Sheffield United have kickstarted their Premier League campaign with a well-earned point against Everton, although they were tantalisingly close to securing all three points if not for Jordan Pickford’s exceptional performance.
Abdoulaye Doucouré opened the scoring, but the Blades managed to take the lead at halftime thanks to Cameron Archer, who marked his league debut with a goal, and then got a helping hand from Pickford for the second goal. However, Arnaut Danjuma equalised early in the second half. Pickford denied United all three points with an excellent save with just seconds left in the game.
Blades: Foderingham, Baldock, Hamer, McBurnie, Archer (Traoré 75), Egan (Basham 67), Ahmedhodzic, Norwood, Robinson, Souza, Larouci (Thomas 67).
Unused: Davies, Trusty, Bogle, Slimane, Osula.
Everton: Pickford, Patterson, Tarkowski (Godfrey 88), Onana, Danjuma, Beto, Doucoure, Young, Gueye, Branthwaite, Garner (McNeil 75).
Unused: Virginia, Mykolenko, Chermiti, Lonergan, Onyango.
After an anxious start, Sheffield United earned a corner and Egan had a header saved following a Norwood free-kick, prompted by Branthwaite’s booking for a harsh tackle on Hamer.
Archer was then brilliantly set up for a goal-scoring opportunity by Hamer, but Tarkowski managed to cut out the danger.
In the 14th minute, Everton seized the lead from a corner, with Robinson initially blocking Beto’s shot. Onana was the highest in the air at the back post, and on the second attempt, Doucoure managed to force the ball into the net despite Foderingham’s valiant efforts.
Shortly after conceding the goal, Everton attempted to capitalise on the momentum. But the Blades grew into the game once they went a goal down. Larouci was denied at the near post, and Pickford made a swift save to deflect Hamer’s strike following some excellent link-up play down the right side with Baldock.
In the 33rd minute, United rightfully equalised. Hamer’s cross found McBurnie, who pinned his man and teed up Archer for a beautifully executed finish past Pickford.
Just before halftime, Beto released Danjuma, but a heavy touch allowed Foderingham to collect the ball and defuse the danger.
In the dying moments of four minutes of added time, United took the lead as Hamer’s pass reached Archer, whose strike struck the post, rebounded off Pickford, and found the back of the net.
Despite having the lead at halftime, it was Everton that seemed full of confidence at the start of the second period. The Toffees had a number of dangerous attacks, flooding men forward constantly. Beto and Danjuma were the main threat for the visitors, and the big forward set up Danjuma, who was fouled by Ahmedhodzic, resulting in a booking and a free kick after a lengthy VAR review.
In the 55th minute, Everton equalised. Patterson’s low cross from the right found Danjuma at the back post, and he slotted it into the net. United tried to regain the lead as Baldock caused trouble down the right, while Larouci missed a good chance.
United made a double substitution in the 67th minute, bringing in Thomas, for his Blades debut, and Basham. Archer was also substituted for Traoré with 15 minutes left.
Both teams pressed for a winner and United used Robinson’s long throw in the dying moments. And United almost stole the win, but Pickford made a world-class save to deny McBurnie, hitting the woodwork twice. Both sides have their first point on the board.