Sheffield United: Everton boss admits The Blades out-thought and out-fought his team
Marco Silva, the Everton manager, admitted Sheffield United caught his team by surprise at Goodison Park after changing their system ahead of kick-off.
Although he suspected the visitors would adopt a more conservative approach on Merseyside, curbing their attacking instincts and focusing on "being more compact", the Portuguese acknowledged he did not expect Chris Wilder to deploy a five man defence. The ploy worked a treat as Everton, who had prepared to face three centre-halves, failed to translate possession into clear cut chances before conceding a goal in each half.
"Usually, in the away games, they have been more expansive and open," Silva said. "But there were more a five man defence against us. Then we made the mistake."
The error Silva was referring to came just before the interval, when Yerry Mina turned an Oliver Norwood corner into his own net. United substitute Lys Mousset added a second during the closing stages, profiting from John Lundstram's superb pass.
"It was a tough game for us," Silva said, inexplicably claiming United did not warrant all three points. "Of course we didn't deserve the result but when you make mistakes like we did this afternoon you don't get what you deserve."