Pickford saves day for Everton in thrilling draw at Sheff Utd

Jordan Pickford went from despair to delight as his superb 99th-minute double save rounded off a thrilling 2-2 draw between Sheffield United and Everton, which did both winless teams no favours in their early season struggles.

The England No 1’s unfortunate own goal from Cameron Archer’s shot put Everton 2-1 down at half-time and while Arnaut Danjuma levelled the game at 2-2, it was left for Pickford to deny the Blades a late, late winner right at the end.

Oli McBurnie’s header from a corner was brilliantly tipped onto the crossbar by Pickford and the Blades striker had a second bite at the cherry – only for Pickford to save his shot onto the post and eventually to safety.

Earlier in the game, Archer – a £18m signing from Aston Villa playing on Premier League debut for United – had announced himself to the Blades faithful by curling in an equaliser for 1-1 after Abdoulaye Doucoure had opened Everton’s Premier League account for the season with a scrappy opener.

Despite a thriller at Bramall Lane, both sides will be left ruing the two points that fell from their grasp as their respective waits for wins linger on.

Cameron Archer celebrates after his shot strikes the post before hitting Jordan Pickford and rebounding in the Everton goal
Cameron Archer scored one and set up another to put Sheffield United in front

No defending, just vibes

With both sides coming into the game with three defeats from three, the two sides could barely hold onto the ball for more than a few seconds which created plenty of chances without dominance.

Team news

  • Sheffield United made three changes from the team who lost to Manchester City last time out. Will Osula and Benie Traore dropped to the bench, with Cameron Archer and Oli McBurnie started. The other Blades change saw Yasser Larouci start over the injured Ben Osborn.
  • Everton brought in Beto for his first Toffees start, with Lewis Dobbin and Dominic Calvert-Lewin missing from the squad. The Toffees named just seven substitutes on their bench, which included two goalkeepers.

Sheffield United spurned the best early chance as John Egan headed straight at Pickford from a free-kick, though Everton made them pay moments later with a set piece of their own.

A corner was headed on by Andre Onana and Doucoure forced a close-range save from Wes Foderingham, but the Everton midfielder was able to tap home from a yard out.

Everton should have put more past Foderingham in the first half with Danjuma seeing two good openings down the left blocked, while Gustavo Hamer stung the hands of Pickford at the other end with a fierce near post effort.

Abdoulaye Doucoure gives Everton the lead against Sheffield United
Abdoulaye Doucoure gives Everton the lead against Sheffield United

Eventually, that door was blown away. Hamer’s cross from the right found McBurnie in the box, who teed up Archer for a stunning finish high into the net from the edge of the box.

Beto, making his first Everton start since his move from Udinese, blew another chance down the left along with another chance for Danjuma, with Sheffield United taking the lead on the stroke of the interval.

Hamer released Archer down the left, with the Blades striker striking the foot of the post with another rasping effort. The ball rebounded off the back of Pickford in unfortunate circumstances and into the net to send Bramall Lane bananas.

That goal must have sparked an almighty half-time team talk from Sean Dyche as Everton came out the blocks flying in the second period.

Cameron Archer celebrates his equaliser with team-mate Oli McBurnie
Cameron Archer celebrates his equaliser with team-mate Oli McBurnie

Beto had two clear chances in the opening few minutes of the half, dragging one effort wide with his left foot, before heading past the far post from a corner.

But the Everton striker played a big role in the Toffees’ equaliser, laying off the ball to the onrushing Nathan Patterson, who squared for Danjuma who could not miss at the far post.

Almost immediately, United’s Yasser Larouci blazed over when he found space in the box, while his injury replacement Luke Thomas tested Pickford from close-range on his Blades debut.

Jack Robinson also blazed over for the Blades, while James Tarkowski put in a heroic block to deny the same Blades defender as the clock ticked into 90.

And on 99, Pickford left Bramall Lane and both sets of supportres on their knees to twice deny McBurnie in the last kick of the game.

Jordan Pickford saves the day late on for Everton
Jordan Pickford saves the day late on for Everton

What’s next?

Sheffield United travel to Tottenham after the international break on Saturday September 16. Kick-off 3pm.

Everton return to Goodison Park and host Arsenal on the same Saturday in the late kick-off, live on Sky Sports at 5.30pm.

Stream Premier League action on Sky Sports with NOW for just £26 a month for 12 months. Cancel anytime.

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