Seamus Coleman could only watch on as his Everton side were hammered 4-0 by Liverpool in the Merseyside derby at Anfield.
The Killybegs native missed his first Premier League match of the season with a minor tissue injury picked up eight nights’ beforehand against West Bromwich Albion.
Hosts Liverpool went in front on Tuesday night courtesy of a Steven Gerrard header from a Luis Suarez corner on 21 minutes, before Daniel Sturridge bagged two further goals in three minutes with majestic finishes on the counter-attack to give Liverpool a 3-0 half-time advantage.
Everton lost Romelu Lukaku to an ankle ligament injury and already minus the likes of Coleman, Bryan Oviedo and Sylvain Distin, looked susceptible both up front and at the back.
In the second half, Suarez picked Phil Jagielka’s pockets on the halfway line and travelled unchallenged into the Everton box before sliding it past goalkeeper Tim Howard. Sturridge then blazed a penalty over the bar after Raheem Sterling was taken down by Everton goalkeeper Howard.
James McCarthy played the full match in midfield for Everton, while Aiden McGeady made a 14-minute cameo for Ross Barkley.
The loss was only Everton’s third of the season and they will be looking to get back on track against Aston Villa on Saturday - a match in which Coleman might make his comeback.
Elsewhere, in the Championship, Shay Given kept his sixth clean sheet in eight matches but his Middlesbrough side failed to overcome Wigan Athletic in a scoreless draw.
The Riverside outfit remain in 10th position in the table and have been boosted by the arrival in November of Lifford native Given, who is on loan at the club until the end of February from Aston Villa.
Conrad Logan was substitute goalkeeper for Championship leaders Leicester City in their club record eighth consecutive win, when they defeated Birmingham City.
Shane Duffy, on loan at from Everton at Yeovil Town, saw his team surrender a two-goal interval advantage and go down 3-2 at Derby County’s Pride Park.
In League One, Carl McHugh was an unused substitute as Bradford City drew 0-0 at home against Preston North End. Bradford are 12th in the table.