Richarli­son fails to put damp­ener on beaten Wilder

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Football - By Mike McGrath

Sh­effield United’s hopes of Euro­pean foot­ball may have faded af­ter Richarli­son’s win­ner, yet man­ager Chris Wilder re­gards the cam­paign as one of over­achieve­ment by his team.

The Europa League or higher was in their sights last week but

losses mean they limp over the fin­ish line af­ter flirt­ing with a mag­i­cal end to their first sea­son back in the Premier League.

Against Carlo Ancelotti’s men they failed to muster a shot on goal in the fi­nal home match of their cam­paign.

“Top six should never have been in the equa­tion from the minute we set foot into the di­vi­sion,” Wilder said. “What you try to do in a sea­son is get your play­ers and club to over­achieve and we have ridicu­lously over­achieved. They should not be em­bar­rassed by any sort of per­for­mance or re­sult. We want to fin­ish the sea­son on a high and get a re­sult at Southamp­ton.

“The play­ers’ at­ti­tude is in­cred­i­ble. We are go­ing toe-to-toe with es­tab­lished Premier League clubs – just look at the man­ager Ever­ton and the play­ers they have. They were de­lighted with the re­sult and our play­ers were dis­ap­pointed. That re­ac­tion says a lot about them.”

In a match with lit­tle goal­mouth in­ci­dent, Do­minic Calvert-Lewin hit a post with a header in the only mean­ing­ful ac­tion be­fore Richarli­son’s win­ner a minute af­ter the break.

Gylfi Sig­urds­son swung over a free-kick and his Brazil­ian team­mate steered his header into the far corner. “It’s all down to his move­ment and header,” Sig­urds­son said. “His fin­ish, the way he guided it into the corner, was top class.”

Dean Hen­der­son also pulled off a fine save to deny Calvert-Lewin, as two of Gareth South­gate’s Eng­land goal­keep­ers faced each other.

South­gate’s youth coaches may also take in­ter­est in who was play­ing in front of Jor­dan Pick­ford. Jar­rad Bran­th­waite, 18 last month, started his first Premier League game at cen­tre-back and played a huge part in keep­ing Sh­effield United quiet.

“It is just the start for him, we have to be pa­tient with him,” Ancelotti said. “He is re­ally young, but he is a good de­fender. It’s a plea­sure to man­age young play­ers like this. Our scout­ing de­part­ment did a fan­tas­tic job find­ing him.” Sh­effield United (3-5-2) Hen­der­son 6; Basham 5 (Zivkovic 83), Egan 6, O’Con­nell 6; Bal­dock 6, Berge 5, Nor­wood 5 (Lund­stram 69), Os­born 5 (Sharp 60), Stevens 5; McBurnie 5 (Fleck 60), McGoldrick 5. Subs Jagielka, K Free­man, Robin­son, Clarke, Moore (g). Booked Nor­wood.

Ever­ton (4-2-3-1) Pick­ford 6; Sidibe 6, Keane 6, Bran­th­waite 7, Digne 6; Gomes 6, Davies 6; Wal­cott 5 (Gor­don 84), Sig­urds­son 7 (Cole­man 88), Richarli­son 7; Calvert-Lewin 5. Subs Baines, Iwobi, Bernard, Steke­len­burg (g), Vir­ginia, Ban­ingme, Simms. Booked Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Richarli­son.

Referee Stu­art At­twell (War­wick­shire).

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