A gulf in attacking quality separated Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park on Sunday, as a run of eight consecutive home wins ended with a 3-0 defeat to a visiting team looking like champions.
Pedro's sublime opener signalled the end of industrious but limited resistance from the home side. For the first time in 2017, Everton and Romelu Lukaku failed to score at home. Chelsea claimed a first clean sheet in 12 matches with relative ease.
Manager Ronald Koeman tried to alter the match after falling behind, but the respective game-changing options available to each manager underlined the gap between seventh and first. There is minimal goal threat for Everton beyond Romelu Lukaku, whereas Chelsea substitutes Cesc Fabregas and Willian, two players who would start for most teams in this league, combined for their third goal.
After his firm but fair tackle dumped Diego Costa on the turf in the early stages, Tom Davies then sneered at the same player's pitiful play-acting. Others within this squad would do well to mirror this snarky fearlessness in matches against the top teams. Against imposing opposition, the 18-year-old never once took a backward step, regularly showing for possession or working to retrieve it.
Davies offered the type of performance that supporters expect but do not see often enough from the likes of Ross Barkley and Lukaku in these matches against the best teams. On a day when Davies showed why a more orthodox central midfield role is best for him, Barkley struggled in a deeper role alongside him, while Lukaku faded after a promising start.
With Idrissa Gueye on man-marking duty and Morgan Schneiderlin out with a thigh injury, Everton needed their key players more than ever, but neither Barkley nor Lukaku performed.
6 (out of 10) -- None of the players brought into the starting XI rewarded Koeman with a performance, while a glance over his shoulder showed the lack of resources at his disposal.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Maarten Stekelenburg, 5 -- He spilled a Gary Cahill shot early on before gift-wrapping a goal for the same player in the second half. The latest in a string of poor recent displays from either Everton goalkeeper reaffirms the need for a new signing in this position this summer.
DF Mason Holgate, 6 - A sustained run in the team while Seamus Coleman is injured will only help the 20-year-old as he continues to develop in the first-team setup. He was beaten too easily by Marcos Alonso on one occasion but did not look out of place for the most part.
DF Phil Jagielka, 6 -- He was punished for the Pedro goal as the Spanish winger twisted and turned away from the attentions of the centre-back. Like his centre-back partner, the Everton captain buckled whenever faced with quick Chelsea counter-attacks.
DF Ashley Williams, 6 -- Distribution continues to miss the mark too often. His general defensive work proved solid enough aside from the occasions when Chelsea broke at speed and tested his lack of pace.
DF Leighton Baines, 7 -- On his 350th start for the club, the experienced left-back emerged well from a competitive battle with Pedro on the Everton left, pressed well and demonstrated his passing ability whenever possible.
MF Idrissa Gueye, 8 -- The downside to his excellent shadowing of former Lille teammate Eden Hazard was that it deprived Everton of his presence in central midfield. This marked a welcome return to form after he lasted only 45 minutes in each of his two previous matches.
MF Tom Davies, 8 -- A crunching tackle on Costa set the tone for a display far beyond his 18 years. Determined and composed in and out of possession, this was the second time the young midfielder has shown up experienced teammates against Chelsea this season.
MF Ross Barkley, 5 -- Forced into a deeper role through injuries and a tactical ploy, Barkley struggled, too often conceding possession in dangerous positions. A difficult afternoon was summed up when a neat turn preceded an aimless run into a cluster of Chelsea players.
MF Enner Valencia, 5 -- He was peripheral until choosing the wrong option by shooting when Holgate was better placed outside him. He has been a useful impact player from the bench this season, and this rare start offered little to suggest a change in this status.
MF Dominic Calvert-Lewin, 6 -- He was lively with the ball at his feet in the first half and hit the post with just 70 seconds on the clock, though the youngster was unable to maintain this promise throughout.
FW Romelu Lukaku, 5 -- He has still to score against his former club in the league. A couple of glimpses were not enough for a player of his ability, though teammates again could not fashion requisite service for Lukaku in a tough match.
MF Kevin Mirallas, N/R -- A free kick over the bar was his only noteworthy contribution.
FW Arouna Kone, N/R -- If his introduction was a surprise, his failure to do anything with this rare opportunity was not.