clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sheffield Utd 2-2 Everton: Match Recap & Instant Reaction | Honours even, should have been more

Everton score two but missed chances cost us again.

Sheffield United v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

After a comeback victory in the Carabao Cup, Everton headed to Yorkshire to take on the Blades in another six-pointer after both teams had opened the season with three losses. In preparation for the match, Sean Dyche has said:

“All games are important. It’s fair to say, we have to turn performances into wins. I can’t question two of the three performances this season, but you want the scoreline to be right.”

Team News

Everton’s new signing Beto was given his first start after scoring as a substitute on his debut in midweek. Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who does not need surgery on a facial injury was not passed fit. Dwight McNeil, who has been dealing with an ankle problem, had a late fitness test and was given the green light but started on the bench. Vitalii Mykolenko, who limped off during the midweek clash with Doncaster Rovers, was on the bench .

Defender Luke Thomas could make his Sheffield United debut from the bench after completing a loan move from Leicester City. Tom Davies was not in the match day squad so his chance to exact revenge on the Blues had to wait. Max Lowe and Ben Osborn were missing and are set for prolonged stints on the sidelines with ankle and groin injuries respectively.

Match Recap

Andy Madley was in charge of the match and blew the whistle to get things underway. Everton started the game with determination and had the Blades pinned back early on. Branthwaite was given the first yellow card for a late challenge which led to the first shot on net from John Egan with his head that was gathered by Pickford. Sheffield had absorbed the first few minutes of Everton pressure and the game settled into a more even affair.

A quick break saw Doucoure lay off a pass to Beto who had his first shot that was blocked. The ensuing corner was headed down by Onana to Doucoure who was able to bundle it over the line to give Everton the lead on 14 minutes.

Sheffield United v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Everton had ended a run of 316 minutes without a Premier League goal since Abdoulaye Doucoure also scored against Bournemouth on the final day of last season.

Moments later, Onana’s excellent defensive work released Danjuma who should have done better when he cut inside but his shot was blocked. Idrissa Gueye’s loose pass saw Sheffield break and a good save from Pickford on a low shot from Gustavo Hamer kept the score level.

The game started to get very erratic with neither team able to get a handle on things. A long ball up to Beto provided Danjuma with another chance that was put wide of the post.

The game was levelled when Cameron Archer scored his first goal for the club after Hamer delivered a beautiful cross into Ollie McBurnie who layed off the ball to Archer who made no mistake. All square after 33 minutes.


Everton immediately took the ball down the other end and it was Amadou Onana at the back post who ended up clattering into the advertising boards. Beto was the target man again and his aggressive holdup play was creating difficulties for the Blades.

It was Danjuma again who had another chance after being released by Beto but his heavy touch gave Foderingham a chance to mop up. Dyche was apoplectic on the sideline as another chance went begging. Four minutes of added time started and a shot from Cameron Archer rattled the post and came back onto the diving Jordan Pickford and deflected back into the Everton goal.

Sheffield United v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

A half which started with such promise ended in despair. Sheffield had turned it around and the Everton players trudged off the pitch.

The second half started quickly and Jarred Branthwaite was hit hard by Ollie McBurnie. Andy Madley played the advantage but Beto wasted the chance and dragged the ball well wide of the goal. It was Beto again causing trouble with a lovely backheel into the path of Danjuma who was pulled down by Anel Ahmedhodžić. A yellow card was given but it should have been a penalty as the drag started outside and continued into the box. Danjuma’s free kick was blocked by the wall.

The game was back level after Everton broke forward with Patterson providing a great cross for Arnaut Danjuma who smashed the ball into the back of the net. Determination and fight created the goal and Everton’s good start to the half had paid off.

Sheffield United v Everton - Premier League - Bramall Lane Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images

A forced change for Sheffield when Yasser Larouci went down injured and was in some pain so on came Luke Thomas. Chris Basham was also brought on for the Blades, replacing John Egan. Sheffield immediately were on the attack and Pickford was forced into a good save when Luke Thomas blasted the ball goalward.

Doucore was in Madley’s book and it was a well defended header from Branthwaite that nullified the chance. Everton’s first change brought the return of Dwight McNeil with James Garner going off. Cameron Archer was withdrawn with Benie Traore coming on in his place.

You could sense that both sides wanted the win which caused the play to go end to end. A rash challenge by Chris Basham on Onana gave Everton a chance for a free kick just outside the box. Young took the kick but it hardly troubled the Sheffield keeper.

Everton continued to push forward but there were no clear chances created. James Tarkowski was asked to go off the pitch after taking a blasted shot in the head. Godfrey was brought on to finish off the match. Both teams looked like they were running on fumes as the six minutes of added time ticked away. Incredibly we were in the 9th minute of injury time when Jordan Pickford made two incredible saves. Andy Madley had seen enough and the whistle blew to end the battle.

Sheffield United v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Everton Man of the Match: Jordan Pickford - he may have let in two goals including an unfortunate own goal, but he made a number of incredible saves including two at the very end to save the point and avoid a humiliating loss.

Instant Reaction

Even though goals were scored, finishing continues to be an issue. The first half ended with Everton having three big chances and only one of them being converted. Arnaut Danjuma was guilty in both misses as he chose to shoot rather than lay the ball off to a teammate. Everton ended the game with an expected goals of 2.58 with only 2 on the board. Sheffield had an xG of 1.13. We cannot afford to be missing these important chances and expect to win matches. It should be mentioned that Beto battled all day and he is a genuine target with more to come.

When Everton were required to defend it was clear that it was an ‘all hands on deck’ mindset. The drawback was the lack of an outlet to transition to attack. Beto’s height and heading ability is an asset in our box but there has to be a plan to get out more effectively. Too often there was a long ball into open spaces which forced Beto to use valuable energy chasing after lost causes.

It was really nice to see Everton pressing the ball high up the field even though they were playing away from home. Forcing Sheffield into errors gave them the upper hand early in the game and when the pressing dropped off, Sheffield were allowed back into the game. When we are playing teams in and around us we cannot play down to their level.

Idrissa Gueye quietly had a very good game, controlling the middle of the park especially on the ball. He did well to not get caught on it, and distributed with intent throughout.