Everton's unbeaten run came to an end with a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.
A goal in either half - from Scott McTominay and Anthony Martial - earned the hosts victory, while Sean Dyche's search for a first win on the road as Blues manager goes on.
After retaining the same starting line-up for each of the past four matches, Dyche was forced into a change here and opted to make an attacking switch in the absence of Abdoulaye Doucoure, who served the first of a three-game suspension after being sent off in the 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.
Ellis Simms was handed a starting berth in Doucoure's absence, with Demarai Gray, who has become accustomed to spearheading Everton's attack, playing just off the 22-year-old Academy graduate.
Speaking ahead of kick-off, Dyche called on his players to "deliver a performance" with the same mentality that had seen them go unbeaten in their past four, without overly worrying about their formidable opposition, who had only beaten once on home soil all season.
There were no signs of a sleepy start to this lunchtime clash, with both sides injecting high intensity into their play from the outset.
Simms was involved inside the first minute when, after a move down Everton's right, Alex Iwobi crossed into the penalty area but the towering striker's first-time volley was well blocked by Harry Maguire.
The hosts' first half chance came on seven minutes via a counter-attack following an Everton corner but captain Seamus Coleman dealt with the scenario excellently, delaying Jadon Sancho in possession before providing a block at the vital moment.
A minute later, United threatened again with a long ball over the top with Marcus Rashford the target but this time James Tarkowski gave enough for the in-form striker to think about and his eventual shot was comfortably saved by England colleague Jordan Pickford.
It was by no means one-way traffic, though, with Everton looking to attack with conviction in the right moments while retain their defensive structure.
Iwobi was causing full-back Tyrell Malacia problems and won a free-kick in the right channel. Demarai Gray's inviting cross was well met by Amadou Onana but the Belgian's headed effort flashed over David De Gea's crossbar.
On 12 minutes, Erik ten Hag's side squandered a significant chance to open the scoring. A home corner was played to Antony on the edge of the penalty area and after the Brazilian's prodded effort struck Pickford's right-hand post, Aaron Wan-Bissaka could only drag his shot wide of the opposite upright with the goal at his mercy.
Everton then passed up an arguably even better opportunity as the opening period neared its halfway point.
Receiving the ball back after a neat one-two with Coleman, a chasm of space opened up in the penalty area for Simms, who took a touch to set himself before pulling a low shot off target.
The long ball over the top was a consistent feature of United's attack in the first half and it caused the Toffees problems throughout.
Pickford was called into action to produce strong saves twice in the space of four minutes, after a quick goal kick from De Gea had released Antony then a similar lofted pass had released Rashford.
The hosts eventually broke the deadlock nine minutes before the interval, when McTominay latched on to Sancho's cutting pass and lashed home from an acute angle.
Pickford was called into action again just before the half-time whistle, diving to his right to keep out Antony, who was proving a constant thorn in Everton's side.
The second half began at a slower pace than the first, with the host of chances - both ways - somewhat drying up.
Vitalii Mykolenko replaced Ben Godfrey at half-time, while Dyche freshened up the heart of his midfield on the hour mark by introducing both James Garner and Tom Davies in attempt to restore parity.
It took until 65 minutes to create the first half chance at goal for either side and when it did, it went Everton's way. Iwobi, who had been thwarted in a good position when trying to slip in Gray moments earlier, attempted a 20-yard drive that was on target before being blocked behind for a corner.
United responded with a half chance of their own but Bruno Fernandes' header from Marcel Sabitzer's cross was dealt with comfortably by Pickford.
Neal Maupay stepped off the bench at the midway point of the second half as the Blues stepped up their pursuit of an equaliser.
But it was United who struck next, capitalising on a rare defensive error from Coleman, who slipped at the crucial moment to allow Rashford to square for substitute Anthony Martial with the Frenchman applying a simple finish to double the lead with 20 minutes remaining.
There were no signs of giving up from Everton, who have built an impressive resilient side during Dyche's short tenure.
Gray threatened with an angled drive from just inside the penalty area that flashed wide before Coleman's pot shot from 25 yards was well held by De Gea.
But it wasn't to be Everton's day and Dyche's side must now prepare for a home clash with Fulham on Saturday 15 April with just seven points separating the bottom nine teams in the Premier League table at the final whistle.