Atalanta celebrated only their second ever European away victory, as Bryan Cristante’s brace paved the way for a 5-1 demolition of Everton.
The Bergamo Boys had only ever won one European away fixture before: 1-0 at Fenerbahce on October 24, 1990.
The Orobici needed only a point to be sure of qualifying for the Round of 32 against an Everton side that was already eliminated and operating under a caretaker manager after Ronald Koeman’s dismissal. Mattia Caldara was only fit for the bench with Leonardo Spinazzola injured. Morgan Schneiderlin sat out a ban with Phil Jagielka, Seamus Coleman, Ross Barkley and Michael Keane unavailable.
Etrit Berisha bravely rushed off his line to smother at the feet of Davy Klaassen and Andrea Masiello’s header looped off target, but the deadlock was broken after 13 minutes.
Timothy Castagne burst down the right past two players and pulled back for Bryan Cristante to prod home from seven yards.
It was almost 2-0 soon after, but Hans Hateboer mis-kicked his volley. Atalanta seemed relatively in control, despite being the away side.
There was a risk though when Kevin Mirallas pounced on a defensive error and his shot was parried by Berisha into the path of Sandro Ramirez for a horribly mis-kicked volley.
Andrea Petagna curled off target, but Rafael Toloi was decisive with a goal-line clearance after Tom Davies’ shot had beaten Berisha from 10 yards.
Within minutes of the restart, Cristante surged through the middle and was tripped from behind by Ashley Williams, who ran the serious risk of a second yellow card. Papu Gomez stepped up, but his central penalty was parried by Joel Robles, who was a surprise starter this evening in place of England Number 1 Jordan Pickford. Robles not only kept out the penalty, but also Remo Freuler’s follow-up.
Papu was determined to make up for it with a series of shots just wide and Jonjoe Kenny needed a goal-line clearance to keep out Cristante’s header.
Hans Hateboer shrugged off Keane and burst down the left, his rising strike palmed over the bar, but Cristante completed his brace with a flicked header at the near post on a corner.
Everton pulled one back out of seemingly nowhere, as Sandro Ramirez placed a precise angled drive into the far bottom corner, his first goal for the Toffees.
Ramirez forced Berisha to palm the shot out from under the bar and then Keane thought he’d scored, but he was both offside and pushed Robin Gosens.
Gosens got the third goal for Atalanta instead, as a corner was deflected out to the edge of the area for his ferocious half-volley that flew in off the inside of the far post.
Atalanta had barely finished celebrating when they added a fourth, as Andreas Cornelius sprung the offside trap on a through ball and slipped the finish beneath Robles.
They wouldn’t hold back with over 3,500 fans in Goodison Park shaking the stadium with their celebrations. Papu fired a couple off target and with the last kick of the game Cornelius beat Williams to nod in a corner and make the final result 1-5.
Everton 1-5 Atalanta
Cristante 12, 64 (A), Ramirez 71 (E), Gosens 86 (A), Cornelius 88, 93 (A)
Everton: Robles; Kenny (Feeney 69), Keane, Williams, Martina; Davies, Baningime, Klaassen (Vlasic 62); Mirallas (Calvert-Lewin 79), Rooney, Ramirez
Atalanta: Berisha; Toloi, Palomino, Masiello (Caldara 60); Hateboer (Gosens 70), Freuler, De Roon, Castagne; Cristante (Cornelius 82); Gomez, Petagna
Ref: Kehlet (DEN)
Saved penalty: Gomez 48 (A)
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