It was all too familiar a story for Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti on Saturday as his side blew a golden chance to assert themselves in the race for a Premier League top-four finish with a seventh home defeat of the season.
Everton could have gone above West Ham United into fifth and to within two points of fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand had they beaten Burnley. But they lost 2-1.
They could have few complaints either as cracking goals by Chris Wood and Dwight McNeil gave Burnley a deserved early lead and while Dominic Calvert-Lewin pulled a goal back before halftime the damage had been done.
“We had a bad start, we made mistakes and we were punished,” Ancelotti said. “We didn’t show the quality that was necessary.
“It’s a big disappointment but we can’t give up. There are 10 games left and we fight until the end.”
Everton have picked up 29 points away from home, but only 17 at Goodison Park and Ancelotti seems at a loss to explain it.
“It’s difficult to explain, that we won a lot of games away. But the home run is not good enough. We are still in the fight because of our away form but we have to improve at home.
“This defeat is damaging. But this Premier League is competitive and it’s hard to win games.
“Burnley played really well.”
Everton suffered a further blow when keeper Jordan Pickford had to go off before halftime after appearing to injure himself while attempting to make a save.
Ancelotti believed it was a rib injury, similar to one that kept him out earlier this season.
“He had exactly the same problem he had last month when he was out for (four) games. I hope he’s going to have a scan on Monday and we will see after the scan,” he said.
“I hope that Jordan can recover soon. Of course, we have to see, we have to check. I think it’s not going to be a big, big problem because it is the same problem that he had before.”