Sean Dyche has been compelled to deliver “the truth” about Demarai Gray after the winger claimed the Everton manager does not respect him.

Gray has not played this season, with Dyche claiming the player did not want to train after being linked with moves to Saudi Arabia and Fulham.

However, nothing materialised before Friday’s European deadline – Saudi’s is Thursday – but after being left out of the squad again for the 2-2 draw at Sheffield United, Gray took to Instagram to air his grievance, writing: “It’s so difficult to play for someone who doesn’t show you respect as a person.”

Dyche has now taken the unusual step of addressing the issue in an interview with club media.

“It’s an unfortunate one because I try to keep our business in-house. I think on this occasion, it’s right to reply,” Dyche said.

“Demarai made it clear that he felt he was getting a move (away from Everton) and he told us a move was done, which was interesting to hear from a player.

“We reminded him of the truth of the fact that no moves are done without this club’s say so.

“We look after these players; we look at all the different ways of looking after them: mental and wellbeing is big, the tactics and technical, the physical.

“When it comes to a time like that then you go, ‘Well, hang on a minute. You made it clear you didn’t want to train, you didn’t want to be here, and you also said there was a move that was a done deal’.

“We said it’s not a done deal because this club is the most important. This club will make decisions on the future of you as players and not the other way around.

“I think it’s right to let our fans know that’s the truth.”

Sean Dyche says Jordan Pickford answered his critics with a crucial double save in Everton’s 2-2 draw at Sheffield United.

Pickford recovered from scoring an unfortunate own goal earlier in the game to ensure his side left Bramall Lane with a point, miraculously denying Oli McBurnie twice at the death.

He tipped a header onto the underside of the crossbar and then recovered to turn the follow-up effort onto the post as Everton got their league season up and running after three successive defeats.

Pickford and his team-mates have come under the spotlight following their winless start to the season, but Dyche believes the England goalkeeper proved himself.

“Like everyone, he had some question marks recently because the team were conceding big moments,” Dyche said.

“Every player should be questioned because that’s the world we live in. Every top player gets questioned, that is part and parcel of being a top professional. It should be a stimulus if anything.

“But it shows again what a top keeper he is, I thought his all-round performance was very good.

“He was very unlucky with their second, quite obviously, and made two fantastic saves, when it is really important to do so. If that goes against you everyone is scratching their heads, but he made sure it doesn’t happen.

“The madness of football, we could have ended up losing it; Jordan makes those saves at the end and you think ‘how mad is football?’ – it would have been an injustice if it went against us but it didn’t.”

Abdoulaye Doucoure scored Everton’s first Premier League goal of the season as they went ahead early, but Cameron Archer’s first strike for the Blades levelled things up.

Archer was involved again soon after as his shot hit the post and rebounded off Pickford’s back and into the net as the Blades took a half-time lead, only for Arnaut Danjuma to level after the break.

Pickford then came up with his heroics and Blades boss Paul Heckingbottom knows his side need those moments to go in their favour this season.

“It’s an unreal save, the second one he doesn’t know too much, it hits his head and the post, but it’s a big moment,” Heckingbottom, who also saw his side earn their first point of the season, said.

“It’s another example of why we love the game and how fine the margins are.

“We are not stupid, we know that we are going to need a lot of those moments to go in our favour this season, of course we are. Today it didn’t.

“But I can’t grumble, I think it was a really good game and probably a fair result.”

Arnaut Danjuma’s second-half goal earned Everton a 2-2 draw at Sheffield United as both sides registered their first point of the Premier League season.

Cameron Archer’s first strike for the club and a Jordan Pickford own goal saw the Blades’ overturn Abdoulaye Doucoure’s early opener to lead 2-1 at half-time.

But Danjuma, a summer signing from Villarreal, levelled after the break and that is how it ended at Bramall Lane, thanks mainly to Pickford’s miraculous double save at the death, twice denying Oli McBurnie.

Having both lost their first three games of the campaign, this already had a big-game feel to it and while both sides will be pleased to be up and running, they might also see it as a missed opportunity to get their first win of the campaign.

Despite those early struggles, it was an entertaining match with chances at both ends.

John Egan put a free header straight at Everton goalkeeper Pickford before James Tarkowski produced a fine block to deny Archer.

The Toffees also looked a threat, with Beto’s shot from the edge of the area deflected just wide.

And it was from the resulting corner that they went ahead in the 14th minute, finally breaking their duck for the season.

Tarkowski climbed highest from the corner and the ball fell to Doucoure, whose first shot was parried by Wes Foderingham, but the midfielder was on hand to tap home the rebound from close range.

Everton had an excellent opportunity to immediately double their advantage as they had a four-on-two counter-attack, but Danjuma chose not to pass and his shot was blocked.

The Blades responded well and Pickford produced an excellent save to stop Gus Hamer’s low effort from sneaking in at the near post.

A deserved leveller came just after the half-hour as Archer scored his first goal for the club.

Hamer’s cross found McBurnie, who teed his strike partner up to arrow a shot into the corner from 12 yards.

They completed the turnaround deep into first-half injury time as Archer was again involved, with his 20-yard shot crashing off the post and on to Pickford’s back and into the net.

Everton’s response after the break was very good and they levelled 10 minutes after the restart.

The Toffees worked the ball down the right and Nathan Patterson sent in a devilish cross which Danjuma tapped in at the far post.

Again United came back and mounted a concerted spell of pressure as they searched to regain their lead.

Yasser Larouci skied a good chance at the back post before Luke Thomas fired an effort straight at Pickford’s body, with Hamer seeing the rebound blocked.

The Blades almost stole it at the death, but McBurnie’s free header was tipped onto the underside of crossbar by Pickford, with the goalkeeper then reacting to turn the striker’s second effort onto the post.

Sean Dyche praised debutant Beto after he came off the bench to inspire an Everton turnaround and prevent an embarrassing Carabao Cup exit to League Two’s bottom side Doncaster.

After losing their first three Premier League matches without scoring, the Toffees were staring down the barrel of a humiliating defeat in South Yorkshire.

Doncaster dominated the first half and took a deserved lead through a flicked header by Joe Ironside, who avoided an offside call and sparked wild scenes at the Eco-Power Stadium.

Everton held on and belatedly showed their quality, with half-time substitute Beto levelling intelligently a day after signing, before Arnaut Danjuma wrapped up a 2-1 second-round win.

“Fair play to Doncaster, they took it on in the right way,” boss Dyche said after the Toffees earned a third-round trip to Aston Villa.

“They know that there’s no pressure on them – a free hit at us and all the noise and all the rest of it and they used it wisely.

“We weren’t at the races first half but I must say the goal is three yards offside. I would expect that to be given (offside) but it didn’t.

“It’s a big learning curve for some of the younger players because that’s what it’s like to play for Everton Football Club.

“A lot of expectation regardless, no-one cares about injuries and stretched squads. I say it because I mean it and it’s true, but no one really cares, so that’s a big part of their development.

“It can’t always be rosy, it’s tough and they’re young and they’re learning.

“Second half we put more experienced players on who played very well, I thought, and made a big difference to the performance.

“I don’t think it was as good a performance as the weekend (in the loss to Wolves) but you win a game and that was important.”

Everton return to South Yorkshire on Saturday lunchtime to face Sheffield United, where towering striker Beto will surely lead the line after his man-of-the-match display.

“He’s only got here yesterday, so it’s a lot to ask, really,” Dyche said of the big-money signing from Udinese.

“We only got his clearance this morning, so we’d already set the team up. I had it in my mind to put him on at half-time regardless.

“He’s adapted very quickly, done very well tonight. With all due respect, the Premier League is different, but he’s shown the rawness, the pace and the effect that he can have on a team.

“It gives us something different, which is what we brought him here for.”

Doncaster boss Grant McCann was aggrieved his side did not get a penalty for a Vitaliy Mykolenko handball but his overriding emotion was pride after Rovers pushed Everton close.

“I’m pleased, proud of the boys’ performance,” the League Two strugglers’ manager said. “The levels were good against a top-class team.

“I thought particularly first half we were excellent in terms of what we did.

“The second half was difficult with the changes they made, they seemed to get a lot, lot stronger.

“I think we can see over the last couple of games that we’re definitely improving and we’re only going to get stronger.”

Beto and Arnaut Danjuma saved Everton from an embarrassing Carabao Cup exit to the Football League’s bottom side as Sean Dyche’s men came from behind to edge past dogged Doncaster.

Having lost their opening three Premier League games without so much as scoring, a tie against the side 92nd in the standings looked just what the doctor ordered for Sean Dyche’s men.

But Everton’s start to the season threatened to go from bad to worse as League Two’s bottom side took a deserved lead through Joe Ironside’s header.

Doncaster were dreaming of a famous win, but the Premier League visitors belatedly showed signs of life as striker Beto – on as a substitute early in the second half – scored a day after signing from Udinese, before Danjuma secured a late 2-1 victory.

It was a gut punch for Grant McCann’s side but a morale-boosting win for the Toffees, although Dyche will be alarmed by much of his side’s display in South Yorkshire, where they return to take on Sheffield United on Saturday lunchtime.

They looked jittery from the outset and Joseph Olowu wasted a great chance from a corner that followed panicked play at the back.

Doncaster continued to unsettle careless Everton, with Tommy Rowe lashing over from a corner before Zain Westbrooke thrashed a 25-yard drive just wide.

“Premier League, you’re having a laugh” rang around the ground as Everton toiled, taking 41 minutes to manage a shot of any kind at the Eco-Power Stadium.

Danjuma slammed that effort across the face of goal and three minutes later the visitors fell behind.

A short corner routine ended with the ball being played to the edge of the box, where Rowe swung over a cross for Ironside to flick a header past Jordan Pickford from six yards.

Offside appeals were legitimate but there is no VAR at this point of the Carabao Cup.

There would have been an immediate Everton response had goalkeeper Ian Lawlor not smartly stopped Amadou Onana, before Pickford prevented Rowe scoring a second in stoppage time.

But Doncaster remained a threat after the break, with George Broadbent seeing a shot saved before Vitaliy Mykolenko blocked a Mo Faal effort with his hand from a Rowe cutback.

Olowu nearly turned a Mykolenko cross past his own goalkeeper and off balance Beto’s left-footed shot off target summed up their night.

But that chance also lit a fire under the new boy and moments later he had his first goal in blue.

Abdoulaye Doucoure played a hopeful ball down the left channel and Beto beat Olowu to smartly direct it home in the 73rd minute.

“We scored a goal” sung the dancing Everton fans, whose team were now in the ascendancy as Beto saw a header hit a post before Danjuma’s curling effort kissed the crossbar.

Play was scrappy as Doncaster attempted to hold on, with James Garner seeing a close-range attempt blocked before Danjuma broke Doncaster hearts.

Cutting in from the left and collecting a return pass, he made just enough space to get away a right-footed snapshot from just inside the box and beat Lawlor.

Doncaster pushed for a leveller but they had run out of gas, while the offside flag denied Beto his second in stoppage time.

Wolves head coach Gary O’Neil admitted there were large spells in Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League victory over Everton which he did not like but he was more than happy with the outcome.

The visitors scored with their only shot in target in the 87th minute when substitute Sasa Kalajdzic glanced home a header just two minutes after coming on.

By contrast Everton had 15 shots, seven on target, seven corners to Wolves’ none, but struggled to end a long-standing problem of scoring.

“I thought it was a decently-balanced performance with large spells I didn’t like,” said O’Neil, who only took over on the eve of the season after the departure of Julen Lopetegui.

“But I have to remind myself that we have not been here nine months, we have been here 15 days and there will be spells where it doesn’t quite look like what you want.”

Kalajdzic’s impact was all the more impressive as it was only the Austrian’s third appearance in a year for the club after rupturing an ACL on his debut last season.

“He has worked very hard since I’ve been here and he’s still got a long journey getting back to full fitness,” added O’Neil.

“With us arriving in good areas, I felt we could put some good crosses into the penalty area and I thought Sasa could be that guy.

“It was a really smart finish as he is facing the wrong way and it’s easy to get disorientated.”

Kalajdzic goal not only secured Wolves’ first points of the season but was their first on the road in 10 attempts and resulted in them winning three-successive league games at Goodison Park for the first time.

Both teams had begun the afternoon pointless in 18th and 19th in the table but O’Neil tried to play down the significance of the victory.

“I think winning Premier League games is big, every single one, especially on the road and especially the first one with a new group,” said the manager.

“It’s a tough place to come but it doesn’t feel big because us and Everton were both on zero, it just felt like a win the boys deserved after the work they have put in over the last 15 days.”

With Dominic Calvert-Lewin out with a cheekbone injury and deputy Neal Maupay misfiring, Everton boss Sean Dyche opted to give loan signing Arnaut Danjuma his first start up front but he also lacked the sharpness needed to end a goalless run which is already at 270 minutes this season.

Everton are struggling to find further new signings before the close of the window – their interest in Southampton striker Che Adams has yet to materialise into a concrete offer – but Dyche insisted they would continue to pursue every avenue.

“If we had loads and loads of money, we would change all sorts because things have not been right for a long time,” he said.

“I am trying to remodel a group with the players that are here and if we can add to that, we will be doing.

“All these names that get bandied, there are some that are real and some that are not.”

Wolves substitute Sasa Kalajdzic scored a late winner two minutes after coming off the bench as Everton manager Sean Dyche’s decision to turn to some new faces produced a depressingly-familiar outcome.

The Toffees dominated this Premier League match – having 15 shots – but remain goalless and pointless in the 270 minutes they have played so far this season as the visitors scored with their only effort on target in the 87th minute.

Fans streaming out of Goodison had seen it all before as recently as a fortnight ago when a similar performance against Fulham also saw them lose 1-0 as they endured their worst start to a season since 1990-91.

But the supporters in old gold did not care as they headed back down the M6 celebrating their first win of the campaign – secured by a player making only his third appearance after rupturing his ACL in his first match last season – and their third in succession at Goodison Park for the first time.

Aston Villa's remarkable resurgence in the English Premier League was epitomized by the sensational performance of Jamaica's Leon Bailey, who played a pivotal role in Villa's resounding 4-0 victory over Everton on Sunday.

Bailey's exceptional contributions, including a goal and an assist, left Villa coach Unai Emery visibly impressed and hopeful for the team's future prospects.

The Jamaican international's standout performance showcased his versatility and impact on the field. His display against Everton stood in stark contrast to the disappointing opening day defeat at Newcastle, where he had been taken off at half-time. Bailey's partnership with fellow forward Moussa Diaby was particularly noteworthy, with their seamless link-up play capturing the attention of fans and critics alike.

Addressing the media, Emery highlighted the importance of balance and adaptability in the team's approach, emphasizing the improvement in synergy between Diaby and Bailey. He remarked, "Each match is very different and we need to keep the balance playing both home and away. Last week was not very good between Diaby and Bailey, and today was much better. We need to continue working because Diaby needs time to connect with his teammates. Leon Bailey, last week he didn't play well but today he was amazing."

Bailey's contribution in Villa's dominant victory was evident from the start. He provided the assist for John McGinn's volley that opened the scoring after just 18 minutes. Furthermore, Bailey's clever header set up Ollie Watkins, leading to a penalty awarded after a foul by Everton keeper Jordan Pickford. Douglas Luiz confidently converted the spot-kick to double Villa's lead.

In the early stages of the second half, Bailey once again demonstrated his prowess by capitalizing on a defensive error by Michael Keane, netting his own goal past Pickford. The victory was sealed with a flourish when substitute Jhon Duran capitalized on another defensive lapse to secure his first Premier League goal, extending Villa's lead to an impressive 4-0.

Despite the resounding victory, Emery maintained a pragmatic perspective, acknowledging that there's room for improvement. He praised the team's adeptness at imposing their style of play and nullifying the opposition's threats, particularly in transition. The coach also dedicated the victory to injured players Emi Buendia and Tyrone Mings, highlighting their absence as a source of motivation for the team.

Everton have condemned “vile” racist abuse aimed at midfielder Amadou Onana on social media and vowed to track down the alleged perpetrator.

The Premier League club released a statement on Monday revealing the 22-year-old Senegal-born Belgium international had been targeted and reiterating its zero-tolerance stance on discrimination.

An investigation is under way with the Toffees ready to support police in any action they may take.

The statement read: “Everton Football Club strongly condemns any form of racist and discriminatory abuse towards our players.

“The club is aware of a racist post targeted at Amadou Onana. Such abuse is vile and will not and should not be tolerated.

“The club is conducting an investigation to identify the individual responsible and will also be supporting police with any investigation they conduct.

“We must all take a zero-tolerance stance by reporting such behaviour to social media platforms and the authorities. Racism has no place online, in our stadia or in our communities.”

Onana, a £34million signing from French club Lille last summer, played the full 90 minutes in Sunday’s 4-0 Premier League defeat at Aston Villa.

The defensive midfielder has been linked with a move to Manchester United in recent weeks.

Aston Villa bounced back from their heavy opening-day Premier League defeat by cantering to a 4-0 home win against Everton.

Captain John McGinn and Douglas Luiz’s penalty gave Villa a 2-0 lead at the break and after second-half efforts from Leon Bailey and substitute John Duran, Unai Emery’s side put last week’s 5-1 loss at Newcastle behind them.

It was all too easy for Villa as they cashed in on some wayward Everton defending, which prompted half of their fans to leave Villa Park long before the final whistle.

Everton have lost their opening two games for the second successive season and their cause was not helped by the first-half withdrawal of the luckless Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

The England striker, who scored only two goals last season after being dogged by injury, failed to recover from an early clash of heads with Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez and was eventually forced off in the 38th minute.

Villa were without key players Tyrone Mings, Emi Buendia (both knee) and Jacob Ramsey (foot) due to long-term injury, but midway through the first half they had established a comfortable lead.

McGinn fired them in front in the 18th minute, volleying home Bailey’s cut-back after the latter had wriggled his way to the byline.

Villa doubled their lead from the penalty spot in the 24th minute after VAR ruled Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford had taken out Ollie Watkins with a flailing arm.

Watkins’ had moments earlier seen his shot cleared off the goal-line, while Pickford, making his 250th Premier League appearance, was booked for delaying the spot-kick, which was coolly dispatched by Douglas Luiz.

England’s number one went some way to redeeming himself soon after when turning Moussa Diaby’s goal-bound volley on to a post.

Everton troubled Martinez for the only time before the interval when a low, angled shot from Calvert-Lewin’s replacement, summer signing Arnaut Danjuma, forced the Argentinian into a near-post save.

The visitors were forced into another change soon after the restart when Alex Iwobi hobbled off and was replaced by Neal Mapauy.

It got worse for Everton in the 51st minute when Villa put the result beyond doubt. Bailey pounced after Everton defender Michael Keane had miscontrolled a throw-in into the box and fired home a low shot under Pickford.

Watkins went close to adding a fourth when his angled effort rolled inches wide before Martinez superbly blocked Maupay’s close-range effort at the other end following a corner.

Keane was caught out again in the build-up to Villa’s fourth, miskicking from former Villa defender Ashley Young’s throw-in and Duran ran clear to bury his first goal for the club, less than a minute after stepping off the bench to replace Watkins.

New Everton signing Ashley Young insists he still has the appetite for a fight as his 19th Premier League season began with a defeat.

The 38-year-old joined on a free transfer this summer after his contract ended following a second spell at Aston Villa.

Some would view signing for a club which has escaped relegation by the finest of margins in the last couple of years as a gamble but Young is embracing the challenge of helping turn things around at Goodison Park and he was one of the better performers in the 1-0 defeat to Fulham.

“I’ve said age is nothing but a number. Everyone wants to talk about age with me and to be honest it’s getting boring now,” he said.

“I know what I give, the manager knows what I give to this team. I am as fit as anyone.

“If I didn’t have that hunger and desire I wouldn’t be out on the football pitch. I still have a lot to give; I’m a winner and have always been a winner and that is never going to change.

“I want to do well here. The abilities I have got – leadership on the pitch and off the pitch, that winning mentality that I have – can help a squad.

“My attributes will help the squad. It’s about seeing what qualities I can bring to the squad, I want to do as well as I can and bring everything I can.

“I said at the time I signed here you always know an Everton team can be back in the top 10 at least.

“I definitely think with work on the training ground and getting points on the board that’s where I see the club going.”

Everton manager Sean Dyche is confident the goalscoring problem which has affected the team for a year will be solved soon.

Despite creating 19 chances against Fulham, the Toffees slipped to an opening game defeat at home – where the top-flight’s lowest scorers lost a record 10 league matches last season.

Central to the issue is the continuing unavailability of injury-plagued Dominic Calvert-Lewin, whose lack of minutes in pre-season means he is still possibly a couple of weeks short of being ready.

However, the arrivals of on-loan Arnaut Danjuma – who made his debut as a late substitute – and young Sporting striker Youssef Chermiti, watching from the stands, will hopefully help to ease the burden as current deputy Neal Maupay wasted a host of chances as he extended his woeful record to one goal in 30 appearances for the club.

“Dominic will get some football this week, amongst others,” said Dyche, who is still looking for reinforcements but knows he must get more out of the limited resources he has.

“He is at the end of his rehab period, so, in the next week or two, we’re going to be stronger, just by our own group and let’s see if we can get something in to help us as well.

“Arnie (Danjuma) is getting fit, properly fit – he knows he’s a bit behind the curve.

“I am confident we have to rely (on players) within the squad because this is what we are at the moment. If we can affect it, we will do.”

Everton had only 41 percent possession but made the most of it and with better finishing could have had the game won by half-time.

While the outcome was disappointing, the manner of the performance was more encouraging than the majority of the relegation scraps they had when Dyche took over in January and guided them to safety on the final day.

“Some of the breakaways, some of the moments, some of the quality of chances were excellent,” the Toffees boss added.

“One of our analysts said about xG, which I’m not that big a believer in but it’s still a reference point, was around three, which is high in the Premier League.

“Inevitably, it’s only a measure but we’ve got to look at where we were and where we are now – and that, I thought, was a big shift.

“Now we’ve got to find those moments to go and score goals.

“But there’s a real strong sign there today, a strong sign of a good outfit there that is creating lots of chances and a lot of good things, so we’ve got to maintain the belief in that.”

Fulham were fortunate to leave Goodison Park with a third successive win and boss Marco Silva admits there is plenty of improvements to be made.

“We need more time to work, our pre-season was not at the level that it should be so we missed a bit of energy,” he said.

“But we were able to win a football match and that shows we have the quality to work.”

Everton manager Sean Dyche was frustrated by his side’s inability to convert their chances and disappointed by the lack of VAR intervention on Michael Keane’s disallowed goal in the 1-0 defeat to Fulham.

Despite an encouraging performance in which they created twice as many chances as the visitors, they were undone by a sucker-punch goal as two Cottagers substitutes Aleksandar Mitrovic and Andreas Pereira combined to provide the third, Bobby Decordova-Reid, with a 73rd-minute tap-in.

But it was the chalking off of Keane’s goal, when he turned the ball into an empty net after goalkeeper Bernd Leno had dropped it in a challenge with James Tarkowski, which was crucial to an Everton side who were the Premier League’s lowest scorers last season.

“Very frustrated with the outcome. We played well and a lot of the things we are looking for were there, especially first half,” said Dyche.

“We limited them to almost no chances or nothing clear while creating nine or 10 in the first half, five of which are high quality. We had one of the highest chance counts in my time. So the mix of the performance is right, but we have to score a goal.

“I am a big fan of VAR, I don’t know why (Keane’s goal was not referred) on this occasion, I get the idea they are promoting the idea the referee’s decision is first but they should step in on this one.

“I can’t really work it out. I have seen it back, Tarky does nothing really, minimal contact other than the keeper landing on him.

“The minimum should be that you go and look at the monitor. He didn’t do anything to put the keeper off and he drops it.”

Fulham boss Marco Silva – a former Everton manager – admitted his side got fortunate with the result.

“It was not a good performance from ourselves. Overall during the game we didn’t perform at our level,” he said.

“Even if we started the game well. after the first 15 minutes we started to lose too many balls in areas it is difficult to lose balls in.

“We gave Everton so many chances to punish us in counter-attacks. It was more our fault because we didn’t perform. Bernd keeps us in the game – a great performance.

“That we are able to win in such circumstances, it is a great feeling. It is not a problem for me to say Everton deserved better.

“It’s a great feeling when you don’t play at your level for 95 minutes and you are able to win away from home.”

Everton paid the price for a string of missed chances as their goalscoring issues were exploited by Fulham in a 1-0 defeat at Goodison Park.

A new season brought new hope for recent relegation strugglers Everton but for all the improvements Sean Dyche has made over the summer, it appears he he has not yet solved their problems in front of goal.

Substitute Bobby De Cordova-Reid struck the only goal of the game to get Marco Silva’s side off to a winning start.

Everton, the Premier League’s lowest scorers last season, were again without striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Despite generating twice as many shots as the visitors, Dyche’s side were undone by one square pass across their six-yard area when Andreas Pereira beat Nathan Patterson to an Aleksandar Mitrovic’s through-ball for a 73rd-minute tap-in by Decordova-Reid.

It burst the bubble of optimism which had been generated by an energetic and relatively creative opening 73 minutes of the season and will have infuriated Dyche as much as it delighted former Toffees boss Silva.

Michael Keane’s first-half goal was disallowed as the centre-back turned the ball into an empty net and celebrated almost apologetically before referee Stuart Atwell, having initially not blown, ruled there had been an infringement in the collision between goalkeeper Bernd Leno and James Tarkowski.

Both teams started without their recognised first-choice strikers: Calvert-Lewin was omitted due to his lack of minutes in pre-season while Mitrovic was left on the bench after ongoing interest from Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal.

But it was the home team who suffered the most as they generated 19 shots to their opponents’ nine from just 41 per cent possession but failed to capitalise with Calvert-Lewin’s deputy Neal Maupay most culpable.

The £15million signing from Brighton last summer has a return of one goal in his 29 previous appearances but the reason for that conversion rate was evident after just 32 seconds when he clipped a shot wide of the far post with only goalkeeper Leno to beat after being put through by James Garner’s cushioned header.

It did not get any better for the Frenchman, whose heavy touch from Abdoulaye Doucoure’s square pass denied him another shooting opportunity before Leno blocked his close-range scuff from a Doucoure knockdown and then he fired straight at the German when played in by Amadou Onana.

Doucoure, playing just behind the striker, was not without fault either as he should have scored inside five minutes when clean through but shot straight at the goalkeeper when he could also have squared to Maupay.

Everton were fortunate the visitors were even more toothless in attack themselves, although Willian, 35, gave 21-year-old right-back Nathan Patterson, who made just 21 appearances in a debut season affected by injury, an uncomfortable 45 minutes before he was replaced by De Cordova-Reid at half-time.

But Willian was also lucky to escape with a booking for an over the top challenge on Garner.

By contrast, on the other side of the defence Ashley Young, Everton’s second-oldest debutant at the age of 38 years and 34 days, was coping easily with Harry Wilson – 12 years his junior.

The 57th-minute of introduction of Mitrovic and Pereira, seconds after debutant Raul Jimenez had struck the post with his last touch before being replaced, threatened a new element of danger for Everton.

However, it was the hosts who should have scored when Leno parried Alex Iwobi’s shot to Patterson who lashed his shot against the crossbar.

Loan signing Arnaut Danjuma assumed the central striking role from Maupay but, before he had even touched the ball, De Cordova-Reid had scored the goal which secured Fulham’s third successive win at Goodison Park.

The return of Calvert-Lewin and a debut for new signing Youssef Chermiti, the £15million Sporting Lisbon striker watching from the directors’ box, cannot come soon enough.

Luton have signed former Chelsea and Everton midfielder Ross Barkley on a free transfer.

Former England international Barkley, 29, spent last season at Ligue 1 club Nice following his departure from Chelsea by mutual consent.

Barkley – who played for England at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and also had a loan spell at Aston Villa – could make his debut for the Hatters in their opening Premier League match at Brighton on Saturday.

“Why Luton? Going from the Conference to the Premier League is a great story and for me personally to be back in the Premier League, it’s great motivation,” Barkley said on the Luton club website.

“I’m still relatively young and over the last couple of years I’ve not played as much as I’d have liked.

“But I’ve reserved a lot of energy and looked after myself, so it’s great to be here now as I’ve got a lot to show but I’m ready and feeling motivated.”

Luton manager Rob Edwards is confident Barkley can bring something different to his squad as their embark on a first Premier League campaign after winning the Sky Bet Championship play-off final.

“Ross brings loads of experience at the top level, has international experience and brings an X-factor,” Edwards said.

“He gives us something different, he has that ability to make something out of nothing and we need that in the Premier League. He’s got all the tools required to make a difference for us.

“It’s really exciting for the football club. We want the fans to be excited and they should be about Ross’ arrival.”

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