Middlesbrough ended Everton's unbeaten Premiership run with only their second win of the season at the Riverside.
Yakubu celebrates his opener for Middlesbrough
Aiyegbeni Yakubu coolly slotted home a penalty after he had been brought down by Everton keeper Tim Howard.
Yakubu missed a second penalty, harshly awarded for handball against Joleon Lescott, before Mark Viduka rounded off a fine move to double Boro's lead.
Everton's Australian midfielder Tim Cahill set up a rousing finish with a fine individual goal.
Boro handed Robert Huth his first Premiership outing since his £6m summer move from Chelsea and the big German immediately endeared himself to home fans by dumping Andrew Johnson on the running track with a good old-fashioned shoulder charge.
With just Johnson up front, Everton relied on springing men forward from midfield and not surprisingly it was Cahill who showed a willingness to get into the Boro box.
Cahill, along with Boro's Mark Schwarzer were both included by their respective managers despite only returning on Friday from international duty with Australia.
Everton's five-man midfield dominated possession but their lack of penetration returned to haunt them on the half-hour when Boro took the lead.
Yakubu goes down under Tim Howard's challenge
Phil Neville's clearance struck Jason Euell and landed at the feet of Yakubu who was brought down by Howard as he rounded the keeper, providing referee Mark Halsey with an easy decision.
Yakubu picked himself up to deftly send the American keeper the wrong way from the spot.
Everton were close to an equaliser when Simon Davies' shot was blocked by Emmanuel Pogatetz while at the other end Yakubu blazed over the bar when clean through.
The visitors' slick passing going forward was in contrast to their nervy display at the back and they were lucky not to fall further behind when Neville slashed Stuart Downing's cross straight into the grateful Howard's arms.
Referee Halsey waved away Everton penalty appeals when Johnson was bumped to the floor by Pogatetz and with James Beattie on to add support the visitors carried more of a threat.
To rub salt into the wound, Boro were awarded a second penalty when Lescott was surprisingly ruled to have handled as Yakubu tried to trick his way past him.
This time, Yakubu was too cool from the spot and Howard plunged to his right to save.
But within minutes Boro gave themselves the cushion of a second goal when a well-constructed move ended with Euell rolling the ball into the path of Viduka to score from eight yards.
Everton threw themselves a lifeline 13 minutes from time when Cahill nutmegged Huth and went on to ram the ball past Schwarzer.
As Everton threw the kitchen sink at Boro, the home fans' nerves were even more frayed by eight minutes added on for an object thrown on to the pitch.
Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate:
"The players have had a bit of a chasing in the past few weeks when results haven't gone our way.
"It's been tough but the resilience and attitude we showed is exactly what's called for, it was a big win for us.
"We made it harder for ourselves by missing chances and you start to question how many you can afford to miss."
Everton boss David Moyes:
"The penalties they were given were justified.
"But for me, either of the two challenges on Johnson or Cahill should have been given in light of the two that were given against us.
"I don't think we deserved to lose and were worth at least a point."
Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Davies, Huth, Pogatetz, Taylor, Cattermole (Parnaby 83), Euell, Boateng, Downing (Arca 90), Yakubu, Viduka.
Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Rochemback, Maccarone. Booked: Cattermole.
Goals: Yakubu 27 pen, Viduka 71.
Everton: Howard, Hibbert (Beattie 33), Yobo, Lescott, Nuno Valente (Van der Meyde 90), Davies (McFadden 75), Carsley, Neville, Cahill, Arteta, Johnson.
Subs Not Used: Wright, Weir.
Goals: Cahill 77.
Referee: M Halsey (Lancashire).