When Everton were top of the Premier League at the start of October, manager Carlo Ancelotti said the bubble would burst eventually.
But after his team suffered a fourth defeat in five games, the Italian might wonder why that drop-off in performances seems to be having such a lasting effect.
The 1-0 loss to Marcelo Bielsa’s thrilling Leeds on Saturday underlined many of Everton’s defensive frailties, and gave a glimpse of an opponent with a clear identity.
Both problems are ones Ancelotti has diagnosed at Everton, but is yet to fix.
The Italian can point to injuries to key players – full-backs Lucas Digne and Seamus Coleman among them – and a recent suspension to forward Richarlison, during which Everton lost three successive games.
Unlike Bielsa, who has been at Leeds for almost two and a half years, the Everton manager has not yet been at Goodison Park for 12 months, having been appointed on 21 December last year.
Yet, while there…
— to www.bbc.co.uk