Europa: Lookman Scores Brace as Everton Beats Apollon


Ademola Lookman scored twice as a weakened Everton team beat Apollon Limassol to end their failed Europa League campaign with their only win.

With Sunday’s Liverpool derby in mind, the Toffees made 11 changes from the victory over Huddersfield, while manager Sam Allardyce did not travel because of a medical appointment.

Lookman headed in Nikola Vlasic’s cross from close range and fired in a 25-yard second for the already eliminated Toffees, who gave debuts to five youngsters.

Vlasic added a late third, nipping the ball past Apollon’s defence to slot home.

Everton have won three games in a row, all under different managers – caretaker boss David Unsworth, Allardyce and, in Cyprus, newly appointed first-team coach Craig Shakespeare.

Victory means they do not finish bottom of the group, overtaking winless Apollon, and avoid becoming the first English team to not win a Europa League group game.

Atalanta won Group E, beating Lyon 1-0 in Italy.

None of the 11 players who started in Nicosia are likely to line up against Liverpool at Anfield, but Lookman will have improved his chances of being involved from the bench on Sunday (14:15 GMT).

The 20-year-old had not scored in his previous 20 matches, a run going back to his only other goal for the club, a debut strike against Manchester City in January.

He had a bright first half, and could have scored earlier after being picked out by a wonderful Davy Klaassen pass. The former Charlton player took too long on the ball, switching feet and shooting at keeper Tasos Kissas.

But he made no mistake with their opening goal, heading into the roof of the net from Vlasic’s cross after the young Croat’s one-two with Kevin Mirallas.

Lookman smashed home a wonderful second from outside the box, from Mirallas’ pass, with Kissas only able to parry it into the top corner.

After the break, he had one hat-trick chance but was denied by the keeper from a wide angle with Vlasic – another 20-year-old – free in the centre four yards from goal.

Vlasic – whose only previous Everton goal had been against Apollon at home – scored a late third after using his pace to run in on goal before placing the ball through the legs of Kissas.