Gordon, who often overexerted himself in his eagerness, was met with equally fierce and hostile reactions from the crowd at Goodison Park at every touch of the ball.
His transfer to Newcastle United had caused resentment on Merseyside, where old wounds were reopened with a taunting chant of "Gordon, Gordon, what's the score?" from the ecstatic Gwladys Street stand. His manager, Eddie Howe, defended him.
"No, it wasn't that he wasn't trying, quite the opposite. It was an important night for him; he has played a huge role in recent weeks and will be incredibly important for us in the coming weeks," Howe reassured in the press conference after a less than stellar performance from his 22-year-old rising star. Kieran Trippier, accountable for two goals, also received encouraging words from the boss, who believes that not an individual but the entire team should be held responsible for the slip-up.
It got a bit unpleasant in the players' tunnel of the ancient Goodison after the match, where Newcastle might have visited for the last time. Jordan Pickford, the Everton goalkeeper who grew up in Sunderland and is not fond of Newcastle, had already been provoking on the field, and according to the Chronicle, this continued after the game. Fabian Schär had to be carried away because he wanted to confront Pickford.
For Sean Dyche, finally, these are good times. Everton, despite the heavy penalty of a ten-point deduction, is now above the relegation line – purely based on sporting performance, Everton would even be in the upper half of the table. "We have done very well lately. We have taken the points deduction as it is and moved on," said a satisfied coach in the Liverpool Echo.