Cameron Archer scored on his Premier League debut for Sheffield United but Arnaut Danjuma’s second-half strike rescued Everton a 2-2 draw at Bramall Lane.
Archer’s first strike for the club and a Jordan Pickford own goal saw the Blades’ overturn Abdoulaye Doucoure’s early opener to lead 2-1 at half-time.
But Danjuma, a summer signing from Villarreal, levelled after the break and that is how it ended at Bramall Lane, thanks mainly to Pickford’s miraculous double save at the death, twice denying Oli McBurnie.
Having both lost their first three games of the campaign, this already had a big-game feel to it and while both sides will be pleased to be up and running, they might also see it as a missed opportunity to get their first win of the campaign.
Despite those early struggles, it was an entertaining match with chances at both ends.
John Egan put a free header straight at Everton goalkeeper Pickford before James Tarkowski produced a fine block to deny Archer.
The Toffees also looked a threat, with Beto’s shot from the edge of the area deflected just wide.
And it was from the resulting corner that they went ahead in the 14th minute, finally breaking their duck for the season.
Tarkowski climbed highest from the corner and the ball fell to Doucoure, whose first shot was parried by Wes Foderingham, but the midfielder was on hand to tap home the rebound from close range.
Everton had an excellent opportunity to immediately double their advantage as they had a four-on-two counter-attack, but Danjuma chose not to pass and his shot was blocked.
The Blades responded well and Pickford produced an excellent save to stop Gus Hamer’s low effort from sneaking in at the near post.
A deserved leveller came just after the half-hour as Archer scored his first goal for the club.
Hamer’s cross found McBurnie, who teed his strike partner up to arrow a shot into the corner from 12 yards.
They completed the turnaround deep into first-half injury time as Archer was again involved, with his 20-yard shot crashing off the post and on to Pickford’s back and into the net.
Everton’s response after the break was very good and they levelled 10 minutes after the restart.
The Toffees worked the ball down the right and Nathan Patterson sent in a devilish cross which Danjuma tapped in at the far post.
Again United came back and mounted a concerted spell of pressure as they searched to regain their lead.
Yasser Larouci skied a good chance at the back post before Luke Thomas fired an effort straight at Pickford’s body, with Hamer seeing the rebound blocked.
The Blades almost stole it at the death, but McBurnie’s free header was tipped onto the underside of crossbar by Pickford, with the goalkeeper then reacting to turn the striker’s second effort onto the post.
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