Sheffield United – Everton recap: Carlo Ancelotti’s men rebounded from a poor performance to put a serious hit on Sheffield United’s European dreams with a 1-0 win at Bramall Lane on Monday.
Richarlison’s 13th PL goal this season was enough for a win on a day Everton took the match’s only shots on target. Two. Blech.
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Sheffield United’s 54 points are good for eighth place, two points off Wolves who play later Monday and four behind Spurs. Seventh may not be good enough for the Europa League if Arsenal beats Chelsea in the FA Cup Final.
Everton moves 11th with 49 points, as high as they can finish this season.
1. Blades dreams dashed: Chris Wilder will have thought his team could do better but their finish was poor. The Blades couldn’t realistically hope to keep getting key goals from defenders, and ultimately their lack of punch will keep them on the European periphery. That’s no insult, as many had Blades as one-and-done in the PL following last summer’s promotion.
2. Ancelotti gets more food for thought: We said after the Villa draw that so few players had staked a claim to be part of the Ancelotti future at Goodison Park. Well, Michael Keane made another claim that he and Mason Holgate (who did not play) can do a job in the center of the park, and young Jarrad Branthwaite had a nice night at CB as well. Lucas Digne was good as usual at left back and Djibril. Sidibe was good on the right.
3. Richarlison the aerial monster:The Brazilian’s 13th goal of the Premier League season was his third of Project Restart. He got to the front of the pack to turn Gylfi Sigurdsson’s cross beyond the reach of Dean Henderson. The 23-year-old now has 41 PL goal involvements over three seasons between Watford and Everton.
Michael Keane — The Everton defender has had his fair share of feast or famine performances this year but he followed up a fine performance against Villa by again running the back with 12 clearances, two blocked shots, and 10-of-11 duels won.
The match took some time to get moving, and Everton saw a cross through the 18 go unanswered in the 20th.
Richarlison put Everton ahead just after half time when he raced to the front of the pack to meet Gylfi Sigurdsson’s free kick and head into the goal.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin was the next to tempt the scoreboard though he couldn’t defy Henderson.
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Ballcap-wearing Jordan Pickford was challenged by the sun in the late goings, and Everton was off the hook after John Fleck helped win a corner when Billy Sharp was whistled for a foul.
Richarlison couldn’t meet a Theo Walcott cross in the 80th as Everton looked to put away the Blades.