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Big Sam bags much-needed win

Everton
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Ashley Williams, Michael Keane hopeless in defence for Everton

Everton's nightmare season continues as they were dismantled by Atalanta 5-1 at Goodison Park.
Everton's nightmare season continues as they were dismantled by Atalanta 5-1 at Goodison Park.
After a thrashing by Atalanta, Wayne Rooney said that Everton's search for a manager is not to blame for their struggles.

The latest embarrassing Everton capitulation handed Atalanta a first away win of the season as set pieces and most other fundamentals betrayed the home side. This 5-1 mauling marked a new low for the season amid a wretched Europa League campaign that cannot end soon enough.

Caretaker manager David Unsworth made nine changes from the 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace, but while personnel varied, the script remained the same. For what feels like the umpteenth time this season, those in royal blue briefly responded after conceding first before crumbling under an avalanche of late goals.

Unsworth is attempting to hold the fort, but the foundations are turning to dust while teams continue to tear a hapless Everton defence to pieces. The club hierarchy need to find a resolution as this team needs a new manager as a matter of urgency.

Positives

On a night when almost everything went wrong and several fringe players failed to grasp the opportunity afforded them, Beni Baningime delivered another encouraging performance after a slow start and put experienced teammates to shame. One of the few to emerge with his reputation intact and first-team chances enhanced.

Negatives

When Everton lost 3-0 away to the same opposition in the first round of Europa League group games, it felt like this season could not fall any lower in terms of performances and general hopelessness. However, such thoughts did not account for Everton's capacity to self destruct at any given moment. Each heavy defeat seems to have another close behind. This shambolic episode continues that steady stream of misery.

Manager rating out of 10

5 --Unsworth rightly lambasted his players afterwards, but the caretaker boss must also shoulder blame for another directionless display bereft of so many of the traits needed to win matches. There appeared to be no clear formation in use at any point in the second half.

EvertonEverton
AtalantaAtalanta
1
5
FT
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Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Joel Robles, 7 -- On his first start of the season, the goalkeeper mostly escaped blame and helped keep the score down, saving a penalty and making a fine save from the rebound before intervening on other occasions thereafter.

DF Jonjoe Kenny, 6 -- Kenny is now the only ever-present in Unsworth's first six games. Rough around the edges and still learning, but the young right-back never lacks for effort, cleared a shot off the line and managed to avoid the carnage of the last 10 minutes thanks to being substituted.

DF Michael Keane, 4 -- Another troubling evening for the summer signing saw Keane beaten with alarming ease inside the penalty area for the first Atalanta goal and emerge second-best from too many challenges.

DF Ashley Williams, 3 -- Conceded a penalty with the second half in its infancy and most of the Atalanta goals featured the veteran defender in close proximity, on a night when he fell short in countless areas.

DF Cuco Martina, 4 -- Once more forced out of position and once more showed that left-back is a role beyond his capabilities. A nervy presence throughout and chasing shadows in the build-up to the first of the five goals Everton conceded.

MF Kevin Mirallas, 5 -- The type of display that has come to define the Belgian winger. Too many moments of inconsistency punctuated fleetingly by flashes of quality and an assist.

MF Beni Baningime, 7 -- Some momentary lapses, the kind expected of a young midfielder starting out at this level, but the academy graduate remained strong in the tackle and visibly grew in confidence and influence as the match wore on.

MF Tom Davies, 4 -- Appeared in at least three different positions in the match and struggled to make a positive impression in any of them, ending the match in an unorthodox wing-back role. Among those culpable as Atalanta ran amok at the end.

MF Davy Klaassen, 3 -- Misuse on the left flank something of a mitigating factor, but this torrid outing left the midfielder looking weak, slow and well behind the pace of the game.

FW Wayne Rooney, 6 -- A mixture of impressive long-range passing and misplaced shorter ones, the Everton captain on the night found more joy once dropping deeper after minimal impact as part of a two-man attack.

FW Sandro Ramirez, 6 -- Toiled away for 90 minutes and his performance improved alongside his finishing as wayward efforts gave way to a fine finish for his first Everton goal later in the match.

Ashley Williams
Ashley Williams enured a horrid night at the heart of Everton's defence.

Substitutes

MF Nikola Vlasic, 5 -- Midfielder has rarely been seen since Unsworth took charge and did little to press his case for changing that.

DF Morgan Feeney, 5 -- This was a rough debut with the 18-year-old defender involved in the late collapse.

FW Dominic Calvert-Lewin, NR -- Yellow card capped a frustrating cameo.

Luke is ESPN FC's Everton blogger. Follow Luke on Twitter @lukeofarrell.

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