As March began, Portsmouth were one of the sides seen as a threat to Everton's fourth spot.
That challenge was all but ended when the Toffees recorded a splendid 3-1 win over the south coast outfit at Goodison.
Yakubu scored another two goals, whilst Tim Cahill produced a trademark header as Harry Redknapp's men were brushed aside ahead of a glamorous-looking Uefa Cup tie with Fiorentina.
The first leg of the last 16 clash was in Italy didn't go quite according to plan, with Fiorentina showing their class with a 2-0 victory.
And so it was with great credit that Everton emerged with all three points from their trip to Sunderland three days later. Andrew Johnson's scrappy goal settled an equally scrappy game in the north east.
Attention immediately turned back to the Uefa Cup and the task of overturning Fiorentina's 2-0 lead. It was to prove a hugely memorable night at Goodison.
Everton's performance was both courageous and skillful - with Andrew Johnson scoring in the first half to give the tremendous home crowd real hope.
And when Mikel Arteta lashed in a drive from all of 25 yards, the crowd erupted as the tie was levelled. Penalties ensued.
Unfortunately for Everton, the fairytale ended in the shootout, with Yakubu striking the post and Phil Jagielka denied by a great save while the Italians kept their cool.
The fallout from that game could have been a factor on the next few games as the Blues began to struggle.
Indeed, the Toffees were unable to break their Craven Cottage hoodoo in their next fixture - losing 1-0 to a Brian McBride goal.
A frustrating 1-1 home draw with West Ham featured yet another Yakubu strike before the Merseyside derby at Anfield.
By this time, Everton's indifferent form had seen them slip to fifth - and this game was billed as an eliminator for fourth spot. It turned out to be a poor game - with Fernando Torres' early goal the only highlight for either side.