By Josh James
Yerry Mina's goal right on the stroke of half-time condemned us to defeat at Goodison Park.
Nicolas Pepe - on penalty taking duty in the absence of the injured Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - had earlier levelled for us from 12 yards after captain for the day Rob Holding had put through his own net.
The hosts, with 2,000 fans inside the stadium behind them, started well and were seeing plenty of the ball early on.
Michael Keane strode forward from defence to fire just wide from 30 yards and we were struggling to push Everton back.
Midway through the half the task got harder when we fell behind. Alex Iwobi's cross into the box found Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and his effort glanced off Holding and into his own net.
It was an unfortunate moment for Holding, captaining the side for the first time in the Premier League.
We had a chance to draw level almost instantly, when Kieran Tierney set up Eddie Nketiah inside the box. The striker elected to take his shot early and saw the effort screw wide.
We got back on terms from the penalty spot. Ainsley Maitland-Niles drew a foul from Tom Davies inside the box, and Pepe stroked home the spot kick.
We were slowly getting on top but just before half-time we fell behind again when Yerry Mina headed home a corner at the near post. It was the hosts' first attempt on target of the game.
It was hammer blow and we needed to regroup for the second 45 minutes. Bukayo Saka and Tierney were combining well on the left and we were within inches of pulling level again when David Luiz's deflected shot hit the bar.
As we continued to press and look for openings in and around the Everton box, Mikel Arteta introduced Gabriel Martinelli for his first appearance of the season after his knee injury.
But even though we saw plenty of the ball in the final 20 minutes, Joe Willock's header wide and Saka’s late low shot were the closest we came to taking a point on another frustrating Premier League afternoon.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The big pre-match news concerned the absence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who missed his first league game of the season with a tight calf.
Eddie Nketiah led the line and there was the welcome sight of Gabriel Martinelli on the nine-man substitute bench for the first time since June.
David Luiz returned for the suspended Gabriel, while Rob Holding took the captain's armband alongside him.
Granit Xhaka also missed out due to suspension so Dani Ceballos and Mohamed Elneny continued in midfield.
WHAT IT MEANS
Two and a half months after we beat Liverpool on penalties at Anfield, we are back in Carabao Cup action this Tuesday when we take on Manchester City in the quarter-final at the Emirates. The tie will be decided on the night. Our next Premier League game is at home to Chelsea on Boxing Day.
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