Alex Iwobi was in action as Everton were humiliated 4-1 by visiting Brighton & Hove Albion at Goodison Park on Tuesday night.
Iwobi played full time and it was his added time penalty which was converted by Demarai Gray that gave the Toofees a consolatory goal against the Seagulls.
The outcome is likely to put additional pressure on manager Frank Lampard, whose team managed to hold champions Manchester City to a hard-fought 1-1 draw on New Year’s Eve before completely capitulating to Brighton at Goodison Park early in the second half.
Kaoru Mitoma, a winger who previously scored in Brighton’s 4-2 loss to Arsenal at home, missed an early opportunity with a header but more than made up for it with a precise run and goal in the 14th minute to start the scoring.
After scoring against Arsenal off the bench, Brighton’s young Irish striker Evan Ferguson had his first league start and extended the visitors’ lead seven minutes into the second half by blasting home a first-time shot.
After Solly March was allowed to saunter past the Everton defense and score in the 54th minute, Everton’s defense completely collapsed.
When Brighton won the ball and countered, Pascal Gross scored the fourth goal for them with a beautiful chipped finish in the 57th minute. Everton responded by going up the other end and winning a corner, but any chance they had of clawing their way back into the game was snuffed out.
Everton’s consolation goal came in injury time after Alex Iwobi was fouled by goalkeeper Roberto Sanchez, but it was too late for the home crowd, who booed their team vociferously after the final whistle.
Everton is now in 16th place with 15 points after 18 games, one point above the safety zone and only three points ahead of Southampton, who are currently in last place. The bottom four teams still have a game in hand over the Blues.
With 27 points, Brighton is now in seventh place.