Under-fire Unsworth's 'Cup final'

PARIS • Everton caretaker manager David Unsworth has said that tomorrow's Premier League clash with Watford will be a "Cup final" for him, after the Toffees crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday with two matches still to play following a 3-0 defeat in Lyon.

Languishing in the relegation zone in the Premier League and without a permanent manager since the sacking of Ronald Koeman the previous week, Everton succumbed to three goals.

Bertrand Traore rounded Jordan Pickford to break the deadlock on 68 minutes. The Burkina Faso striker then broke down in tears, just days after the death of former international team-mate Abdoulaye Soulama last week at the age of 37 after a long illness.

The emotional Traore was replaced moments later, as Memphis Depay then set up 19-year-old Houssem Aouar to steer in a slick second goal on 76 minutes.

The former Manchester United winger completed the scoring himself late on after another ex-United player, Morgan Schneiderlin, was sent off for a second booking in the Group E clash.

"We're really disappointed with the result. For nearly 70 minutes, we were nearly perfect with our game plan and created a couple of opportunities and should have scored," said Unsworth, who refused to be drawn on his future.

"It's not about me, it's about the football club... It's about recovering from this result and picking the team for Sunday - a Cup final, for me."

Everton also lost defender Cuco Martina, as the Curacao international was stretchered off in a neck brace following an awkward fall.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2017, with the headline 'Under-fire Unsworth's 'Cup final''. Print Edition | Subscribe