In the end, I suppose, we should have known. Despite all the hype over a potential run for the top 6, despite a bundle of exciting new signings, Everton began their 2019-20 campaign like they spent large swathes of the last one - dominant in spells, but lacking a cutting edge.
As ever, the Blues played some scintillating stretches of attacking football, particularly when Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne got up the field and interchanged with their wingers. The wind at Selhurst Park negatively affected long passes and set pieces, which didn’t help, but Gylfi Sigurdsson in particular was unfortunate to miss several quality chances.
A quality first half was undone by the injury departure of Andre Gomes. He walked it off, but it appeared the Portuguese took a knock to his ankle. Jean-Philippe Gbamin made his Blues’ debut, and it was...well...it was.
Defensively, Everton were typically sound, although in the second half things began to unravel. Coleman was caught upfield several times, which opened up big attacking lanes for the likes of Patrick van Aanholt. Jordan Pickford made multiple outstanding saves to keep the game at 0-0.
Moise Kean would also receive his debut from Marco Silva, but his impact was regrettably muted after Morgan Schneiderlin took an utterly idiotic second yellow card that resulted in Everton having to focus on defending in order to see out the match.
It’s difficult to take too much from this performance, in truth. A stretch played with ten men, Gbamin clearly not fit yet, Moise Kean unable to get the ball in good areas, a Gomes injury, and no Alex Iwobi or Djibril Sidibe. There were some good signs, and there were some bad signs. We’ll take the point, and we should remind ourselves to be patient, too.