Gylfi Sigurdsson scores first goal of the second half
Everton finished second in the Premier League after a close encounter with Sheffield United on Bramall Lane.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side expanded their four-game winning streak to overtake Leicester and Manchester United thanks to a late goal from Gylfi Sigurdsson, who hit in the lower left corner.
The race was also frightening for the Blades, who continue to win and are stuck at the bottom of the rankings.
In a game that offered several chances, Oliver Burke’s curling pin was the host’s best attempt, while Oli McBurnie almost saved the break time point.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson gave the visitors the lead before the Icelandic midfielder secured all three points.
The victory was Everton’s first league game since Ancelotti was in control for a year and a perfect answer to the disappointment of reaching the quarterfinals of the Caribbean Cup.
These three points are very important to us, Ancelotti said.
When I got Andre Gomez on the line, I got Gylfi Sigurdsson back, but he found a solution.
We have a good feeling, also because we have problems with a lot of players at the moment, but there is a lot of spirit in this team and that’s a good thing. I really like managing these players.
I’m very happy, because I found the right club, a good club, a family club. I live in a good neighborhood, so after a year, I can say I’m lucky.
Doing the work on the Ancelotti side.
I found the right club. – Ancelotti. – I’m glad I have him as Everton’s manager.
While Everton was determined in defense and command in midfield, he lacked playful ingenuity for much of the game.
But even without James Rodriguez, who is still nursing a calf injury, and Richarlison, who suffers from a concussion, Ancelotti ended up doing well.
After a relatively uneven opening period that seemed to overshadow the Blades, Alex Iwobi’s speculative push prompted the Blues to continue.
England striker Calvert-Lewin almost scored the goal of the season when he skilfully walked to Michael Keane and played an oblique pass to Jack Robinson, who shot into the lower left corner of the penalty area.
Sigurdsson made it almost right when he fired a free kick of 20 meters from the right corner.
But after the break they showed little sign of a chance of victory when Sigurdsson picked up a brilliant cross from Abdoulaye Doucourt and slid it past Aaron Ramsdale.
It’s the first time Everton has won four victories in one season twice in a row since the 1986-87 season, when they were the last English champions.
Blunt blades lose again
Sheffield United’s lack of quality highlighted – Wilder
Prior to Sigurdsson’s late intervention, it looked like Sheffield United would only take their third point of this gloomy season.
However, as in many other games this season, the result did not match the efforts made.
In total Chris Wilder’s team covered five kilometres more than his top rivals, but was not rewarded for his hard work.
They have so far lost 13 of their 15 Premier League matches, 10 of which with one goal.
But until they score goals, the league position Sheffield United will continue to make fans uncomfortable.
Only Burnley – also on eight goals – was as unproductive in the attack as the Blades and although they had more shots than Everton (10-7), only two, from Oliver Burke and David McGoldrick, found the target.
Although he was offside, McGoldrick’s run along Everton goaltender Jordan Pickford was emblematic for the season when his tame effort was pushed back on the line by Ben Godfrey.
We found the right opportunity – what they said.
Chris Wilder, boss of Sheffield United, speaking with Sport: It was the same as a dozen games we played this season. It was a game of little chance, we played against a team that is in good shape, but showed our lack of quality.
The same players who played with that drive and conviction last year won’t do it this year. Nothing has really changed, the competition has not really changed, Everton has not really changed, but our team has changed in terms of the lack of quality that we are showing this year.
I can’t go play for them. One system against the other, we changed it a bit, but for me it’s still the same, we were disappointed with the lack of quality.
There will be no way to attract many actors. We want to add one or two quality elements. The actors who are here are good enough to participate because they did it last year, but they have to find it in themselves.
The good experienced players who have played at this level during the season don’t hold my hand and make my job easier.
If I ever feel like I have to motivate a Premier League team, I resign. It shouldn’t be my job, but the players should go there and play with a little confidence.
Carlo Ancelotti, Everton boss, this is Sport: We defended well, but we didn’t pass the ball well either, but defensively we were strong and focused.
We’ve been patient. We were in the game and we stayed in the game most of the time, defending well and finding good chances to score.
Every game is very difficult, challenging. Sheffield United is a good team and we are very happy to be second. We didn’t expect this at the beginning of the season, but we are here and we want to stay here.
Super Sigurdsson – Statistics
- Everton won their first away game in the league against Sheffield United since 1897.
- Sheffield United has not won in 18 consecutive Premier League matches (D2 L16), allowing a goal in each match – the longest series without a win or a goal among the teams competing in the league.
- Everton has won four straight Premier League games for the second time this season. The last time they had two sets of four victories in the same league was in the 1986-87 season.
- Sheffield United is the first team to finish Boxing Day without a single victory in the Premier League (D2 L13), while only QPR has gone longer without a victory in the league since the beginning of the season (16 games in 2012-13).
- Everton is undefeated in their last eight Premier League away games played on Boxing Day (W5 D3). In 2005, there was a 4-0 defeat at Aston Villa.
- In all leagues this season, Gylfi Sigurdsson has been directly involved in seven goals (three goals, four assists) in 18 appearances for Everton, one more than in the entire 2019-20 season (six in 38 games).
- Sheffield United scored only four of the 71 home-shots in the Premier League this season, the worst rate in the league (5.6 percent), while no team has scored fewer goals at home.
What’s the next step?
Sheffield United will travel to the United Kingdom on Tuesday 29 April. December (18:00 GMT) in Burnley for their next Premier League game.
Everton will be back in action on Monday the 28th. In December (8pm) they welcome Manchester City in Goodison Park.
The player of the game
- Team number12PlaynameEgan
- Team number22PlaynameAmpadu
- Team number 1PlaynameRamsdale
- Team number6 Player nameBasham
- Team number 17PseudoMcGoldrick
- Team number2Player’s nameBaldock
- Team number14 Player nameBerke
- Team number23PseudoOsborn
- Team number9 Player nameMcBurnie
- Team number 19SurnameRobinson
- Team number3Player nameStevens
- Squadron number11Player nameMousset
- Team Number24Player’s NameBrewster
- Team number16PseudoNorwood
- Team number5Player nameKine
- Team number10 Player nameG Sigurdsson
- Team number22Godfrey player name
- Team number16Player nameDucure
- Team number13 Player nameMina
- Team number 20Player name Bernard
- Team number9 Name of playerCalvert-Lewin
- Team number23PseudoColeman
- Team number 26PlaynameDavies
- Team number 4 Name of playerHolgate
- Team number21PseudoAndré Gomes
- Team number 17Player nameIwobi
- Team number1Pickford Name of the player
- Team number24 Player nameGordon
- 19RobinsonReserved for 90Minutes
- 2BaldockBay at 71Minutes
- 24BrewsterReplaced by Musset 76’minutes
- 14BurkReplaced by McBurnit 45’minutes
- 21Balance sheet
- 1PickfordBocking at 90 min.
- 13 Mina
- 5KeaneSubstituted for Colemanate 66’minutes
- 22GodfreyReservable in 89min
- 26DaviesSubstitution of Andre Gomeshata 74 minutes
- 10G Sigurdsson
- 24GordonBernardin’s replacement at 55’minBocking in 81’min
- 9 Calvert-Lewin Bocking at 52 min.
- 21André Gomez
- The game is over: Sheffield United 0, Everton 1.
- End of the second half, Sheffield United 0, Everton 1.
- The attempt failed. Oliver McBurney (Sheffield United) shoots with his right foot from the center of the box and fogs on the left side. Sponsored by Enda Stevens.
- Yerry Mina (Everton) hits a free kick in the other half.
- Read Musse (Sheffield United) is punished after committing an offence.
- Jordan Pickford (Everton) is warned by the referee.
- The attempt failed. Sheffield United’s Oliver McBurney’s header from a very short distance fog on the right. Prepared by Oliver Norwood with a cross for a corner.
- Corner, Sheffield United. Prepared by Seamus Coleman.
- Jack Robinson (Sheffield United) is warned by the referee.
- Corner, Everton. Designed by Jack Robinson.
- Ben Godfrey (Everton) has been booked by the referee.
- Offside, Everton. Andre Gomez tries to pass on the prejudice, but Ben Godfrey is offside.
- The attempt failed. Enda Stephens (Sheffield United) takes a left shot from the center of the box. The shot is high and wide to the right. Prepared by Oliver Norwood with a cross for a corner.
- Corner, Sheffield United. Introduced by Ben Godfrey.
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) will be punished after committing an offence.
- Jack Robinson (Sheffield United) gets a free kick in the opposite half.
- Alex Iwobi (Everton) is punished after he has committed an offence.
- Ben Osborne (Sheffield United) hits a free kick in the far half.
- Attempt blocked. Sheffield United’s John Egan’s header from the middle of the area was blocked. Prepared by Ben Osborne with a cross.
- Corner, Sheffield United. Prepared by Jordan Pickford.