Everton impressed in spells but could not find a goal their play often deserved in a narrow 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
Frank Lampard’s men were dominant in possession for the majority of the second half, without carving out a clear-cut chance to threaten Magpies keeper Nick Pope.
And the contest was decided just after the half-hour mark when Miguel Almiron curled a left-foot finish past Jordan Pickford from the edge of the penalty area.
Lampard made two changes from the outing at Tottenham at the weekend, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin making his first start since overcoming a knee injury suffered in training on the eve of the season.
Anthony Gordon was also restored to the team after serving a one-match suspension for accumulating five bookings.
Calvert-Lewin's first proper involvement was to receive a yellow card from referee Tony Harrington in the sixth minute for a late challenge on Bruno Guimarães, who had moments earlier flashed a 25-yard effort over the bar.
Another shot from long distance, this time from Jacob Murphy, was also off target and Jordan Pickford comfortably clutched on to a faint header from Callum Wilson as Newcastle began on the front foot.
Everton's first - and best - opportunity of the opening half arrived on 26 minutes through Calvert-Lewin who planted a near-post header from a Demarai Gray corner narrowly over the bar and into the Gallowgate Stand.
The Blues had stood up well to Newcastle's early pressure but the deadlock was broken on the half-hour when Almiron checked inside and bent a left-foot curler into the far corner from 16 yards out.
Guimarães then went close twice in quick succession, narrowly dragging two shots wide of the target, as Newcastle pushed to extend their advantage.
Despite this, Everton had a strong shout for a penalty waved away on the stroke of half-time when Gordon went to ground inside the box under an apparent push in the back from defender Dan Burn.
A flashpoint then ensued, involving several players from each team, which culminated with Gordon and Fabian Schar both having their names taken by referee Harrington.
The Blues had to up the tempo after the break and it didn’t take long for Lampard’s men to show better quality.
Three minutes into the second half, Gray did brilliantly to beat Kieran Tripper on the halfway line before bursting down the left channel and into the penalty area, only for his cutback to be inches out of Iwobi’s reach.
Second later, the Blues broke forward again where Calvert-Lewin forced a save from Pope – even if the offside flag had been raised.
More impressive play from the visitors followed as the midfield trio of Gana, Iwobi and Onana combined before the latter played a sweet defence-splitting pass for Calvert-Lewin that the Newcastle defence just managed to thwart.
By the hour mark, Everton had enjoyed 90-per-cent possession in the previous five minutes as the clear improvement under Lampard was evident once more, signified by the travelling Blues as Spirit of the Blues was belted out at St James’ Park.
A goal was needed as a reward and it nearly arrived on 64 minutes when more neat build-up play allowed Gordon to find Gray in the penalty area with a clever flick. Gray opted to take a touch rather than shoot first time, forcing the forward wide and enabling Newcastle to clear.
Everton were dominant by this point but it was the hosts who were next to threaten as a sweeping counter-attack saw Wilson move into space for a shot only for another typical Tarkowski block to deny the striker.
Calvert-Lewin did well to last for 73 minutes before his night’s work was over when he was replaced by Neal Maupay, with James Garner also coming off the bench for the third match in a row to swap with Iwobi.
As the contest called for Everton to up the ante even further in the closing stages, it was Newcastle who, in truth, looked more likely to find the back of the net again as Joe Willock headed over from close range with four minutes remaining.
Six minutes of added time were signalled but the Blues were unable to summon one last hurrah as a performance that once again provided positives did not yield any points.