Almost an hour into the contest, in the customary penalty box melee preceding a set-piece, the Belgium international clearly headbutted the Stoke center back.
The off-the-ball violation went unpunished though, as referee Mark Halsey missed the incident altogether.
After even his own manager condemned his actions, the Toffees' talisman has gone public with his apology, also pointing out why he did what he did.
"I apologise completely to Ryan Shawcross, my teammates and to our fans at the game," he said in a statement on the club's official website. "There was a lot of pushing and pulling going on inside the Stoke penalty area and I didn't feel I was getting any protection from the officials."
However, the 25-year-old was also eager to dismiss the notion that this was any reasonably excuse, deeming his actions 'unprofessional'.
"Nevertheless I know I shouldn't have done what I did," he added. "I have also apologized to the manager and the staff. I have no excuses, I was disappointed with the way I was being treated and I lost my temper, which was unprofessional of me."