Thursday, December 07, 2017

Ademola Lookman’s brace ensured a youthful Everton side did not miss Sam Allardyce’s presence in Cyprus as they finished their woeful Europa League campaign with a victory.

A pre-arranged medical appointment meant new boss Allardyce was not in Nicosia to witness the 3-0 win over Apollon Limassol, the Toffees’ first of the group stage, but he will receive a positive assessment of his fringe players and youngsters from stand-in manager Craig Shakespeare.

The most glowing review will be reserved for 20-year-old Lookman, who scored two goals in seven first-half minutes, the second of which was a blistering strike from range to cap off a 26-pass move where each Everton player touched the ball, with Nikola Vlasic then adding a third late on.

FC Copenhagen emerged from a three-way qualification fight to reach the knockout stages thanks to a 2-0 win over Sheriff.

Goals from Pieros Sotiriou and Michael Luftner were enough to send the Danish capital outfit into the round of 32 at the expense of Sheriff, who had Jairo sent off.

Lokomotiv Moscow joined Copenhagen as the other side to progress from Group F, the Russians prevailing 2-0 at Zlin thanks to second-half goals from Aleksei Miranchuk and Jefferson Farfan.

Zoran Gajic’s red card for two bookable offences left the hosts hamstrung, and Lokomotiv took full advantage.

Braga managed to top Group C despite losing 2-1 at Istanbul Basaksehir, Edin Visca and Emre Belozoglu on target for the Turkish hosts and Raul Silva in reply for the visitors.

Ludogorets’ 1-1 draw at Hoffenheim proved enough to claim second spot, and deny Basaksehir a place in the knockout stages.

Philipp Ochs put Hoffenheim ahead, only for Wanderson’s goal just after the hour to ensure Ludogorets’ passage despite Claudiu Keseru’s late red card.

Group D winners Milan bombed out 2-0 at Rijeka, but the hosts still failed to qualify for the next stage – as AEK Athens secured a goalless draw at Austria Vienna.

Jakov Puljic and Mario Gavranovic found the net for Rijeka, but that proved in vain as Greek capital club AEK grabbed the draw they needed to progress.

Ademola Lookman scored twice in six first-half minutes as Everton claimed a 3-0 win at Apollon Limassol, in a match where both sides had already failed to qualify from Group E.

Nikola Vlasic also found the net for Sam Allardyce’s side, while Atalanta secured top spot with Andrea Petagna’s goal securing a 1-0 win over Lyon.

Astana stole second spot in Group A thanks to their 1-0 victory at Slavia Prague, where Marin Anicic struck the winner.

Group winners Villarreal went down 1-0 at Maccabi Tel Aviv, who had Nick Blackman to thank for the winner in a dead rubber.

Dynamo Kiev topped Group B with a 4-1 win over Partizan Belgrade, with Junior Moraes blasting a hat-trick.

Captain Mykola Morozyuk started the rout, while Marko Jevtovic found the net for the well-beaten visitors.

Despite their loss, Partizan had already secured second spot and progression to the last 32.

Both already eliminated, Young Boys stole a 2-1 home win over Skenderbeu thanks to Roger Assale’s last-gasp added-time winner, where captain Guillaume Hoarau had already found the net and Enis Gavazaj had put the visitors into an early lead.

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