Ronald Koeman conceded Everton were second best against Tottenham Hotspur - but only after Harry Kane’s “lucky” goal had derailed the Blues at Goodison Park.
Kane gave Spurs a 28th-minute lead with a cross from the right that drifted in over Jordan Pickford, with the Spurs striker later admitting he hadn’t meant to beat his England colleague.
Prior to that, Everton had matched their visitors and went close to opening the scoring when Sandro Ramirez steered Cuco Martina’s centre narrowly wide of Hugo Lloris’ upright.
Yet, Christian Eriksen made it 2-0 shortly before half-time and Kane added his second - and Tottenham’s third - less than a minute after the restart.
And Koeman admitted his side had allowed the blow of falling behind to knock them off their stride and make it all too easy for the Londoners.
“I think we started the game well, had a good control on the game and some chances,” said Koeman. “But the first goal - and maybe it’s a lucky first goal - makes it more difficult for us.
“We lost control, we had real problems with Tottenham’s diamond formation and they found easily the free player in the midfield. Then you are running behind the situation.
“The 2-0 before half-time was difficult, and if you see how we started the second half, that was really poor.
“Three-nil down, one team was full of confidence and Everton were without any confidence, and that makes it even more difficult.
“We’re disappointed, but they were by far - after 1-0 - the better team this afternoon.”
The defeat followed a 2-0 reverse at Chelsea prior to the international break but was only Everton’s second at Goodison Park in 2017.
In fact, the Blues had won 10 of their previous 11 outings at home, scoring 31 goals and conceding just nine.
However, Koeman said his side had needed to be tougher against an effervescent Tottenham outfit.
“When I spoke about Tottenham [before the game], I mentioned that maybe with Man City they have the best football side in the Premier League,” he added.
“You have to learn from defeats and we can learn from the way we lost today.
“We lost aggression in the second half and that can be [to do with] confidence.
“But I think in several aspects in the game in the second half the players were too nice. I don’t ask for yellow and red cards but we gave the ball too easily to Tottenham.”