Everton were well beaten yesterday afternoon at Goodison Park as the Toffees couldn’t capitalise on a unique pre-match atmosphere to maintain their recent undefeated run.
Prior to the game, Blues supporters had protested against the points deduction vigorously with a march to the ground before kick-off and then during the match itself. Evertonians made their feelings very clear.
However, despite a terrific atmosphere at the Grand Old Lady with the noise being right up there with the best we’ve heard for a long time, Everton couldn’t match it on the pitch and lost 3-0 to Manchester United.
To be fair the home team had their chances and should have got on the scoresheet. They did also go behind to a deflatingly early and brilliantly taken goal – undoubtedly a goal-of-the-season contender – that came right out of the blue.
While the final scoreline might have flattered United to some extent, they deserved the win and it was a frustrating day for the Toffees players and fans.
Before Sunday’s match the Blues hadn’t lost since that hugely controversial 2-0 defeat at Anfield back on the 21st of October.
They had since been on a run of four consecutive games without defeat, hardly world-beating stuff for sure, but a considerable improvement on where Everton were after the first four weeks of the campaign.
Now it feels a little like it’s back to the drawing board with the Toffees rooted in the Premier League basement again.
Once more last weekend Sean Dyche’s team reverted to the early season failure to take their chances, which proved so costly in the home losses to Fulham, Wolves and Luton Town.
And so the defeat of Bournemouth still remains the only home league win of the campaign.
A victory next Saturday on the road at Nottingham Forest (where Everton have been much more effective) could change that situation quickly and there is obviously still plently of time left in the season to turn things around.
But of course, it does feel as though all the hard work that had been done by the manager and players to claw their way out of the mire recently has been for nothing.