The more cynical of us Everton fans were ready for the letdown. Three games playing at a very high level, two of them against top six sides, and a fourth upcoming against a Fulham side that has already been relegated. The setting could not be more perfect for the Blues to come out flat and lose all that goodwill.
And on cue the Blues delivered one of the worst halves of football we’ve seen in an underwhelming season overall. Aleksandr Mitrovic was more than a handful for the entire defence for most of the first half, making an absolute menace of himself every time the ball came into the box.
The Blues created little of note, passing poorly and showing little invention when in possession of the ball. Worse, they let the hosts harry them and force mistakes more often than not. Halftime tied at 0-0 came as a relief more for Marco Silva, but despite his dressing room chat, things got worse.
With fans still making their way back to their seats after the break, Mitrovic and Ryan Babel combined to find Tom Cairney, and he placed his shot past a helpless Jordan Pickford to give the home side the lead.
That got Everton going finally, with Idrisaa Gueye shooting over then Dominic Calvert-Lewin beating the backline but seeing his shot touch the far post on it’s way out. The Blues continued to create chances but then the game was put beyond them when Mitrovic sprung Ryan Babel on a break and he ran through unchallenged and chipped over Pickford to make it 2-0.
Marco Silva brought on Ademola Lookman for the ineffective Gylfi Sigurdsson, but it was too little, too late. With less than ten minutes to go Cenk Tosun and Theo Walcott also came on with Richarlison and Bernard giving way.
A poor performance from the Toffees with seventh-place beckoning, quite like most of this season has gone. Poorly.