Everton’s poor form of run continued in Europe as they were thrashed 5-1 by Atalanta in the Europa League at a less-than-half-full Goodison Park.
The Toffees had already been eliminated before the game but caretaker manager David Unsworth selected a strong side featuring Wayne Rooney, Kevin Mirallas and Ashley Williams.
The Italian visitors went ahead after 12 minutes, midfielder Bryan Cristante converting from close range after Ashley Williams’ weak clearance.
With just 17,431 people watching, Everton goalkeeper Joel Robles saved Alejandro Gomez’s penalty and follow-up early in the second half but Atalanta doubled their lead through Cristante’s second.
Sandro Ramirez scored his first goal for the Toffees to cut the deficit but substitute Robin Gosens’ well-struck dipping volley beat Robles before Danish striker Andreas Cornelius’ brace made it worse as Atalanta sealed qualification to the knockout stage.
Unsworth, who took temporary charge after Everton sacked Ronald Koeman in October, has made no secret of his desire to keep the job.
A boyhood supporter, he helped the club win their last trophy with 1995’s FA Cup victory, but his hopes of leading the Merseysiders into a new era are rapidly fading.
Owner Farhad Moshiri appears to have failed in an attempt to prise Marco Silva from Watford, and will have to redouble his efforts to find the right man after this.
Unsworth has proven to be a fine youth coach, winning the league last season with the club’s under-23s, but may now be deemed too inexperienced at this level.
Four defeats from his six games in charge, and not a clean sheet in sight, has not made for a compelling audition.