Everton’s delusional dreams of competing for a top four place were given a reality check thanks to a truly rancid display against Newcastle.
The Magpies were without a win in 11 games, but scored as many goals as they have in their previous nine to come away with the points - their second win against Everton this season.
It was a truly rotten 90 minutes from the Toffees and one that suggests even a top six finish is a challenge for them this season.
Carlo Ancelotti once again rotated his pack, though Jordan Pickford retained his spot despite his error against Leicester in midweek.
Tom Davies, Ben Godfrey, Mason Holgate and Andre Gomes were given a rest, with Alex Iwobi, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Seamus Coleman coming in.
Everton started brightly, with Yerry Mina beating goalkeeper Karl Darlow to James’ cross but sending the ball just over.
Callum Wilson is one of those players who always seems to play well against Everton and he was once again a handful here, having a shot from the edge of the box deflected over.
Despite their poor form, Newcastle played their part in an entertaining first half, if frustrating from a Toffees point of view.
Richarlison saw a drive from just outside the box pushed away by Darlow before Jonjo Shelvey had an effort deflect off Mina and just wide.
The best chance of the opening 45 minutes went to the Mapgies and the dangerous Wilson, who met a near-post corner with a bullet header that was tipped onto the bar by Pickford.
Everton had lost much of their early momentum by this stage, not helped by James being on the end of some rough challenges.
A lovely backheel from Dominic Calvert-Lewin teed up the Colombian for a shot that was saved by Darlow. Richarlison then had a sidefooted effort hit Calvert-Lewin and went just wide.
The Brazilian looks to be struggling for confidence at the moment, summed up by a wasteful shot over the bar second before the break.
There was a huge let off for Everton at the start of the second half when they were caught on the counter and Wilson hit the ball wide when unmarked eight yards out. Calvert-Lewin then saw a curling effort well tipped away by Darlow.
Newcastle grew into the game again as Everton went into their shell. It began to resemble the West Ham game on New Year’s Day - you can imagine what the crowd would have been like had the been in the stands.
And just like the West Ham game, the visitors went in front.
Shelvey’s corner found Wilson completely unmarked and the England striker buried a header into the far corner - his fifth goal in his last four appearances against the Toffees.
It just wasn’t happening for Everton. Even when they got the ball into decent areas, the final cross or pass was poor.
Wilson should have made it 2-0 when he was played in by Miguel Almiron and rounded Pickford, but his shot hit the outside of the post.
It didn’t take long for him to get his second goal.
As Everton piled forward looking for an equaliser they were caught on the counter, with Wilson slotting home to finish the game off.
After finally sorting out their away form the Toffees now have an issue at home, losing three of their last six games at Goodison.