Everton’s young side were unable to maintain the club’s unbeaten European record this season as Krasnodar chalked up a narrow victory last night.
With Everton already guaranteed to top Europa League Group H ahead of the final game and their Russian opponents eliminated, manager Roberto Martinez took the opportunity to give debuts to 17-year-olds Ryan Ledson and Kieran Dowell, while Conor McAleny and Tyias Browning both made their first senior starts.
Ledson, a combative midfielder and the England Under-18 captain, caught the eye with a confident display, while 21-year-old left-back Luke Garbutt was a threat in attack. Meanwhile, striker Arouna Koné made his first appearance since October last year following a knee problem.
But the result ultimately was a disappointing one, with Ricardo Laborde scoring the only goal of the game on the half-hour mark.
It was a horrible moment for Joel Robles, the former Wigan goalkeeper, who has had very few chances since following Martinez to Goodison.
Laborde beat the Everton defence but, having come out to meet him, Robles then stood off the Krasnodar player, who embarrassed the keeper by dinking the ball inside the near post.
Just before the goal, a Wanderson shot slipped through the Everton’s keeper’s gloves and hit his face, necessitating a patch-up from medical staff and a change of shirt.
Everton Robles; Browning (Jones, 89), Alcaraz, Barry, Garbutt, Atsu (Dowell, 11), Oviedo, Ledson, Pienaar, McAleny (Long, 80), Koné. Substitutes not used Griffiths, Grant, Kenny, Williams.
Krasnodar Sinitsyn; Petrov, Sigurdsson, Granqvist, Kaleshin,Laborde (Burmistrov, 73), Izmailov, Gazinski, Pereyra, Joaozinho (Ageev, 89), Wanderson. Substitutes not used Kavlinov, Novak, Kuzmichev, Nesterenko, Starkov.
Referee I Kovacs (Romania).Reuse content