Match-winner Gylfi Sigurdsson described Everton’s hard-fought 1-0 victory at Sheffield United as “a perfect night” as the Blues clinched a fourth straight Premier League success to move up to second in the table.
Sigurdsson struck the game’s decisive blow on 80 minutes, the in-form playmaker applying the finishing touch to a well-worked Everton move.
After Seamus Coleman’s cross was headed clear to Bernard, the Brazilian’s deft, volleyed first-time pass found Abdoulaye Doucoure. He laid the ball off to Sigurdsson who took a touch to set himself before drilling a precision effort past Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
Everton had created the better chances throughout a highly-competitive clash at a wet and wild Bramall Lane, with Sigurdsson, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Alex Iwobi all going close to breaking the deadlock before the Icelander’s late strike.
The win moves Everton to within two points of the Premier League summit.
“For the goal, Bernard brought it down wonderfully for Doucs and he set me up, so it was a nice little tap-in,” Sigurdsson said.
“The gaffer had actually pushed me into defensive midfield so I’m not sure what I was doing in the box!
“We needed to get the three points. We knew it was going to be tough coming here. I think Sheffield United have been quite unlucky this season.
“They’ve had a lot of games where they have just lost by one goal.
“They are not a bad team and conditions made it difficult for us.
“But to get a 1-0 win away from home, it was a perfect night.”
Everton’s collective determination and resilience has underpinned their recent fine form – the Blues have conceded just one goal over the course of successive wins against Chelsea, Leicester City, Arsenal and Sheffield United.
David Moyes’ West Ham United provide the next challenge for Carlo Ancelotti's side when they visit Goodison on New Year’s Day.
Everton's game against Manchester City, scheduled for Monday 28 December, was postponed on medical grounds due to an increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Manchester City squad.
“Things can change very quickly in this league,” Sigurdsson added.
“We had a fantastic start and then we had a few games where we dropped off.
“We’ve picked back up with four wins on the bounce but it’s still early on in the season.
“Hopefully we can continue this form throughout January and that will set us up nicely for the rest of the season.”
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