Gael Clichy said Everton had shown Manchester City how to be ruthless after City crashed to a 4-0 defeat at Goodison Park.
The visitors were the better side in the first half but failed to find the opener before Romelu Lukaku scored with Everton’s first shot of the game after 34 minutes.
The Toffees scored with each of their four shots on target and Clichy said City, who had 71 percent possession, needed to improve at both ends of the pitch.
“It’s hard, it’s hard. But often it doesn’t mean because you play well you will win the game,” the French defender told reporters.
“We knew how they were going to play, most of the time with a long ball to Lukaku and with five at the back and on the counter-attack.
“We knew that, but we also know that we want to play how we want to play, because we believe it’s the way to win games.
“We also know that sometimes you have to be realistic — when there are chances to take you have to score, and when you defend you need to defend better.
“So overall the message is that we need to be more solid and compact as a unit, rather than thinking about anything else.”
Kevin Mirallas doubled Everton’s lead shortly after the restart before late goals from Tom Davies and debutant Ademola Lookman made the scoreline emphatic.
Clichy said Lukaku’s opener had been a sucker punch and that City had taken too many risks trying to chase a result in the second half.
“It’s not easy because you come back on the pitch knowing you could have done better in the first half, when we played well, and then the first chance killed the momentum a little bit,” he added.
“But you are still there with 45 minutes to go. It makes it difficult because you try to playand find the players who can create something, you take a bit more of a risk and we have been running a lot as well.
“So it’s one of those games you have to remember so you don’t make the same mistake.”
City boss Pep Guardiola effectively ruled his side out of the title race after the game, with Chelsea 10 points clear of them at the top of the Premier League.
Clichy said City needed to get back to basics but stressed that he did not believe overhauling Antonio Conte’s team was impossible.
“We are not talking about winning the title at the moment. If we had won it would have been seven points — that is why the Premier League is the Premier League,” he added.
“In two weekends it can change, and we have to keep this in mind. We need to keep working hard and playing our way, and we know we have the quality to get points.
“We still have time to catch anybody, but it’s one game at a time and see how it goes.”