11/05/2024 17comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 1 - 0 Sheff United

Abdoulaye Doucouré scored the game's only goal as Everton rounded off their 2023-24 home campaign with victory over Sheffield United in the sunshine at Goodison Park. 

The Frenchman nodded in a simple finish with half an hour gone to settle a contest that had more than a whiff of  "dead rubber" about it at times.

The Blades, their relegation back to the Championship already confirmed, became the first team in Premier League history to conceded more than 100 goals in a season while, at the other end, they hardly troubled Jordan Pickford.

Sean Dyche made a couple of changes to the side that started at Luton the Friday last night, handing Seamus Coleman a start at right back and bringing Amadou Onana back in to replace Jack Harrison whose season is over after he sustained an injury.

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James Garner moved out to the right flank in his absence and Everton made the early running as Dominic Calvert-Lewin tested Wes Foderingham with an ambitious effort from the angle after he had cut inside from the right.

The Blues probably should have gone ahead in the 13th minute, though, when Calvert-Lewin brilliantly brought a deep ball forward under his spell and squared it to Doucouré but Foderingham spread himself well to block his shot from close range.

DCL saw a deflected low saved before Cameron Archer at Sheffield United's first sight of goal when he bent a shot a yard wide before Everton took the lead.

Calvert-Lewin won another long ball forward and laid it off to Onana who found Dwight McNeil to split the defence with a low pass. The striker took it wide of Foderhingham and clipped a cross back into the six-yard box where Doucouré arrived to nod into the empty net.

A flare-up between Calvert-Lewin and Jack Robinson where the Blades defender ended up shoving the forward to the ground with two hands to the chest saw him escape with only a yellow card.

The visitors then had a brief flurry but were denied by Pickford who put in an excellent tackle in his own box and then foiled Andre Brooks with a low save at his near post.

The first half ended with Doucouré's looping header off a Garner cross looping wide and the Toffees went into the interval a goal to the good.

Though Onana had the first real shot in anger five minutes into the second period that deflected over and, not the first time in what was a terrible refereeing performance overall, Stuart Attwell erroneously awarded the Blades a goal-kick, Everton's urgency to pad their lead largely dissipated until the final quarter of an hour.

Ben Brereton Diaz blazed a decent chance over the bar and failed to find the target with a header from a dangerous cross a few minutes later while Gustavo Hamer went close on the counter-attack when his shot was deflected behind.

Dyche withdrew Doucouré and McNeil for Lewis Dobbin and André Gomes and Garner just missed the far post with a skidding shot-cum-cross but it was Archer back down the other end who almost wiped out the lead when another 25-yarder flashed past the upright.

Then, in the closing stages, it was the appetite of Youssef Chermiti, on for Calvert-Lewin in a 79th-minute change, to score his first Everton goal that saw the hosts twice threaten to seal it.

First, the young Portuguese smashed an effort just wide of the angle of crossbar and post before Foderingham denied him with a save in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Finally, after Gomes had been forced off again with a laceration to his brow from a flailing elbow, Chermiti's great in off the byline ended with him cutting the ball back invitingly for Garner but he skied a left-footer with the goal at his mercy. 

With safety already assured, this was always going to be a game that lacked intensity and Everton did just enough on the day to equal a club record of five successive home wins without conceding.
It keeps them in 15th place, a point ahead of Brentford going into the final day. 


Reader Comments (17)

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Paul Kossoff
1 Posted 12/05/2024 at 00:27:20
Good enough from the team; we don't want anymore injuries before seasons end with a depleted squad probably coming up.

Poor Gomes, an eye that looked like he'd been in with the two Tysons, never mind one — why injure an opponent in a no-matter match?

Safe with games to go, we stopped the Red Shite winning the league, no new owners… but hope springs eternal.

Danny O’Neill
2 Posted 12/05/2024 at 06:42:40
I missed yesterday, just as I missed last seasons finale against Bournemouth. Doucoure scores the winner in both.

Maybe it's a sign. Don't let let Danny go to the last Goodison game of the season!!

Colin Callaghan
6 Posted 12/05/2024 at 15:09:21
Paul he was trying to clear the ball from the top of his own box.

Surely you didn't think there was any intent??

Niall McIlhone
7 Posted 12/05/2024 at 15:19:46
Good summary, and thanks for all of your match reports for the current season, Lyndon.

With regard to our final standing, I note Brentford are home to Newcastle next weekend in the final round of games: I am hopeful the Magpies will be well motivated for this one, as they jostle for a European place. If we manage to finish above Brentford it would bring in a tad more cash towards the operating costs.

I just hope we don't end the season with one of our Emirates horror shows, we've had more than our fill of those over the years. One last big hurrah please, Mr Dyche!

Andy McNabb
8 Posted 12/05/2024 at 22:34:54
Yes, thanks Lyndon - along with the others who regularly write match reports here on TW. Without those, I am never present - they are greatly appreciated.

We watched the 'lap of honour' which seems to have become a sort of family day out these days for the players. Realised, with a sinking feeling, I will never witness a game at the The Old Lady again. It's the first time it has really hit me.

We emigrated in 2001 and since then the family have all moved at various times. Goodison and my grandparents' graves opposite in Anfield cemetery have been the few constants I have been able to revisit whenever we are in the UK.

Christine Foster
9 Posted 13/05/2024 at 00:50:07
Andy, sobering thoughts; most expats like you and me hold dear the memories of Goodison.

For me, it's always been an evening match that is special. Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, beats the sheer exhilaration of going up to a seat in the main stand and walking out of the concourse to take your seat.

The majestic sight of a beautiful green pitch, the lights, crowd chanting and the smile across my face. It was and still is something that gives me a spring in my step, I swear I take the stairs two at a time despite the years.

Goodison will always lift me and, while I will never forget those moments, the crush of the crowd leaving, lifting my legs off the floor and the crowd so packed would carry me through the gates.

This is not a stadium, it's a home to millions through the years, a pilgrimage to others. To so many of us expats, it's so much more, it's the link that bonds us to who we are.

Progress should respect memories and the bigger the volume of memory, the bigger the respect. Goodison has made man woman and child argue and embrace each other no matter creed or country, a commonality we all understand.

The bricks, mortar, seats and sounds are etched into every supporter's heart. I don't know what heaven is like but, to me, it's the sight and sound that greets you as you emerge to take your seat from the top of the Main Stand. I'll let you know if it's as good as that...

Bob Parrington
10 Posted 13/05/2024 at 08:09:17
I echo what Christine and Andy have written. I doubt very much that I will be travelling back to UK during next season.

Talking with our sons, who are keen on us doing a 'families' trip late 2025 to go watch a game at the new stadium. But I have so many good memories of The Old Lady from the mid-fifties onwards.

Moved to Australia late '86 and been able to get across for about 10 games since due to work trips in Europe. But now getting on in years. At least I was in Rotterdam for the Cup Winners Cup Final.

Thanks to you both and others posting on TW. Thanks to Lyndon and Michael for your great presence.

Jerome Shields
11 Posted 13/05/2024 at 08:17:26
Andy and Christine, not living in Liverpool, I only get to some matches. But for the first time, I’ve seen the players with families present at the end of the game and it did strike me as a goodbye.

Everton were relaxed during the game and did play okay. I often think that in today's Premier League, it is hard for teams to be consistent, since a lot of opposition analysis goes into play and some teams have strengths that may suit that analysis, like Chelsea, but then have trouble the following week. Everton going on a good run after that.

But I must say that Goodison has looked run-down when I have been there, a thought that even occurs to me as I approach the stadium and, like the team, it has a decayed look about it. At the prices being charged, you would expect better.

For me, it has come to symbolise the self-serving management that enriched themselves at the club’s cos, Moshiri being a fortunate or unfortunate idiot. Take your pick – he will end up unfortunate anyway.

To a certain extent, the current crisis in the face of the new stadium opening has a silver lining in that many of the culprits will not survive the move. The good old times had highlights and memories but they weren't all good and you would not want to live in them now.

Such are the finances that the main heritage will be the pubs, if they survive. That industry has it's own problems. In Ireland, 84% of families don't want their family pub. It is going to take something like the Turkish barbers to run them. Most of them are Muslims, so there is no chance with them.

Danny O’Neill
12 Posted 13/05/2024 at 09:14:51
Bob, get you and your lads across. The Everton Stadium is looking fantastic and will be an iconic site on the Mersey. Christine, likewise.

I keep saying it as the day gets closer, but it's going to hurt. I'm going to need friends and family around to console me, or I'll be doing a Bill Kenwright.

I don't want to think about it too much right now. We have Arsenal on Sunday.

Christine Foster
13 Posted 13/05/2024 at 12:11:02

In years to come, Moshiri will be thought more kindly of, this dreadful phase will pass and he will have his legacy, whether he wants it or not.

It will grace the city and the Mersey, it will inspire those who come, those who play. Moshiri was a fool to place his trust in Kenwright, if indeed he did, but an even bigger fool with his money.

The new Everton Stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock may well turn out to be a folly for him personally but, my god, what a folly! What a magnificent home we will have. The next generation will not remember the pain and that's good.

Goodison Park will not be remembered except in old video reels long after all of us have gone. The baton will be passed to those who will revel in owning the city for the generations to come. We take the strain and feel the pain, for those yet to come.

Christine Foster
14 Posted 13/05/2024 at 12:24:45

I watched the Arsenal game against Man Utd, looking for the flaws, the weaknesses. They play football like Arteta did, classy, sharp and incisive, but they have issues against those who disrupt the flow, physical, stop them playing.

I can see Dyche's game plan: sit back, keep it tight and use set-pieces to out-muscle them.

Arsenal gang up on the danger men, three at a time. Perversely, we don't have danger men, all sort of average, no outstanding threat, which sort of makes it difficult for them (never mind us).

They will be desperate to keep us in our own half, not to give corners or stupid free kicks away. Because this is where I think they are vulnerable.

For once, Dyche should play with someone within 10 yards of Calvert-Lewin for the knock-downs. We have no pace out wide so play Dobbin next to Calvert-Lewin in the middle for the flick-ons.

No one expects us to win, everyone expects the same team to play the same way. So will Arsenal... we have nothing to lose.

Neil Lawson
15 Posted 13/05/2024 at 12:41:01

As I continue to age gracefully, and as my passion for my team dwindles just a little as the modern game becomes less attractive and a little disenchantment sets in, I do take great pleasure from the elegance and style with which your posts are crafted.

It speaks of the joy of Alex Young and his teammates, of the class of Howard Kendall's team of the eighties, and of the resilience and grit of Big Joe's battlers of the nineties.

Surrounding those memories and many more, is our stadium, our home, where our history lies and all the varying experiences we have enjoyed or suffered and anything in between.

I wish that the football of tomorrow could match the language of yesterday. No abbreviations, no sat, no stood, just proper footie played fairly, without the cheating and histrionics which appear to be acceptable. Without VAR.

All described and evaluated by you and others of a similar persuasion. All befitting what appears to be a stunning new stadium fit for a Grand Old Team. In my dreams and maybe in yours too.

Danny O’Neill
16 Posted 13/05/2024 at 12:45:29
Agree Christine.

We will have to defend and rely on set-pieces. Those free-kicks and deep corners to the back post for Tarkowski to nod it back.

Be there with us global blues.

We are safe and have a say in the outcome of the title.

Be brave Everton.

Tom Bowers
17 Posted 13/05/2024 at 13:05:58
A win is a win at any time but Arsenal are a far superior outfit and will be all out for obvious reasons.

I think Dyche has to start a strong line-up but, if things go pear-shaped early, I think the subs will appear.

We have had good success lately after a miserable run, so it would be nice to see a good performance to finish up with.

Brian Harrison
19 Posted 13/05/2024 at 13:39:27
The thing I noticed mostly about Arsenal which I hadn't noticed before was every corner kick they had was always to the near post for flick-ons. I think they won every near-post header and it is something I wish we would try more given the height we have in this side.

I think most teams are aware we like to hit the far post with corners; although we have had a lot of success from it, I would imagine Arteta will be very aware of that threat.

Jerome Shields
20 Posted 14/05/2024 at 06:23:01

As always, you have reminded me of the best spirit of Evertonians. Yes, he gave them a new stadium and it will turn into a legacy against all odds.

'To be or not to be that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them?'

The latter being your contribution to Evertonian's mantra. Something which gives me faith and hope in my own life.

Laurie Hartley
21 Posted 14/05/2024 at 12:22:42
Yes, Christine, you are right about Farhad Moshiri — a year from now we will have the best football stadium in the North. That won't sit well with our 3 closest neighbours.

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