Sam Allardyce was handed a late fright by his Sunderland side on Halloween weekend after a 6-2 thrashing at Everton.
Sunderland hit the post twice, scored twice and could have had a penalty but a second-half defensive horror show cost Allardyce and the Black Cats dear.
Everton took full advantage and ran riot at Goodison Park. But what did we learn from the heavy defeat to the Toffees?
Comical, kamikaze defending costs Allardyce dear.
Just when Sam Allardyce thought he'd cracked Sunderland's defensive woes, they concede six at Everton.
They came into the game on the back of the 3-0 win over Newcastle, their first clean sheet of the season.
But it all went very wrong, very quickly. A real fright on Halloween weekend.
After a promising start, Everton scored two soft goals. Sunderland fought back well before a comical, kamikaze defensive showing second half.
The wing-backs disappeared, Brown, Coates and Jones were left wanting. It was desperate stuff as Lukaku and Kone bullied them into submission.
Truth be told, it wasn't even that hard for them. Sunderland the architects of their own downfall.
Wing-back experiment backfired:
Allardyce had suggested in the build-up to the game that he may throw a few surprises Everton's way in terms of his team and shape.
And he did just that.
The injured quartet of John O'Shea, Ola Toivonen, Fabio Borini and Younes Kaboul forced his hand.
But Allardyce still showed his versatility naming a back three and wing backs at Goodison Park, with Billy Jones, Wes Brown and Sebastian Coates the back three.
Sunderland started promisingly but that soon faded as a result of two soft goals in the first half. It got better for Sunderland before THAT second half. Back to the drawing board.
Unlucky Number 5:
Sunderland made history with the 3-0 derby win over Newcastle United - breaking the record for the number of successive derby wins.
But that 6th win over Newcastle was followed with another defeat.
Five times now Sunderland have failed to build on the morale-boosting derby day win over their arch rivals.
Allardyce was desperate for back-to-back wins to close the gap to safety but Sunderland extended a run they'd rather not be on.
Sunderland have never won a Premier League game after being 2+ goals behind (D9 L151 before the Everton match) and despite clawing it back to 2-2, that stat was never in danger of being broken.
Injury woes a growing concern:
Sam Allardyce's opening weeks as Sunderland boss have seen a number of injuries to key players.
Fabio Borini, John O'Shea, Younes Kaboul and Ola Toivonen all missed the trip to Everton.
And Allardyce was handed a further blow with the withdrawal of stand-in captain Lee Cattermole.
Cattermole lasted just 35 minutes before making way, with Jack Rodwell coming on.
Another injury headache for Allardyce & Co. That two-week international break can't come quickly enough.
Attacking threat the only positive:
Handed his first start since mid-September, Jermain Defoe came up trumps again at Goodison Park with his sixth of the season in all competitions.
And one for the stat fans - all five of Defoe's Premier League goals v Everton have been at Goodison, scoring more there than at any away ground.
He linked up well with Adam Johnson and Steven Fletcher, who also scored again and Sunderland looked bright and inventive going forward.
Bizarrely Sunderland had more shots (17 compared to 15) and more efforts on target (nine compared to eight) than the hosts, who were far more clinical.
A crumb of comfort for Allardyce then, after that Halloween howler of a defensive showing.