Sheffield United 2-2 Everton: How ‘huge’ Jordan Pickford justified his status with crucial three save

Jordan Pickford
Jordan Pickford became the first Everton goalkeeper to score an own goal in the Premier League since September 2016, but had the last word with a crucial three save.

Football is a game of two halves, as the old adage goes, and it certainly was the case for Jordan Pickford at Bramall Lane on Saturday.

The Everton goalkeeper was unlucky to score an own goal in the first half against Sheffield United, but he saved a stunning hat-trick in stoppage time to conserve a point for his side.

the Draw 2-2 in an entertaining lunchtime game Both sides were allowed to collect their first points of the campaign, but Sean Dyke’s men would be grateful for a great help from their first number.

“I have to be ready,” Pickford told TNT Sports. “I know the game was 98 minutes, but the coach told us there would be 100-minute matches, so we never lack focus.”

“They got a bit lucky with the second goal, but that performance we should have taken three points from.”

“Jordan Pickford made two fantastic saves and you think about how crazy football is,” Dyche said. “It would have been an injustice[if Everton had lost].”

“Big” Pickford saves the day

Jordan Pickford
Pickford smiled at the home fans after his stunning stoppage time save

Pickford embarks on international duty with England knowing his late heroics have given Everton a huge boost as they go into the break with a point down rather than stay at zero.

Abdoulaye Doucoure opened the scoring with Everton’s first league goal of the season, but the Blades responded with Cameron Archer’s first goal for them.

Just before half-time, the £18m signing from Aston Villa fired a shot that hit the post, but was rebounded off Pickford and into the net.

The former Sunderland keeper couldn’t believe his luck, raising his shirt over his face, after becoming the first Everton goalkeeper to score an own goal in the Premier League since Martin Stekelenburg seven years earlier.

But after Arnaut Danjuma’s equaliser, he made amends late in the second half with a series of saves that showed why he remains England’s undisputed number one.

Ollie McBurney took a corner kick in the 98th minute and shot it towards the goal, but Pickford pushed the ball away to the crossbar by stopping the reaction, before the Blades striker’s follow-up hit his head and bounced off the post.

The goalkeeper still has the alertness to kick off, choke the ball to get a much-needed point and then grin at the home crowd.

“We all thanked him for that,” said Everton striker Danjuma. “I was standing near the pillar and I thought, ‘Oh no, wouldn’t this be our day?'”

“But fair play with Jordan, it was a great save and he continues to put in a great performance for us.”

Pickford’s best year is yet to come

In all, Pickford made six saves, including a sharp save from Gustavo Hammer in the first period and a shot from Luke Thomas in the second period.

Pickford, 29, has 54 caps and is close to 400 club appearances. Daichi feels his best years are yet to come.

“He works all the time, he’s a great goalkeeper,” Daichi said. “He knows his way in the Premier League and on the international stage, and he’s a very good goalkeeper as we all know.

“Goalkeepers and midfielders are the ones who are maturing the newest in football and getting better and better. You learn to read the game, be a professional, level and coach. The longer you play, the wiser they become and what the game is about.”

United manager Paul Heckingbottom said of Pickford’s late saves: “It was a huge moment and another example of why we love the game and how good the margins are.

“We’re going to need a lot of those moments to be on our side this season.”

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