AHEAD of Monday night’s Merseyside derby, TAW contributors look back at nine of Liverpool’s best derby wins at Goodison Park.
Everton 0 Liverpool 3 – December 6, 1969: The Sandy Brown Derby
FRIDAY teatime, December 1969.
The end of term at St Columba’s and Christmas are days away. My dad comes in, fresh from bringing home our fish and chips, and places something on the mantelpiece. Without a word he goes out to the kitchen to help my mum plate up our tea. I’m watching Crackerjack on telly. Peter Glaze in a dress. Again. All a bit worrying for me even at that tender age. I look up and there, behind the clock, peep out two orange pieces of card: “EVERTON v LIVERPOOL…Ground 5/-…Entrance: Goodison Rd. Church End“. Crackerjack can get stuffed.
“Dad, am I going with you?”
“Yes,” he shouts from the kitchen.
Whooping, I tear up the stairs and hurtle back down wearing a red and white bobble hat. I give my dad a hug — jumper still smelling of vinegar and chip fat — I’m going to the biggest game of the season. For a 10-year-old, only the cup final could be more exciting. The ’60s were magical times for footy in Liverpool. Everton away. They’re top of the league, 10 straight home wins.
Over 57,000 crammed into the ground, floodlights blazing. And, in the end, it all boiled down to one name — Sandy Brown. Bill Shankly’s first league win at Goodison came courtesy of a fantastic second half. Just after the restart Emlyn Hughes corkscrewed athletically in air to head home Ian Callaghan’s pinpoint cross. Everton panicked.
Shortly after, Peter Thompson sprints clear and crosses. Goalkeeper Gordon West is nowhere, leaving Everton full-back Brown to hurl himself forward, heading the ball into his own, open net. A thing of sheer beauty. I’d never seen a diving header before and I doubted I’d ever see anything more majestic in my entire life. My dad was ecstatic. I thought Christmas had come early. Everton saw their title dreams falling apart and pressed forward.
Shortly before the end, Bobby Graham robbed John Hurst just inside their half, sprints towards the Park End where the Kopites were massed, coolly rounds the hapless West, and slots in number three. Gloria in Excelsis. Merry Christmas, Sandy Brown.
Everton 2 Liverpool 3 – September 22, 1990: The Liverpool Swansong Derby
THIS one has always stayed with me. It was a thrilling derby. Up there with the very best we’ve been involved with at Goodison Park. It’s significance in our history is lost, really, but looking back it told us everything.
No-one talks about this game. It became lost in a season that Liverpool FC became lost within. The 1990-91 campaign is one of the most important in the history of a great club. It marked the end of around 25 years of near total dominance of English and, to some extent, European football.
You must see the highlights of this game. It’s an incredible watch. You’ll be witness to a sporting giant in its death throes. Magnificent but fatally flawed. You’ll be slack-jawed in awe of the sight of Peter Beardsley, John Barnes and Ian Rush tearing Everton apart and silencing Goodison. I was there that day. Watching mine and Liverpool’s seventh straight win of the new season. The Reds were in the middle of a run that would see them win 11 of their first 12.
Liverpool were 3-0 up inside the hour — Beardsley, a Barnes pen, and then Beardsley again. As we basked in the rain and laughed at the Blues, we knew the glory that was Liverpool FC and that it would go on forever. No-one told us that we only had eight more months and then it would all be over.
Within six months our fantastic manager, our best ever player, our god in human form — Kenny Dalglish — would resign a broken man. Who could have foretold that turn of events on that September afternoon?
The game, though, hinted at our season to come in microcosm. Liverpool were brilliant and then flawed. Not abject, but full of issues suddenly, frightened. It was like they knew what was coming. A poor Everton pulled two goals back in the last half-hour, and nearly equalised in the dying seconds. The Reds’ defence was not a Liverpool defence. Bruce Grobbelaar full of errors and the likes of Glenn Hysen, David Burrows and Barry Venison clearly not good enough to be part of a Liverpool back four.
The relief when the whistle blew brought ecstatic relief. We’d been outstanding. As brilliant as that side could be, but in the final analysis it felt like we’d got away with something. It was a feeling that was to haunt us. By the spring we were getting away with nothing. Kenny had quit, the team were in disarray and an era was coming to a moody and sad close.
Everton 2 Liverpool 3 – April 16, 2001: The Gary Mac Derby
IT just never gets old. No matter how many times you watch it.
Gary Mac lines the ball up miles out, stealing a yard or two as the Everton defence is lined up by keeper Paul Gerrard in expectation of a cross to the far post.
“Don’t you fucking dare,” it has since been revealed Jamie Carragher whispered to the Scot as the no-nonsense defender sensed the thoughts racing through the veteran baldie’s mind.
But he who dares wins, and Macca did just that — scoring what must rank among the most memorable of goals in 226 clashes with the enemy dating back to 1894.
As the ball settled in the Everton net, Carra was no longer dishing out threats, bouncing around Goodison like a newborn deer. Gerard Houllier’s face, the chaos in the stands – and what followed that season. You’ve seen it a hundred times. And you’ll watch it evermore.
A free-kick, from that distance, in the fourth minute of stoppage time, after your beloved Dogs of War had twice tore up the script to equalise Liverpool goals; the light on football skills, strong on posing Duncan Ferguson whirling his top around his head like he’d scored in a European Cup final, then David Unsworth leveling again after Emile Heskey and Markus Babbel had put Liverpool ahead.
Imagine losing after that. It looked certain to finish 2-2. It looked certain Evertonians had something to crow about. Then, the rug was swept away in an instant – sweet and sour delivered with one swipe of McAllister’s boot.
Liverpool rubbed it in by going on to add the FA and UEFA Cups to the League Cup that was already in the cabinet and secured a Champions League place for good measure.
That game and that goal was a catalyst for all that followed. Oh we loved yer Derby goal. Thanks, Gary. Thanks, Everton.
Everton 1 Liverpool 3 – September 15, 2001: The Steven Gerrard Derby
WAS a good one this, with loads of lasting memories. Liverpool had actually had a strange start to the season. They’d won the Charity Shield at Wembley, beating Manchester United, and the UEFA Super Cup in Monaco, beating Bayern Munich. However, they had only won one league game at this point, and had been turned over at home to Aston Villa a week before.
Everton, on the other hand, were in decent form, with seven points from their first four games and were above the Reds in the table. This wasn’t really a period where we routinely beat Everton at Goodison. The “Gary Mac” derby a few months earlier was the first time we’d won there since 1990, so nerves were certainly jangling when Everton went 1-0 up after five minutes through Kevin Campbell.
But then the fun starts. Steven Gerrard scores a belter and gives it loads. Emile Heskey wins a penalty because David Unsworth was an absolute yard dog and then John Arne Riise, John Arne Riise, ran down the wing and he scored at The Pit.
I actually watched this game in Tenerife. The bar was advertising “UK commentary”, which is actually a bit of a pain in the arse. What they do is whack 5Live on alongside the foreign TV, even though it is about 10 seconds ahead. It was a great for the Riise goal, though. He was still in our half when we knew he’d scored so we got to go “go ed lad, how do you score here?”
But you know my favourite thing about that game? Steven Gerrard shouldn’t have even played. He was sent off the game before against Aston Villa but, for some reason, back then suspensions took a while to kick in — probably because The FA were even more in the Stone Age than they are now. So his suspension started against Spurs the week after. Great that, isn’t it?
I hear holograms of Liverpool legends are all the rage now. If it’s possible can someone do a Gerrard one that every Goodison derby runs along the Lower Bullens cupping his ear and then sticking his tongue out? That would be brilliant. I’d sit in the home end for that. And then turn to the fella next to me and say “he shouldn’t have even played, you know. Should have been suspended, but the red shite fixed it”. And watch his fucking head explode.
Everton 1 Liverpool 2 – April 19, 2003: The Danny Murphy Derby
THE league table reads:
1) Manchester United 70 pts
2) Arsenal 67 pts
3) Newcastle United 61 pts
4) Chelsea 60 pts
5) Everton 56 pts
6) Liverpool 55 pts
Not only are Everton above Liverpool, Everton are above Liverpool in April. I can count on about three fingers the amount of times this has happened in my Liverpool-supporting life.
The Reds strode purposefully into ‘The Old Lady’ with a back four of Jamie Carragher, Igor Biscan, Djimi Traore and John Arne Riise. After nine minutes it contained Salif Diao. The might of *super* Kevin Campbell and derby debutant Wayne “he’s better than Owen, y’know” Rooney were shut out by Big Sal, a lad who pirouetted into his own net and a Croat who was still atrocious at this stage.
The Ev had no interest in doing the pass the ball around and try to get it in the goal thing, they instead went out with the soul intention of fucking whacking us everywhere — an exciting change of pace for a David Moyes side. The fact they finish the game with nine men was testament to the Scot’s commitment to absolute, Grade A shithousery.
The individual quality of Gerard Houllier’s side ultimately shone through. It’s a really good goal from Michael Owen — a drilled shot into the near post — and a peach from Danny Murphy, curled into the top bin from 25 yards.
Liverpool leapfrogged Moyes’s men into fifth place — two points behind Chelsea — setting up a winner takes all (fourth spec) clash at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea won and were taken over by the head of the Russian mafia, who would go on to change English football forever.
Murphy won goal of the month, though, so it’s one of them, innit?
Everton 1 Liverpool 3 – December 28, 2005: The Graham Poll Derby
IT’S Christmas time, we haven’t conceded a league goal in over two months and we’re the current European Champions. It doesn’t get much better than that when your main goal in a Derby is lauding it over Everton — the only way it could have improved is if we’d have brought the World Club Championship back from Tokyo but we couldn’t as we were robbed disgracefully.
So after a good post-Christmas afternoon out around various Anfield hostelries we bounced across the park (I always go around but that doesn’t have the same ring to it) and into Goodison to point and laugh at them.
We were third — which sounds great but we were 15 points behind Chelsea who somehow had dropped only five points in their first 18 games — while they were 16th and had been knocked out of Europe twice before the clocks went back and were out of the League Cup as well. The only reason they weren’t out of the FA Cup yet was because it hadn’t started.
As games of football go it was largely as routine as it gets. Peter Crouch used his pace to get in behind an 83-year-old David Weir and then Steven Gerrard saw Joseph Yobo on the edge of the box and figured he could use his body to wrong foot a 90-year-old Nigel Martyn. Absolute genius.
James Beattie managed to get one back and send them in at half-time with hope (a bit like when Romelu Lukaku scored last weekend). Djibril Cisse then bounced out after half-time with a fire extinguisher and sorted that out. Nothing really happened for 40 minutes bar Goodison getting progressively more empty.
Except them getting two red cards is always funny, especially when it was Graham LIVERPOLL who sent them both off. He might not have been able to figure out when he’d already booked someone, but he didn’t half get under their skin.
Everton 1 Liverpool 2 – October 20, 2007: The Dirk Kuyt Derby
IT’S the rules: derbies get names. And this one is The Dirk Kuyt Derby.
It was very nearly The Lucas Leiva Derby.
It could have been another Ste Gerrard Derby and across the park it is probably The Mark Clattenburg Derby. It could well be The Tony Hibbert Derby but then which of them aren’t.
Some would argue it could be The Rafa Benitez Derby; in many ways it could be *the* Rafa Benitez game. We were turgid first half and deservedly behind, Gerrard runs the length of the pitch to win the first penalty early in the second half, which Kuyt rolls home.
Benitez makes the massive sub to hook Gerrard, Everton celebrate it like it is a goal, Dirk Kuyt should be sent off, Lucas nearly wins the game for Benitez, stopped only by Phil Neville getting sent off in yet another Derby and then Dirk Kuyt actually does win the game.
Then, Jamie Carragher fouls someone in our box, denies the foul and celebrates the win in effectively the same move, running towards the away end. Practically everyone in the world is left fuming. In one of his autobiographies Gerrard says he would never forgive Benitez for the sub. Practically everyone in the world being left fuming might as well be Benitez’s personal brand.
That and walking tightropes, often of his own creation. Often because why not. Someone has to make this interesting for him. I loved the gnarly bastard genius then and I love the gnarly bastard genius now, though I am worried Newcastle might be making him slightly less spiky.
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But even the gnarly bastard genius isn’t having this off Dirk. Kuyt working himself into the ground and collecting himself twice to just roll the ball beyond Tim Howard. Dirk’s mane, his cool, his balls of steel, whipping Goodison into a frenzy, putting them out of their misery.
It’s the perfect Goodison Derby win.
We were mostly poor. Our goalscorer should have been sent off. Everton went ahead in the game. We get two penalties. Everton go down to nine men. The only way it can be better is if we win 0-5. Kuyt would take a penalty to save your life. Kuyt would score it. Then he would pop round to yours and help you pop some shelves up in your back bedroom.
I met Dirk twice, you know. One was before The Andy Carroll Semi-Final Derby. I think John asked him if we would beat Everton. He turned, deadly serious, and said: “We have to!”
We do. It’s the rules. We have to beat Everton and Derbies get names.
Everton 0 Liverpool 2 – September 27, 2008: The Fernando Torres Derby
SEPTEMBER 2008, Goodison Park. The 208th Merseyside Derby. A day for Fernando Torres. He had a new haircut and a cob on.
After a first half of dominance that didn’t produce any goals, the Reds came out after the break with a purpose. Everton — ‘the dogs of war’ — came out to try and upset Torres, instead they inspired him to a three-minute brace.
The first, a sumptuous cross from Robbie Keane, who had to dig an unusually overhit pass from Xabi Alonso, to find El Nino — new barnet and all — who leathered it past TIm Howard.
The second was pure class, pure aggression from Torres. Keane, enjoying a rare good performance for the Reds, plays another lovely ball through to Kuyt, Phil Jagielka blocked but it fell to Torres, who smashed it that hard past Howard he nearly took the net out.
To compound the Blues misery, Tim ‘The Blag Hardman’ Cahill is sent off by Mike Riley on 80, for a foul on Alonso.
A quality afternoon from the Reds and an exciting afternoon for those hoping for the first glimpses of a promising partnership between Keane and Torres. Sadly that never materialised, but the Reds collected all three points against the Blues and that’s all you can ever ask for.
Everton 0 Liverpool 2 – November 29, 2009: The Joseph Yobo Derby
THE best kind of derby. Where Everton hammer Liverpool but the Reds still manage to record a comfortable victory.
Twelve minutes in, Javier Mascherano had a shot out of hope which should have been going harmlessly wide. That was until Joseph Yobo stuck his leg out and looped it past Tim Howard. Remember Yobo, by the way? One of those players who you’re pretty sure is shite but plays loads of games for a Premier League club.
From there, Everton began to craft their chances. None more glaring than the one which fell to that Russian lad with the mad name (Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, I googled it – they were right to stick to ‘Billy’). It sat up perfectly and he poked it wide from a couple of yards out.
Then Jo, that expensive Brazilian from Manchester City, had a goal ruled out for offside. He would suffer the same fate not long after when marking Pepe Reina at a corner. Two disallowed goals in 10 minutes and it’s probably not your day, lads.
Reina was forced into a double save 20 minutes from time, first from Tim Cahill and then Marouane Fellaini — the latter looking up to the gods and letting out a primal scream, as if to say: “It’s not our day this, lads.”
Yobo would once again make the Blues rue their missed chances as he hooked his clearance into the path of Steven Gerrard. The captain laid it off to Albert Riera, whose shot fell into the path of Dirk Kuyt to tap it home.
David Moyes looked like he’d seen a ghost, but then again he always does.
Nice one, Yobo.
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