Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti admitted his side had been second best all night during their defeat at Chelsea stating the Merseyside club are not at the same level as the Blues.
An own goal by Ben Godfrey and a second-half penalty from Jorginho consigned Everton to a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge, leaving them four points adrift of Chelsea in fourth but with a match in hand still.
Chelsea dominated the fixture and could have won by a bigger margin, with Kai Havertz also having a goal ruled out in the second half for handball.
And Ancelotti claimed that his side have plenty of work to do before now and the end of the season if they want to somehow battle it outright to the very end with the likes of Chelsea for a Champions League spot.
“They played better than us,” Ancelotti told BT Sport following the final whistle. “They deserved to win. We were good defensively for 30 minutes. When they scored the game became difficult for us. They are a good team.
“The game that we planned was what we got for 30 minutes. We didn’t have a lot of opportunities. Richarlison had a chance. But we have to be honest, we are not at the same level. We cannot play an open game against this kind of team.
“It was the plan to play the same way as we played against Liverpool, but against Liverpool, we scored early.
“We are looking to fight for Europe. This is good for us. We will be there until the last game. We are disappointed for this defeat but no tragedy. We look to the next game.”