EVERTON crashed out of the Europa League after being punished for poor defending by a ruthless Dynamo Kiev side in Ukraine.
The Toffees led the last-16 tie 2-1 from the first leg at Goodison Park but suffered a crushing 5-2 defeat in Thursday’s second encounter at the Olympic Stadium to go down 6-4 on aggregate, bringing British interest in European competition to an end for the season.
The crucial damage was done in the first half of the second leg after a wonderful curling effort from Dynamo’s Andriy Yarmolenko in the 21st minute had been equalised in similar fashion eight minutes later by Romelu Lukaku.
Six minutes later, Everton’s slow reactions at the back allowed Lukasz Teodorczyk to prod home, and within another two minutes, Miguel Veloso met a failed attempted clearance by Toffees captain Phil Jagielka with a volley that deflected in.
Roberto Martinez’s men then once again did not cover themselves in glory defensively 11 minutes into the second half when Dynamo added another goal, Oleg Gusev finishing from close-range on the rebound.
And the triumph for the Ukrainian league leaders was wrapped up in the 76th minute when Vitorino Antunes let fly superbly from distance, before Jagielka headed in an 82nd-minute consolation.
Everton had been hoping to make a European quarter final for the first time in 30 years, but instead completed a treble of eliminations for the Barclays Premier League’s last three remaining sides in Europe over the past few days following Arsenal and Manchester City’s Champions League exits.
While the questions about the real strength of English football will only continue from here, Martinez’s players, their creditable run in this competition now over, will focus on trying to finish their disappointing Premier League season positively, with a trip to QPR next up on Sunday as they try to build on the morale-boosting 3-0 win over Newcastle.
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