Brighton’s convincing victory at Goodison Park increased the pressure on Everton manager Frank Lampard.
After Moises Caicedo found Kaoru Mitoma on the edge of the penalty box, the Japanese winger calmly gave the Seagulls the lead.
When teenager Evan Ferguson hit the outside of the post, the Toffees were fortunate to avoid going further behind and were booed off the field.
But after the break, they utterly crumbled as Brighton scored three goals in an incredible six-minute span to start the second half.
In his complete Premier League debut, Ferguson sidefooted Jeremy Sarmiento’s low ball into the top corner before setting up Solly March to score the third goal for the Seagulls.
Pascal Gross quickly intercepted Idrissa Gueye’s terrible backpass and beat Jordan Pickford with a chipped finish.
Even though Demarai Gray successfully converted a late penalty for Everton, the game’s hosts and their supporters had a dreadful evening overall.
More booing were heard at the final whistle from the home crowd, who have watched their team win just one of the previous ten games in the top division.
If additional outcomes go against them on Wednesday, Everton might fall into the bottom three of the Premier League, while Brighton rises back to eighth.
Poor Toffees fail to capitalize on Etihad’s draw.
Lampard had urged his Everton players to display the same commitment and drive that had helped them gain a stunning point at Manchester City on New Year’s Eve, but at Goodison Park, they were easily outplayed in the first half before capitulating feebly in the second.
The Toffees got off to a strong start, with Alex Iwobi forcing Robert Sanchez into a fantastic one-handed stop before Tom Davies fired from a distance straight at the Brighton goalkeeper.
However, the hosts disregarded the warning signs when Mitoma missed a great opportunity to score at the opposite end with a header, and they quickly fell behind when the 25-year-old cut inside Conor Coady and smoothly beat Pickford.
If Everton supporters were anticipating a better performance in the second half, they were bitterly let down as Ferguson, March, and Gross continued to stoke their wounds.
After Gross’ fourth goal, the visitors could have won by a bigger margin, but they let up, and the Everton fans who decided to stay in the stadium for Gray’s stoppage-time penalty only gave it a few half-hearted applause.
At the end of the game, there were chants of “sack the board” because Lampard‘s team is still in a precarious spot barely above the bottom three.