Europa League: Everton stay undefeated with comprehensive victory over Lille
Last Updated: 07/11/14 9:46am
Everton coasted to a comfortable Europa League 3-0 win over Lille to stay undefeated at the top of Group H with two games to go.
Goals from Leon Osman, Phil Jagielka and Steven Naismith against their uninspiring French visitors meant the Blues stay undefeated in Europe this season.
Romelu Lukaku nearly opened the scoring within 30 seconds of the start at Goodison Park, forcing a superb save from Lille goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama after being played into the box by Naismith.
Naismith and Lukaku looked lively from the start, linking up well several times in the opening quarter-of-an-hour.
They had to wait until the 27th minute, however, for the opening goal after the impressive James McCarthy picked up the ball in midfield and fed Aiden McGeady down the right. His first-time cross evaded McCarthy’s head and floated right across the box to where Osman was waiting in space.
The 33-year-old, who has just signed a one-year extension to his contract until summer 2016, calmly chested the ball down and struck a fierce but controlled shot past Enyeama for his first goal of the season.
A few minutes later, this time on the left flank, McGeady’s trickery gave him enough space to float a lovely cross onto Lukaku’s head in front of goal but the Belgium international could not control it and headed wide.
Three minutes before half-time an Everton corner was hit long by McGeady to find Jagielka unmarked in the box and the defender headed it back across into the bottom right hand corner of the goal.
Naismith capped a fine game with Everton’s third in the 61st minute. Lukaku gathered the ball on Everton’s left flank and held it up long enough to spot Leighton Baines’ darting run towards the corner.
The left-back pulled it across the box but a little behind Naismith whose excellent first touch took him wide of the defence to cut it back past the keeper for his fifth goal in 12 appearances.
Lille struggled to build any significant pressure against a bustling Everton and Liverpool’s on-loan 19-year-old Belgium forward, Divock Origi, had very few chances to impress in his future home city.
Everton travel next to Wolfsburg, who thanks to a 5-1 win over Krasnodar stay just a point behind in second place in the group, with the Merseysiders hosting Krasnodar in the final game.