Football

Koeman still eyeing Europa League

Ronald Koeman insists he hasn't given up on a late Europa League challenge after Everton's 2-0 win against lowly Sunderland on Saturday.

A brilliantly worked finish from Idrissa Gueye in the first half opened the scoring for Everton before Romelu Lukaku's late finish confirmed the three points at Goodison Park.

Although the seventh-placed Toffees seem unlikely to catch those teams above them in a bid to finish fifth in the Premier League, that does not mean boss Koeman has stopped dreaming of securing a Europa League spot.

"The worst situation for a football player is playing for nothing," Koeman said.

"I like to play for something until the end of the season. We know the team behind us are West Brom, whom we play at home in two weeks' time, and above there is still a gap.

"We know teams still need to play after this weekend and maybe it's not ended?

"Even with five or six points, it's possible to reach them. If we keep the momentum, then anything is possible."

Bottom-of-the-table Sunderland were dreadful for most of the match despite a recent visit to New York to rejuvenate their legs and minds.

There seems little chance they can avoid relegation and this loss will have hurt manager David Moyes more than most others this year, considering his 11 years as Everton boss between 2002 and 2013.

A return to the Championship is looking increasingly inevitable for the Black Cats, but Moyes has not given up hope yet.

"We have 12 games to go and I'm looking forward to a good run," said Moyes.

"I'm sure we have one to come." - AFP

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