Alan Pardew was left frustrated by Crystal Palace's lack of guile after their 1-0 Premier League defeat to Everton ended his unbeaten start.
Alan Pardew was left to rue a lack of clinical finishing as his unbeaten start as Crystal Palace manager came to an end with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Everton.
Romelu Lukaku's early goal was enough to secure maximum points for Roberto Martinez's visitors as Palace failed to break down Everton's resolute defence, although they were hindered by a first-half injury to Marouane Chamakh.
The result sees Everton move three points clear of Palace, and Pardew believes his side lacked the guile to salvage anything from the game.
"It was frustrating because we started poorly again and they defended well after that and kept it difficult for us," he said.
"We never produced a great moment today, which is a shame because we had a lot of good play, but that final pass, that final idea, was missing.
"The loss of Marouane was important today. His guile, skill and experience around the box would’ve been important in the time that followed."
Everton were ahead after just two minutes at Selhurst Park - Lukaku tapping home Steven Naismith's cross after slack marking from Damien Delaney allowed the Scot to break into the Palace box.
Dwight Gayle almost restored parity with a deft chip two minutes later, but Phil Jagielka recovered well to scoop clear off the line.
Palace saw plenty of possession from then on in, but failed to test Joel Robles in the Everton goal, and the visitors held on for the victory.
"You always want to concentrate as the home team on a fast start, so it was a big blow going a goal down after two minutes," added Pardew.
"But I think we showed a different side to our play today. We had to control the game, which we did, and try and play through Everton. We just didn't quite produce it."