Atalanta made a spectacular start to their Europa League campaign, dominating Everton 3-0 with Papu Gomez scoring a wondergoal.
Apollon Limassol equalised at the 93rd minute to hold Lyon 1-1, so the Bergamo Boys are comfortably top of Group E.
The Orobici were the shock fourth-place finishers in Serie A last season, earning their first foray into Europe for 27 years. In a tough group with Olympique Lyonnais and Apollon Limassol, they began by hosting Premier League giants Everton, who spent big this summer. Having sold many of their talents, Gian Piero Gasperini also missed injured Josip Ilicic, Leonardo Spinazzola and Robin Gosens, leaving him with no left-wing-backs. The Toffees started Wayne Rooney and only had James McCarthy sidelined.
Atalanta are playing their European home fixtures at the Mapei Stadium in Reggio-Emilia, as the Stadio Azzurri d’Italia in Bergamo does not meet UEFA requirements.
It was a very aggressive start from the Orobici, earning a series of early corners, while Gylfi Sigurdsson fired straight at Etrit Berisha and Rooney’s lob was over the bar.
Remo Freuler saw his snapshot charged down by Michael Keane on the edge of the box, then Maarten Stekelenburg parried from Andrea Masiello after Andrea Petagna was closed down, but from the resulting corner, it was flicked on to unmarked Masiello to tap in at the back post.
That was their first European goal since December 1990 and Masiello almost got another, as Petagna knocked on a pass for the defender, Stekelenburg rushing off his line for a decisive block.
The goalkeeper smothered a Papu Gomez angled drive, but the Argentine doubled Atalanta’s lead with a sensational strike. He cut in on the edge of the area and curled a stunner into the far top corner.
Moments later, it was 3-0 and fully deserved for the Orobici, as Everton were caught in possession and Petagna rolled across for the on-rushing Bryan Cristante to waltz into the net.
This was the first time Everton had ever been 3-0 down at half-time in a European match.
Straight after the restart, Rooney and Petagna tested the goalkeepers, while Papu Gomez fired over under a desperate sliding block.
Remo Freuler went even closer on 56 minutes, smacking the crossbar after a Hans Hateboer counter-attack.
Everton made precious little impact in their attempts to come back into the game, as Atalanta were in complete control.
Atalanta 3-0 Everton
Masiello 27 (A), Gomez 41 (A), Cristante 44 (A)
Atalanta: Berisha; Toloi, Palomino, Masiello (Caldara 76); Hateboer, Cristante (Kurtic 82), De Roon, Freuler, Castagne; Petagna (Cornelius 79), Gomez
Everton: Stekelenburg; Holgate, Jagielka, Keane, Baines; Schneiderlin (Sandro Ramirez 66), Besic; Rooney (Klaassen 66), Vlasic, Sigurdsson; Calvert-Lewin (Mirallas 76)
Ref: Bezbodorov (RUS)
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