Hardcore Blade fan Sam Fletcher gives us his scoop on Sheffield United’s defeat against Everton in the Carling Cup...
SHEFFIELD United have failed to make the second round of the league cup in four seasons, so maybe a loss to David Moyes’ Everton had a certain inevitability about it.
The two sides couldn’t be in more different situations with United sitting pretty near the top of League One and Everton just one place above the relegation zone in the Premier League.
Unlike the Merseyside outfit, Danny Wilson’s Blades have made a superb start to the 2011/12 season, winning three games and drawing one – the only dropped points coming against Tranmere Rovers in a 1-1 draw on Saturday.
Despite the ill-tempered reaction from the fans when Wilson was first appointed manager, the former Sheffield Wednesday manager and player seems to have brought some much-needed fresh atmosphere to the club.
It may have taken a while for the supporters to warm to Wilson, but the league table on the other hand took an instant shine to the new boss.
It will take more than a new manager though to ignite cup success for the Blades, as their only real League Cup run experience came in 2003 when they reached the semi-finals of the ‘Worthington Cup.’
Going into last night’s game, the Home side were always going to be big favourites but United could definitely play with some hope of a win as Moyes’ side haven’t shown - either in pre-season or in the opening fixtures - the edge they displayed throughout the previous campaign - Bramall Lane Favourite Neil Warnock took his Queens Park Rangers side to Goodison Park on Saturday and defeated them 1-0.
The tie began well for the Blades, as they applied brief spells of pressure on the Toffees, before top goal scorer Richard Cresswell netted his fifth of the season inside the first 30 mins against the run of play.
The delight was short-lived though, as Everton replied with a goal which, unfortunately for the Blades striker, went down as a Richard Cresswell own goal after a strike from Everton youngster Jack Rodwell deflected off his thigh and past the helpless Steve Simonsen, between the posts.
The Premier League side continued to show their class as Anichebe and Arteta both found the net before half time. A sigh of relief could be heard around the stadium as Everton found a comfortable lead.
The second half was a different story.
Possession was shared by both teams as Everton took control of a pretty uneventful climax to the match – Harry Maguire’s effort for Sheffield United and Leon Osman’s strike for Everton being the only real highlights.
It was always on the cards.
In the end it has to be said that United were beaten by a better and more deserving side, but impressively the two-division gap was never obvious as the two clubs met in a gritty and intelligent northern affair.
Danny Wilson and his players can take many positives from Goodison Park as they travel to Yeovil for an entirely different contest on Saturday and I’m sure any Misery in Merseyside will soon be forgotten.