Everton failed to show up at home for not the first time this season, with visitors Fulham picking up their first ever win at Goodison Park last night in a 2-0 victory.
Scott Parker's side, mired in the relegation zone, were more organized, determined and creative than the Blues on a day when it was hard to tell that Carlo Ancelotti's charges were sitting in seventh place and looking to move up.
Instead, the same issues that have popped up time and again this season with the Toffees looking lazy and unmotivated at home were back as Fulham started the game strongly and kept their foot down all game long.
Speaking after the game, Ancelotti acknowledged that the Blues had let a big opportunity slip at the time of asking, yet again.
"Of course we are really disappointed because with a victory we could have climbed the table.
"Now we have two difficult games to play but I think we need to have hope because usually, in these kind of games, we play better.
"We have to have focus but in the difficult games usually we play well and I think we can do the same on Wednesday.
"The performance was not good enough and not what we expected because we knew it was an important game. But we knew also it would be difficult."
The Toffees seventh game in the last 22 days was also their fourth in the last 12, and proved to be one game too much for the relatively thin squad, with Manchester City and Liverpool coming up in the next six days.
“I think we suffered because of the two hours against Tottenham. We were not able to [match] the same intensity that Fulham put on the pitch, pressing a lot and putting pressure on our centre-backs.
“I think usually we have done well when we have played every three or four days. But two hours, I think that was a big effort and, physically, we didn’t have the power that was necessary to match the intensity of Fulham.
“I think that was one of the aspects but not everything, because sometimes you have to say the opposition team played better than you and they deserved to win.
“I am surprised they are in the bottom three because they played well not only against us but against Liverpool and Manchester United, also. They are a team that has a clear idea and they deserved to win tonight.”
Everton could have some reinforcements back for midweek with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jordan Pickford and possibly Allan returning, though James Rodriguez left the game yesterday after aggravating a previous ailment.
“He had a knock in training. I think it will not be serious.
“We are going to check tomorrow, like we have to check Dominic for the game on Wednesday, and also Allan and Pickford.”
For now though, the Toffees have once again proved they are exactly who the table shows they are, slightly better than midtable, but unable to sustain a position in the top six quite yet.