On a weekend when the Premier League's top-four hopefuls faltered, Everton failed to take advantage.
It remains early days in the 2014/15 campaign but before kick off at Goodison Park, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur - three teams who will undoubtedly harbour similar ambitions to the Toffees this term - had all been beaten.
Roberto Martinez's men would, therefore, have been out to lay down a marker at home against Crystal Palace - the team whose victory at Goodison in April all but ended their hopes of Champions League football.
And the Blues led, hitting the front thanks to Romelu Lukaku's second goal of the campaign.
They also made it an awkward final 10 minutes for the visitors, Leighton Baines' spot-kick ensuring a dramatic finale.
But a Mile Jedinak penalty was added to by a Fraizer Campbell header and a neat Yannick Bolasie finish in between those two strikes to condemn the Blues to a frustrating defeat.
Martinez was without right-back Seamus Coleman, who had been so influential against Wolfsburg three days earlier, but had sustained a knock to the head in that game that rendered him unable to feature against the Eagles.
The Republic of Ireland international wasn't the only player to miss out, as Martinez made four switches in total.
Dropping to the bench were Kevin Mirallas, Steven Naismith and Aiden McGeady, with Samuel Eto'o and Christian Atsu called up for their maiden Everton starts and Leon Osman named in a first XI for the first time this season.
After two games out with a toe injury, the fit-again Sylvain Distin was the other name restored by the Blues, the Frenchman slotting in at centre-back to allow youngster John Stones to move out and fill the void left by Coleman.
And it was one of the incoming players, Atsu, who had the first real chance of the game on six minutes.
The Ghana international had already seen one shot gathered by Julian Speroni, when he skilfully shimmied past the Palace goalkeeper near the byline and only marginally failed to steer his shot in from the tightest of angles.
Having scored four on the same ground only three days earlier, it was a signal of the Blues' intent.
With the next attack, Osman picked up possession in midfield, cleverly played the ball into the path of Lukaku, and the Belgian stayed clear of Damien Delaney's attempted challenge before drilling an unstoppable left-foot shot neatly into the bottom corner of the Park End net.
A vibrant start was almost rewarded again on 29 minutes when Atsu cleverly brought down a lofted forward pass and - after his own chance had evaporated - perfectly teed up the galloping Osman.
The midfielder met it with a fierce first-time attempt, but Speroni was alert to palm away the danger.
From almost 2-0, the visitors levelled. Indeed, just seconds later, Tim Howard brought down James McArthur in the box and referee Michael Oliver had little hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Palace skipper Jedinak took responsibility in front of the Gwladys Street, and powered his shot high to Howard's left.
The goal seemed to nudge Everton out of their early stride and there was a let off just before half-time when the hitherto bright Atsu gifted possession to Bolasie 30 yards from goal.
Palace's left winger, a persistent thorn in the Blues' side back in April, immediately went for goal, his shot clearing Howard thanks to a deflection off Stones and striking the face of the crossbar before bouncing away to safety.
With Martinez's half-time words still fresh in the mind, Everton made another fast start when the second half resumed.
They forced an early chance too. But after latching onto a poked throughball from Stones, Eto'o could only drag his shot across Speroni and wide of the target.
A spell of possession followed, but when Martin Kelly crossed towards Campbell on 53 minutes, Howard failed to reach it, Campbell got enough of his head on it, and the ball looped back towards goal, beating Phil Jagielka's lunging attempt to clear.
More Atsu trickery could've led to an equaliser just before the hour mark but, after the loanee cut in from the right, beat two defenders and centred the ball across a crowded box, Lukaku's snapshot was blocked. The rebound fell to Gareth Barry 10-yards out but the 33-year-old's effort was rushed and sailed high over the crossbar.
A Baines cross then flashed across the face of goal without an Everton shirt to attack it and Martinez decided it was time to send for the cavalry. Off came Stones and Atsu, on went Naismith and Mirallas.
Martinez boasts a proud record of game-changing substitutions but neither had the time to settle before Palace went two ahead.
Osman was caught in possession just outside the box, allowing Jason Puncheon to slide in Bolasie, who made no mistake with a measured finish.
Yet, just when the game looked well and truly lost, Scott Dann, a Scouser, threw Everton a lifeline.
His tackle sent James McCarthy tumbling in the box and - less than 72 hours after scoring from the very same spot - Baines emphatically added to his faultless haul of Everton league spot-kicks.
Dann made amends when he cleared a goalbound Lukaku header soon after, and the Belgian almost went close when he threw himself at a ball in from compatriot Mirallas.
But while those in Goodison roared their troops forward, there was to be no late salvage job.
The Blues need wait only 48 hours for a chance to put this behind them. They travel to Swansea City in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.