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Everton defeat increases scrutiny on me – Koeman

Nabil Fekir

Everton conceded first for the fifth game in a row when Nabil Fekir scored from the spot

Everton boss Ronald Koeman said the 2-1 Europa League defeat at home to Lyon puts his job under greater scrutiny.

The Toffees remain bottom of Group E, without a victory in the group stage, and without a win in four games in all competitions.

Ashley Williams looked to have earned Everton a draw moments after sparking a scuffle, but Bertrand Traore flicked in a clever winner for the French side.

“The final decision is by the board not myself,” Koeman said of his position.

“If the board thinks I am not the right man they will tell me.”

Nabil Fekir put the visitors ahead at Goodison Park with an early penalty, but there were signs of improvement from an underperforming Everton in a heated clash on Merseyside, with substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson striking the post with a free-kick at 1-1.

Everton have only one point after three of their six group games. They are six points behind leaders Atalanta and four behind second-placed Lyon, with a crucial trip to France to come in November.

Asked if his position defeat increased the scrutiny on his position, Koeman said: ‘Of course. If the team is not winning and if the team is not performing when maybe they can, then it’s always the manager.”

Koeman on borrowed time?

Ronald Koeman<!–

Koeman’s side sit two points above the relegation zone in the Premier League

Dutchman Koeman received a vote of confidence from the club’s board this week, while he said he has the “total support” of majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri and chairman Bill Kenwright.

In an era of swift change at many top-flight clubs, every Everton manager since the turn of the century has had more than 100 games to prove their worth, and Koeman is only their seventh full-time boss since the Premier League began.

But Koeman – under pressure following a woeful start to their Premier League campaign – is likely to face greater scrutiny given Everton have now made the worst start to a Europa League group stage by an English club.

“It’s a difficult situation. You get confidence from winning games,” said Koeman, whose side host Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday.

“The way we fought in the second half is something to keep and to continue. We know for everybody it’s an important game at the weekend.”

Everton, whose defeat by Atalanta in their opening game was followed by a 2-2 home draw with Apollon Limassol, pulled level against Lyon when captain Williams headed in Sigurdsson’s free-kick before the Icelander hit the post with another set-piece.

Williams had barged into Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes moments before his equaliser, sparking a melee behind the byeline in which an Everton fan – carrying a small child – appeared to push a Lyon player.

Everton were then undone by a touch of class from former Chelsea forward Traore, who flicked a low cross through his legs at the front post.

Ashley Williams<!–

Ashley Williams was shown a yellow card for his role in a scuffle that broke out in the second half

Signs of improvement for Everton

Everton’s attacking play has been pedestrian at times this season, with Koeman’s side lacking width, pace and any real idea of how to break their opposition down.

They spent a club record £45m to sign Sigurdsson as part of a summer outlay well in excess of £100m that also included £23m Davy Klaassen, while Wayne Rooney returned on a free transfer from Manchester United.

Koeman has attempted to squeeze all three into his starting XI at times and found his potentially most creative outlets playing out of position or vying for the same space behind the striker.

But, perhaps with an eye on the meeting with Arsenal, he dropped Rooney and Sigurdsson, while former Ajax playmaker Klaassen was removed at half-time.

A rare start for Kevin Mirallas, complemented by Nikola Vlasic on the opposite flank, brought much more natural width to the Everton side and it was the pair who, fed by the energetic Tom Davies, caused problems for Lyon.

However, the introduction of Sigurdsson for the injured Morgan Schneiderlin brought a touch of precision to Everton’s play as they searched for a way back into the tie, with the former laying on the equaliser.

The hosts pieced together some promising moves, but found themselves behind inside six minutes when Mason Holgate brought down Marcal for a penalty.

Former Manchester United winger Memphis Depay hit the bar with a deflected free-kick for Lyon, who reached the semi-finals last season and will host the final at their Groupama Stadium this term.

Man of the match – Bertrand Traore (Lyon)

Bertrand Traore<!–

Ex-Chelsea man Bertrand Traore is the type of forward Everton are crying out for. Quick, skilful and clinical in the box, the Burkina Faso international took his winner superbly and constantly proved a threat on the break.

What’s next?

After Sunday’s visit of Arsenal in the Premier League (13:30 BST), Everton travel to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday (19:45).

Lyon visit Troyes in Ligue 1 on Sunday (16:00).

Live Text

Match ends, Everton 1, Lyon 2.

Second Half ends, Everton 1, Lyon 2.

Corner, Lyon. Conceded by Cuco Martina.

Attempt blocked. Tanguy NDombele (Lyon) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Bertrand Traoré.

Corner, Lyon. Conceded by Jordan Pickford.

Attempt saved. Maxwel Cornet (Lyon) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the centre of the goal.

Hand ball by Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton).

Attempt blocked. Ashley Williams (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sandro Ramírez.

Corner, Lyon. Conceded by Michael Keane.

Substitution, Lyon. Tanguy NDombele replaces Memphis Depay.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Anthony Lopes (Lyon) because of an injury.

Attempt saved. Jordan Ferri (Lyon) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kenny Tete.

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Kenny Tete.

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Fernando Marçal.

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Fernando Marçal.

Attempt saved. Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Sandro Ramírez with a cross.

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Kenny Tete.

Tom Davies (Everton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Houssem Aouar (Lyon).

Attempt missed. Ademola Lookman (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Attempt missed. Bertrand Traoré (Lyon) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Maxwel Cornet.

Foul by Mason Holgate (Everton).

Memphis Depay (Lyon) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Ashley Williams (Everton).

Bertrand Traoré (Lyon) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Ademola Lookman (Everton) left footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Tom Davies.

Goal! Everton 1, Lyon 2. Bertrand Traoré (Lyon) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Maxwel Cornet.

Foul by Mason Holgate (Everton).

Memphis Depay (Lyon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Gylfi Sigurdsson with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Mouctar Diakhaby.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Marcelo (Lyon).

Offside, Lyon. Marcelo tries a through ball, but Bertrand Traoré is caught offside.

Foul by Cuco Martina (Everton).

Kenny Tete (Lyon) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution, Lyon. Maxwel Cornet replaces Myziane Maolida.

Goal! Everton 1, Lyon 1. Ashley Williams (Everton) header from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Gylfi Sigurdsson with a cross following a set piece situation.

Nikola Vlasic (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

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