Everton 1 Sheffield United 0: Final home game free of pressure at last

This afternoon the Toffees could enjoy the final match of the campaign at Goodison Park knowing they were not under pressure to win for the first time in three seasons.
Everton FC v Sheffield United - Premier League
Everton FC v Sheffield United - Premier League / Lewis Storey/GettyImages

At last after two previous last home game relegation dramas, Everton players and supporters could enjoy the early May sunshine in the knowledge that the result didn't really matter in the end.

As expected Sean Dyche resisted any temptation to experiment with younger and fringe players from his squad and once again picked a basically full-strength side.

It was good to see Seamus Coleman lead out the players after his injury problems this term and he got a rousing reception from the Goodison faithful. Will we see him in royal blue next season?

The home team were the better throughout and largely controlled the match, although chances were few and the game definitely had the feel of an end-of-season fixture with nothing riding on it, something that the warm weather of course helped to underline.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin had several chances in a busy and effective performance and it was from his cross that Abdoulaye Doucoure scored his first goal since he picked up his hamstring problem at Burnley last December.

Calvert-Lewin's contract has just a year to run and it will be interesting to see whether the club moves quickly to tie him up to a new deal or not. That might tell us whether he could be sold this summer.

Doucoure could have added another just before halftime but didn't find the net again and that solitary strike proved enough in the end as it has so often in Dyche's rein.

In fact it is the sixth one nil win the Blues have managed this season and the fifth consecutive home match in which Everton have not conceded a goal.

All these stats underline the strength of this Toffees team which is obviously the defensive solidity that they have cultivated under Dyche.

But next season they will have to score more goals than they have managed if another repeat of these last few campaigns is to be avoided.

In the second half the Blades tried to make a game of it and had a few chances but didn't ever really look like getting back into the match.

So, Everton have concluded their campaign at home with another victory after a long period during the season when they couldn't buy a win at the Grand Old Lady.

Now, after the final game at Arsenal, attention turns to the summer and a fraught and challenging situation with so much uncertainty over the ownership and what will happen in the transfer window.