Chelsea have had a calming influence in goal since Edouard Mendy signed – but the Frenchman didn’t cover himself in glory during their 1-0 defeat at Everton.
Mendy made an uncharacteristic mistake as he gave away a first-half penalty, clattering into Dominic Calvert-Lewin as he went for a ’50-50′ that was firmly in the Toffees forward’s favour.
Gylfi Sigurdsson slotted away the spot-kick, which proved to be the decisive moment as Chelsea’s 17-game unbeaten run came to an end at the hands of former manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Mendy’s opposite number Jordan Pickford looked far more shaky but wasn’t punished for his unconvincing moments, with Chelsea more wasteful than usual in front of goal.
The Blues thus missed the chance to go top of the Premier League, meaning Tottenham and Liverpool can extend their lead over them on Sunday.
Chelsea’s control of early possession barely benefited them and they went behind midway through the first half thanks to some route one football and classic centre-forward play.
Calvert-Lewin outjumped Thiago Silva from goalkeeper Jordan Pickford’s long pass and then poked the ball past Mendy as he charged out, with the goalkeeper’s momentum taking out the Everton striker.
Richarlison, without a Premier League goal since September, wanted the penalty but compatriot Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure persuaded him to relinquish the ball and Sigurdsson coolly sent Mendy the wrong way.
It did little for the Brazil international’s confidence and, having earlier shot weakly at Mendy when well-placed, he made it too easy for the goalkeeper to save with his legs when Silva gave away possession and Alex Iwobi and Sigurdsson sprang the counter.
Pickford, for all his frailties twice saved well from James, tipping one shot onto a post at full stretch.
When Pickford came to the edge of his area to punch early in the second half, Mount dropped a lob onto the roof of the net, with the same player later beating Pickford but not the woodwork with a free-kick.
Everton’s chances were infrequent, with Yerry Mina taking a cross right off the head of Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison’s first decent shot forcing a good, low save from Mendy before Sigurdsson – only in the side because of Rodriguez’s calf injury – was denied the chance to double his penalty tally by VAR.
Tammy Abraham replaced the ineffectual Kai Havertz for the last 22 minutes but it had little effect on the outcome as the first 2,000 fans inside Goodison since March celebrated a welcome victory.