wien have let in 16 and whipping boys Vardar 19.

5.26pmWith a record like that and such a young starting XI, an Everton win isn't exactly a safe bet this evening, but they are up against a side who have failed to register a win in the group stage of the Europa League in their last 10 attempts. You have to go all the way back to a 2014 fixture against FC Zurich to find their last victory in this stage of the competition.

5.28pmThis is a big game for players on the fringe of the Everton first team like Mirallas, Lookman, Klaassen and Vlasic. They have the chance to shine ahead of this weekend's Merseyside derby, and may even lock down a place in the team if they do enough out there tonight.

Kevin Mirallas looks dejected during the Europa League group game between Everton and Atalanta on November 23, 2017© Offside


5.30pmIt's also a good opportunity for the Toffees coaches to take a look at some of the promising youngsters on the club's books. Fraser Hornby will be an interesting player to watch in the lone striker position.

5.32pmKey players including Wayne Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jordan Pickford have all remained at home to rest up ahead of the weekend's big derby. They will need all the rest they can get based on Liverpool's performance last night. They put seven past Spartak Moscow in the Champions League.

5.34pmEverton haven't been afraid to experiment in this competition, fielding youngsters and fringe players. Take a look at this stat...



5.36pmIncidentally, that is a strategy that's worked out better for Arsenal than Everton. They will finish top of their group regardless of what happens in their final fixture at BATE, while Everton are only playing to restore some pride tonight.

5.38pmIt's been a campaign of embarrassment for them. They have lost four out of their five Europa League group matches this season, and were thoroughly outplayed by Atalanta and Lyon, both home and away. Moreover, Apollon deserved their 2-2 draw at Goodison, it has to be said.

5.40pmThere's a chance we'll see a more confident Everton out there this evening. In the Premier League, they recently registered back-to-back wins for the first time this season with victories over West Ham United and Huddersfield to climb up to midtable. That often happens when a new manager comes on board.

5.42pmEverton coach Craig Shakespeare has been speaking to the press ahead of this game...

5.44pmSHAKESPEARE: "We all know that players who have not played need the opportunity to play. It is a fresh start for everybody. The team for Sunday has not been picked so there is an opportunity for things to change. The management and players should look at it as a fresh start. The players who come in to play, those that have not played the past couple of matches, should see it as a real opportunity to grasp and try to force their way into the team."

Craig Shakespeare watches on during the Premier League game between West Ham United and Leicester City on March 18, 2017© SilverHub


5.46pmBased on Shakespeare's comments, it sounds like there could be a place or two up for grabs in this weekend's derby against Liverpool, but expect the team which starts that match to be drastically changed from this kindergarten setup. Sam Allardyce is unlikely to make too many alterations from the XI which defeated Huddersfield, although a more defensive approach may be adopted.

5.48pmWe've already touched on how youthful this Everton side is, but this stat really underlines it...



5.50pmPREDICTION: I think this young Everton side will rise to the challenge this evening and register a win in Cyprus. Although the Blues lineup lacks experience in most departments, they still have enough seasoned players on the pitch to get the job done tonight. Full internationals Mirallas, Klaassen and Vlasic will provide the extra quality that the hosts lack and help the Toffees to a 2-1.

5.52pmAs we've already touched on, this is a bigger game for some players than others, and one with a point to prove is Klaassen. He's been written off by many as poorly suited to the Premier League following his big-money move from Ajax over the summer, but the arrival of Allardyce could be fresh start for him, beginning with an impressive performance tonight.

5.54pmKudos to the Everton supporters who made the trip to Cyprus this evening, knowing their team cannot make it beyond the group stage. This could be their last taste of European football for a while, based on how this season has panned out so far...



5.56pmThe two teams are out on the pitch now, gearing up for kickoff. Will Everton restore some pride tonight or suffer further Euro embarrassment? Stay tuned to find out...

1 minKICKOFF! Everton get the match underway.

3 minNervy stuff from Everton early in this match. A long ball from Allan is misread by Besic and his goalkeeper Robles. The Spanish stopper races off his line but fails to collect the ball, leaving his goalmouth wide open. If there were any Apollon players in position inside the box, that could easily have been 1-0.

5 minMirallas goes on a surging run into the Apollon penalty area. Pitian gives chase but the Belgian international gets half a yard on his marker and races towards the byline. The Apollon defender eventually catches up with him and shepherds the ball out for a goalkick.

7 minThere's a half chance for the hosts as Fotis Papoulis lets fly from range, his effort clearing Robles's crossbar. There's a break in play moments later as Klaassen clatters into Allan.

9 minSAVE! A great opportunity for Everton to open the scoring goes begging. Klaassen splits the home side's defence clean down the middle with a through-ball to release Lookman. The former Charlton man's first touch sends him slightly wide, but he recovers and gets a shot away, forcing a good save from Kissas at close range.

11 minANOTHER GREAT SAVE! Kissas looks in good form tonight. He produces an acrobatic save to deny Fraser Hornby a goal on his Everton debut. Lookman lines up the young striker on the edge of the box and he curls an effort towards to top right corner, which the Apollon keeper tips behind at full stretch!

13 minThat's two great chances for Everton in the early stages. They look dangerous in the final third through Lookman and Mirallas, while Hornby could turn out to be a handy striker based on the technique behind that shot Kissas tipped behind a moment ago.

15 minGood link-up play between Baningime and Vlasic along the right flank result in Everton's first corner. Mirallas curls a cross into the box, but Jander meets it with a powerful header to clear the danger.

17 minSHOT! The hosts threaten the Everton goal following a poor headed clearance by Charsley. The youngster fails to nod the ball away from the danger zone and it lands at the feet of Adrian Sardinero just outside the box. The Greek international lets fly but fails to get any real power behind his effort, failing to trouble Robles.

19 minBaningime makes his way up the pitch along the left flank, shakes off his marker and swings a dangerous cross into the Apollon box. It was a good delivery from the youngster, but there were no takers, allowing Kissas to collect.

21 minGOAL! Apollon Limassol 0-1 Everton (Ademola Lookman)

21 minGreat determination from Vlasic along the right channel leads to Everton's opener. The Croat chases a lost cause inside the Apollon box, keeps the ball in on the byline and swings a cross into the six-yard box for Lookman to nod over the line. A deserved lead for the Blues!

23 minEverton have been rewarded for their positive approach to the match. Mirallas and Vlasic linked up well for the opening goal, working the ball into the box. It's good to see the visitors playing with some flare, rather than going route-one like they did in their previous European matches.

25 minMirallas draws a free kick from Sachetti in the attacking half. Following the set piece, the ball eventually finds its way to Lookman wide on the left, but good pressure from Pitian forces it out for a throw-in deep in the Apollon half.

27 minA good ball from Besic to Baningime switches play to the left channel where Everton hold the ball up for a while, enjoying a lengthy spell of possession. The ball ends up back with Robles, who hoists it forwards towards Lookman deep in the opposition's half...

28 minGOAL! Apollon Limassol 0-2 Everton (Ademola Lookman)

28 minA brilliant goal from Lookman puts Everton two to the good, and it all came about thanks to a lengthy spell of possession and a long kick upfield from Toffees goalkeeper Robles. Once Lookman had it in the danger zone, he took a few touches before letting fly and finding the top corner. A fantastic team goal!

30 minCHANCE! Apollon have the chance to pull one back immediately following miscommunication in the Everton defence. They leave Robles exposed, allowing Adrian Sardinero to get a sight at goal. The Spaniard lets fly, attempting to rifle the ball across Robles, but the Everton stopper is equal to the strike.

32 minRobles is called into action again, first to deny Fotis Papoulis for range and then Adrian Sardinero at close quarters. The Spanish forward should have done better after gaining possession just yards from goal. The angle was tight, but he could have rolled a pass across the face of goal where Papoulis was lurking. Wasteful.

34 minCHANCE! Mirallas goes on another good run, exploiting a gap between two Limassol defenders before letting fly from 20 yards. He doesn't get much power behind his strike, but it only narrowly misses the bottom right corner.

36 minIt's been a decent performance from Everton so far. They look dangerous along that right flank through Mirallas and Vlasic, while Lookman has been phenomenal on the left. Most pleasing of all for the Blues, they've played as a unit across the pitch.

38 minApollon win a free kick in a dangerous position following a foul by Baningime...

39 minGOAL DISALLOWED! Apollon have a goal ruled out for offside. Sardinero swung in a cross from the dead ball situation on the left channel and Papoulis's looping header dropped beyond Robles and into the net, only for the linesman to rightly raise his flag.

41 minHere are a few action shots from the first half courtesy of the Everton Twitter account...



43 minSAVE! Mirallas finds Vlasic in acres of space just outside the Apollon box. The Croat takes a touch before shooting from an angle, but fails to muster any real power, allowing Kissas to make a comfortable block.

44 minThere's a half-chance for Apollon as Everton's inexperienced defence parts like the Red Sea, allowing Papoulis to have a pop at goal. The Greek international, however, shoots wide of Robles's left post.

45 minJust one minute of stoppage time will be played in the first period.

45+1 minHALF TIME: Apollon Limassol 0-2 Everton

6.47pmBoos ring out around the ground as the half-time whistle sounds because Apollon were denied a penalty right on the stroke of half time. Besic slid in on Joao Pedro and sent him clattering to the floor. The replay shows that the Bosnian missed the ball, but it's unclear whether there was any contact with the man.

6.49pmContentious penalty shouts aside, this has been an impressive performance from a young Everton side who deserve this 2-0 lead. Lookman, who bagged both of the Blues' goals, has been outstanding tonight.

6.51pmNo doubt that brace will do Lookman's confidence the world of good. He hadn't found the net for a while before tonight...



6.53pmA few key stats to bring you from the first period. Apollon edged the possession with a 53% share of it, but Everton registered more shots on goal - eight to the home side's seven. Five of their efforts were on target while four of Limassol's were.

6.55pmEverton's subs bench is comprised entirely of kids tonight, but the youngsters they've got on the pitch are doing the business so far. Fraser Hornby has been impressive up front. He looks like he's hungry for a debut goal.

6.57pmThe Blues' defending has been suspect on occasion. They've given Apollon's front pairing of Fotis Papoulis and Adrian Sardinero too much space on occasion, but the Cypriots have failed to take the chances when they've come their way.

6.59pmJust moments to go until the second half commences. Expect Everton to blood another youngster or two during the remainder of the match. Putting faith in the kids has worked out well for them thus far. This is their best European performance of the season by some distance.

46 minKICKOFF! The hosts get the match back underway.

48 minApollon look for a free kick as Klaassen goes in hard on Jander, but the referee allows play to continue. The replays shows that it was a blatant foul on the Dutchman's part. The hosts have just been denied a free kick right on the edge of the Everton box.

50 minThere's a half chance for Apollon as Allan shoots straight at Robles from outside the box. There's a break in play moments after Everton take their goal kick as Vlasic brings town Jander inside the home side's half.

52 minApollon win a free kick in a good position after Lookman clatters into Martinez. The Argentine steps up to take it himself and his cross causes Everton a few problems, pinballing around the box before bouncing out for a corner, which the hosts squander.

54 minBoth sides have been attempting to hit each other with counters in the second half, but sloppy errors on the part of both teams have seen their moves break down. The opening stages of the second half have been scrappier and less easy on the eye than the first period was.

56 minEverton are poking an prodding in the Apollon half. Besic just attempted to play a ball through the middle towards Hornby in the box, but his pass was snuffed out and cleared before it could reach the youngster.

58 minCHANCE! Lookman, who is on a hattrick, uses his skill and strength to power into the Apollon box. Vlasic was free in front of goal, awaiting a square pass, but the former Charlton man goes for glory himself from an acute angle. Kissas is quick off his line to block the shot.

60 minThe hosts win a free kick in a great position after Klaassen - who's had another poor game tonight - handballs right on the edge of the box. Joao Pedro steps up and shoots, thumping his effort against the wall. He gets a second bite of the cherry, but his follow-up is blocked and cleared.

62 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Two changes for the hosts, who swap Jakolis for Sardinero and Zelaya for Schembri.

64 minGreat defending from Morgan Feeney, who reacts quickly to intercept a cross that was heading straight to the feet of Papoulis in front of goal. He's been excellent alongside Besic in central defence.

66 minWill this man get his hattrick tonight? If he manages that, he will become only the fifth Everton player to net a treble in Europe. Also on the list are Lukaku, Yakubu, Andy Gray and Alan Ball.



68 minPapoulis puts Everton under pressure by chasing what looked like a lost cause into the box, but Baningime races out wide, wins possession and clears his lines. Moments later, a Joao Pedro cross from wide on the right is headed into the arms of Robles by Feeney. Good defending once again from the youngster.

70 minCredit to the home supporters, who are singing away despite being 2-0 down. Sections of the stadium are bouncing, the fans clearly relishing their last moments of European football in 2017-18.

72 minCHANCE! Kissas pulls off a double stop to deny Mirallas, and then Hornby on the rebound. The Belgian international went for power and forced a good save out of the Apollon goalkeeper, but his young teammate should have gone for placement and tucked the ball into a the net. That one goes down as a bad miss.

74 minBOOKING! There's handbags involving multiple players on both sides. The referee intervenes and breaks it up, but shows only one yellow card, to Everton's Baningime.

76 minEverton are still searching for this elusive third goal. Vlasic is the latest Toffee to try his luck, giving his marker the slip and shooting over from outside the box. The visitors are still giving everything in Cyprus, which will no doubt please Allardyce.

78 minApollon's marking has been better in the second half. They've kept Lookman out of the game, while Mirallas and Vlasic haven't been given any space. Failing to deal with these players in the first period has been the Cypriots' downfall tonight.

80 minA ball over the top from Mirallas goes straight through to Kissas. Everton are getting ready to make a change...

82 minSUBSTITUTION: Nathan Broadhead, a Welshman from Everton's academy, replaces Fraser Hornby up front. Hornby didn't play too badly in the first half, but looked fatigued towards the end there. Broadhead is a highly-rated prospect who likes to get forward and attack.

84 minBroadhead makes his first contribution to the match, showing great skill and vision to pick out Vlasic in the box. The Croat should have hit it first time, but instead played a square pass across the face of goal, which the Apollon defence dealt with easily.

87 minGOAL! Apollon Limassol 0-3 Everton (Nikola Vlasic)

87 minVlasic bags his second goal in Everton colours after latching onto a long ball over the top and placing a shot beyond Kissas to make it 3-0. That was a cool finish from the Croatian which has surely made it game, set, match.

88 minSUBSTITUTION: Everton give some game time to England youth international Anthony Gordon, who replaces Mirallas for the dying embers.

90 minThere will be a minimum of two minutes' stoppage time to play in Cyprus.

90+2 minFULL TIME: Apollon Limassol 0-3 Everton

7.51pmEverton deliver their best Europa League performance of a disappointing campaign to hammer Apollon Limassol 3-0 in Cyprus. They only had pride to play for ahead of the game, but make no mistake, they have restored some with that showing. Ademola Lookman bagged a brace and Nikola Vlasic added a third in the dying stages to cap off the win. Those two were the stars of the show, but a number of the other youngsters Everton fielded also impressed.

7.53pmSo Everton bow out of the competition in third place in their group with four points from six matches. Apollon finish bottom with just one on the board.

7.55pmAnd that's all we have time for this evening. Many thanks for joining Sports Mole for Everton's final European fixture of 2017-18.

New Everton boss Sam Allardyce is presented to the crowd ahead of the match with Huddersfield Town on December 2, 2017
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