The loss to Everton in their last home game of the season could have been a blow to Sheffield United’s dreams for European football.
A seventh place in the Premier League will be enough for a place in the Europa League if Chelsea won the FA Cup on August 1, but all hopes of European football at Bramall Lane for the first time in club history will be extinguished if the Wolves win . against Crystal Palace later Monday night after Richarlison struck in a 1-0 win for Everton.
The Blades, who remain eighth in the table, were the team with the incentive and the team with something to play before kick-off with Everton awful since the restart unable even to finish in the top half of the table .
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However, Chris Wilder’s side, unchanged despite the below-par loss to Leicester on Thursday, started the game in disarray as both sides handed the ball away with frustrating consistency at the start of a largely first half. forgettable.
The hosts then began to pin Everton in their own half, but without working with Jordan Pickford.
Carlo Ancelotti’s team got a foothold in the match and settled in at the approach of half-time from the first half. A better touch from former Blade Dominic Calvert-Lewin would have seen him pass on goal with only Dean Henderson to beat, but he was unable to control Andre Gomes’ long pass and the goalkeeper recovered the stray ball.
Chris Basham’s cross had to be slapped by Pickford as the ball threatened to loop at the far post.
Everton almost went ahead just before half-time when Theo Walcott managed a cross at the far post and Calvert-Lewin passed his marker but directed the ball against the post from four yards.
This turned out to be a warning sign for the Blades as from the start of the second half Everton opened the scoring.
With less than 60 seconds left on the clock after the restart when Gylfi Sigurdsson threw a cross on a free kick to the right. Richarlison stepped in front of his man 12 yards away and glanced with his head past the Henderson dive.
A handsome block from 18-year-old Jarrad Branthwaite, who made his first Premier League start for Everton, denied David McGoldrick the possibility of an immediate response at the other end.
Everton suddenly had more bite and urgency about their game, clearly carried on goal. Henderson did well to fend off an effort deflected by Calvert-Lewin to keep the Blades’ deficit to one.
Wilder’s team was trying to push the game up, but, as was the case with much of what was a passing campaign, they weren’t cutting edge.
Everton were largely keeping their opponents at bay, although Pickford nearly gave them an equalizer in the 71st minute after spoiling John Fleck’s corner and having to slap the ball.
Unfortunately for the hosts, this was the last time the England goalkeeper really worked. McGoldrick managed an effort over the crossbar with the last kick of the game and Everton held on to win for the first time in five games.