Romelu Lukaku netted for the fourth time this week as unbeaten Everton came from behind to comfortably beat Middlesbrough 3-1.
After a promising start to their return to the Premier League, Middlesbrough had a reality check in the form of their 3-1 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park.
It was Middlesbrough who took the lead due to an own goal from Everton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, who buckled and dropped a catch into his own net under a disputed challenge from forward Alvaro Negredo.
From that moment it was downhill for Middlesbrough as Everton were the only side who showed any sense of attacking ambition. Subsequently, it was no surprise that it was the Toffees who dominated the remainder of the contest - scoring just three minutes after the Middlesbrough opener through man-of-the match Gareth Barry, who was making his 600th Premier League appearance.
Before half-time Everton scored two further goals to add to their dominance, in the form of Seamus Coleman and Romelu Lukaku strikes.
After the break Middlesbrough were unable to achieve any grasp on the game and at the final whistle found themselves without a single attempt on goal.
A far from pleasing performance from Middlesbrough's charges then; here are three that stood out, and three that did not.
Those who shone:
Álvaro Negredo - For a team who did not manage a single attempt on goal, it is even more of a condemnation of their performance for a centre forward to be one of the better players.
It was Negredo's challenge that led to Middlesbrough's goal and the former Manchester City striker showed glimpses of his work-rate and athleticism, despite being isolated in a lone role.
However, regardless of the goals conceded, captain Gibson and the one-time Liverpool defender Ayala were both committed to the cause, demonstrating determination and leadership throughout.
Those who did not shine:
Víctor Valdés - Appearing as a shadow of his former Champions League-winning self, Valdés was at fault for Everton's equaliser by virtue of indecisiveness in coming for the corner delivery.
For Everton's third goal Valdés' hesitation and reluctant step off his line enabled Lukaku the space to somehow find a lace to help the ball into the back of the Spaniard's net.
Gastón Ramírez - An anonymous performance from the midfielder play-maker who has a chequered history with opposing manager Ronald Koeman, who allowed Ramírez to leave when the pair were at Southampton together.
On the evidence of Ramírez's showing, Koeman was right to dispense with the Uruguayan's services. Ramírez's lack of work-rate and technical application led to Viktor Fischer replacing him in the 69th minute.
Antonio Barragán - Caught ball watching for Everton's equaliser having been responsible for picking up scorer Gareth Barry on corner duties, who managed to evade the former Valencia defender's weak attempt at marking.
Poor distribution and a lack of ambition to get forward from right-back meant that Barragán struggled to make any significant contribution.
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