Continuing the series where I look back at my five favourite wins against Liverpool’s next opponents. This weekend Liverpool travel across Stanley Park for the Merseyside derby to meet Everton and here are my five favourite wins from past encounters.
27th March 1982
EVERTON (1) 1 (Sharp 24)
LIVERPOOL (1) 3 (Whelan 21, Souness 57, Johnston 81)
EVERTON: Southall; Borrows, Higgins, Wright, Ratcliffe; Irvine, McMahon, Ross, Richardson; Heath, Sharp
LIVERPOOL: Grobbelaar; Neal, Lawrenson, Thompson, Kennedy; Lee, Johnston, Souness, Whelan; Rush, Dalglish
Liverpool arrived at Goodison Park in March 1982 having suffered defeat in the League there only once since 1971. As defending League Champions they were sitting well placed in the League, 4pts behind the leaders, Southampton but with 4 games in hand. Everton were back in 12th and on a run of 1 defeat in their last 6 league games, although they’d also only won 1 of those matches too. Liverpool had won the derby 3-1 at Anfield in November and were in good form having won 4 of their last 5 league games, conceding just twice.
The game was played at a typically frenetic pace, with tackles flying in everywhere in an era when challenges like that were still allowed. 20 minutes in and Liverpool attacked with Johnston’s header coming back off the bar. Rush was unable to convert the chance but it fell to Ronnie Whelan to hit a shot through a crowd of players and past Southall for the opening goal. Everton were determined to get back into the game immediately and their pressure forced a corner taken on the left by Kevin Richardson. Grobbelaar’s punch failed to clear the danger and Graeme Sharp stabbed the ball home for the equaliser barely 3 minutes after Whelan’s goal. Adrian Heath then had a chance he should’ve hit the target with and then a good move on the right from Liverpool, saw Dalglish and Whelan combine to give Phil Neal a chance to convert but the England right-back was reluctant to use his left foot and his shot went wide. Rush finished off the chances in the first half after a good bustling run from Alan Kennedy, but he dragged his shot wide of the post.
Early in the second half Graeme Souness had a shot from outside the area go just over the bar after Brian Borrows had failed to clear a Dalglish cross. But then as the hour approached, Lee found Dalglish on the right edge of the area and his customary shielding of the ball allowed Souness to fire a right foot shot into the Everton net to restore the visitors lead. The game was still being played at a blistering pace and in one moment, Liverpool turned defence into attack with three great passes from Kennedy to Dalglish to Rush, who put Johnston through but his shot went over. Everton were trying to force their way back into the game as Grobbelaar was called upon to save well from Trevor Ross and then Graeme Sharp, who both had long range efforts denied. Then as the game entered the final 10 minutes, Souness played Rush in on the left of the area and his ball into the area was turned in by Craig Johnston who floated his shot over Southall’s despairing outstretched left hand. That effectively killed off any threat the home side could muster and Liverpool had done the double over their nearest rivals. This game became the 3rd in a run of 11 straight wins as Liverpool powered their way to another title. Everton ended 8th as Howard Kendall was beginning to have the makings of a side which would become dominant in English football in years to come.
6th November 1982
EVERTON (0) 0
LIVERPOOL (1) 5 (Rush 11, 51, 71, 85, Lawrenson 55)
EVERTON: Southall; Borrows, Wright, Keeley, Bailey; King, McMahon, Sheedy; Heath, Johnson (Richardson), Sharp
LIVERPOOL: Grobbelaar; Neal, Thompson, Hansen, Kennedy; Lee, Lawrenson, Souness, Johnston; Rush, Dalglish (Hodgson)
The following November, Liverpool were at Goodison Park having just knocked HJK Helsinki out of the European Cup in midweek. Their League form had seen them beaten just twice in 12 matches, whereas Everton had suffered 5 such setbacks already. Everton were unbeaten at home, though, winning 4 of their 6 matches at Goodison. Over 52,000 packed into the ground and witnessed a goalscoring masterclass.
On a windy Saturday in November, Billy Wright should’ve given the home side the lead when he failed to keep his header down, despite being unchallenged. Just after 10 minutes gone and Alan Hansen intercepted a pass from Andy King in midfield and started out on a familiar charge forward. He slipped one challenge in the centre circle and then played a perfectly weighted pass for Ian Rush to run onto and he calmly slotted the ball past Southall to give the visitors the lead. Within minutes a ball forward on the right from Sammy Lee found Rush clear of the defence again, but his shot hit the bar. Everton were getting torn apart by the sheer pace of Rush. Southall was being let down by his defence and one such chance saw him pull off a great reaction save from a Dalglish header. A ball cleared out of defence was again clumsily dealt with by Glenn Keeley, allowing Rush to put Dalglish in but his shot narrowly went over. The game was not yet at the halfway mark and yet Liverpool could’ve had 5. In a controversial moment, Dalglish headed Liverpool further in front only to find the linesman had put his flag up for offside. The referee initially ignored it but Everton’s protests were enough to persuade him to consult his assistant and the goal was chalked off. Back then replays weren’t shown from all angles, but looking at the footage again the flag was definitely down when the ball was played. Soon after, Hansen’s ball from the back saw Dalglish get clear of Keeley but the Everton defender, on loan from Blackburn, pulled him back and gave the referee no option but to send him off. It was Keeley’s first appearance for the Blues and he’d now left his side completely in the lurch. From the resulting free-kick, Sammy Lee’s shot hit the wall but as it bounced around he had another go and hit the bar with the ball bouncing back off Southall, agonizingly wide of the post. Liverpool were relentless and even Mark Lawrenson got in on the act but his header was just wide. The pace had again been frenetic and somehow there was only 1 goal in it at half-time although Everton looked shell-shocked.
Early in the second period Hansen again brought the ball out from the back and found Rush, about 30 yards out. He ran forward and then hit a shot which got deflected, leaving Southall stranded. Finally Liverpool had doubled their lead. Lawrenson, playing in midfield, then charged forward releasing Rush on the left. His looping cross was headed just wide by Dalglish. But it wasn’t long before another goal came. Lee took a quick throw on the right and Everton were caught sleeping, as Dalglish was clear. His ball across the face of the goal was turned in at the far post by Lawrenson. Ten minutes later and a wonderful quick passing move involving Souness, Dalglish and Rush ended with the Welshman converting the chance, only to see the linesman had raised his flag for offside. Dalglish was orchestrating things and during one move he played a ball out to Rush on the right from the centre-circle, and was then on hand to receive it back on the edge of the area only to find his shot was straight at Southall.
With 20 minutes still remaining, Dalglish again put Rush through and he was clear of the defence, but his shot hit the post. As it came back Rush had time to fire the rebound back in past Southall for his hat-trick, the first in a Merseyside derby since 1935 (thanks Motty!). With 5 minutes to go the game resembled a training ground outing as Lee was given too much time in midfield and as he watched for the runs ahead of him, he picked out Rush and yet again he was clear of the defence and he neatly pushed the ball past Southall and then passed it into the net for his 4th goal. It was a horror show for the home side but Rush hit the headlines on a day when Liverpool could’ve hit double figures.
In Paisley’s final year as manager they picked up the League again and the League Cup again. Everton finished 7th in the League, denying another double for Liverpool with a 0-0 draw at Anfield.
23rd September 1989
EVERTON (1) 1 (Newell 18)
LIVERPOOL (1) 3 (Barnes 33, Rush 62, 64)
EVERTON: Southall; Snodin, Ratcliffe, Watson, Pointon (McDonald); Nevin, McCall, Sheedy; Newell, Sharp, Whiteside (Rehn)
LIVERPOOL: Grobbelaar; Nicol, Hysen, Hansen, Burrows; Venison, McMahon, Whelan; Beardsley, Rush, Barnes
For the first Merseyside derby in the 1989-90 season, Everton were top of the table with Liverpool in second. Liverpool were unbeaten in the League having recently put 9 past Crystal Palace, with Everton having won 4 of their last 5.
In front of 41,000, Everton were really up for this one. Sheedy had a shot from a free-kick saved by Grobbelaar and then a ball through by Nevin found Newell in on goal and he managed to squirt it past the Liverpool keeper to give the home side the lead. Liverpool then hit back as Venison’s ball into the area was headed against the post by Rush. Meanwhile, down at the other end, Sheedy’s free-kick from the right was headed against the bar by Sharp as both sides threatened to increase the scoring. Then just after the half hour, good work on the right by Beardsley saw his find some space to cross and John Barnes headed the equaliser. The game was poised level at half-time with the home side having the better of the first half exchanges, but midway through the second period Liverpool pounced and put the game beyond them.
Beardsley was again the instigator as he swept the play from right to left to find Barnes on the wing. He skinned Snodin and then his low cross was turned in by Ian Rush. Before Everton had managed to re-group, Beardsley was again on the ball and waited until the right moment to put Rush away again. His shot bounced up off Southall and Rush was able to bundle it over the line for his second in two minutes and Liverpool were now 3-1 up. Southall was called upon to deny Rush yet another hat-trick but Liverpool were comfortable winners in the end. Liverpool were again Champions that season, winning the title by 9pts. Everton finished 6th as Liverpool once again did the double over their nearest rivals.
16th April 2001
EVERTON (1) 2 (Ferguson 42, Unsworth pen 83)
LIVERPOOL (1) 3 (Heskey 5, Babbel 58, McAllister 90)
EVERTON: Gerrard; Watson (Pistone), Gough (Alexandersson), Weir, Unsworth, Ball; Xavier, Nyarko, Gemmill; Campbell, Ferguson
LIVERPOOL: Westerveld; Babbel, Hyypia, Henchoz, Carragher; Smicer, Hamann, Biscan, McAllister; Heskey, Fowler (Vignal)
When Liverpool turned up at Goodison Park in 2001 they were chasing honours on three front. They had already picked up the Worthington Cup beating Birmingham on penalties, and were still in the UEFA and FA Cups. They were also chasing a top four finish for Champions League qualification. Everton were back in 15th and desperate for points to continue their Premier League status. The fixture pile-up was such for Liverpool that they were embarking on 5 games in 12 days. They’d have a UEFA Cup Semi-Final 2nd leg against Barcelona coming up three days after this clash.
Just 5 minutes into the game a ball knocked forward by Hamann saw Heskey able to run clear of the defence and as Gerrard came out, Heskey finished in style for the opening goal of the game. Both sides has chances to add to the scoring but it took until just before half-time when Ferguson headed on a long ball from midfield and as Hyypia and Henchoz combined to stop Scott Gemmill, the ball broke for Ferguson to drill it home for the equaliser. 1-1 at the break and the game was getting tense. Midway through the second half, Everton had a free-kick which Liverpool kept out and the ball dropped to Hamann who turned and sent Fowler away down the left and his ball into the box was missed by Smicer and there was Markus Babbel up from right back to fire the ball home to put the visitors back in front. Liverpool had just been beaten by Leeds United to find themselves 6pts behind them in the chase for 4th place and they were desperate for the points.
Liverpool attacked again on the hour and Smicer tried to play Fowler in, but he appeared to be impeded by Gough. Referee Jeff Winter pointed to the spot, for what appeared to be a dubious penalty. Fowler took responsibility for the kick but hit the post. Everton pressed forward as they needed the points too, and as one cross came in, Hyypia was penalised for holding Ferguson and Winter again pointed to the spot. There were just 7 minutes left and David Unsworth made no mistake from the spot and Liverpool were looking like they’d thrown it away. Liverpool were desperate for a way to force a win but chance after chance went begging. Deep into injury time, Gregory Vignal surged forward to be held back by Alexandersson and Liverpool were awarded a free-kick about 45 yards out. McAllister elected to take it as the players grouped around the edge of the box on the right-hand side. McAllister looked for all the world like he would float a ball into the area, and with the Everton keeper, Gerrard, expecting just that, he hit a dipping shot straight inside the keeper’s right-hand post for a dramatic winner in the 4th minute of stoppage time.
It was a spiteful game with Everton having 6 players booked and Liverpool had Biscan receive his marching orders after 78 minutes. But the points were crucial as Liverpool went onto the claim 3rd place, as well as win the FA Cup and UEFA Cup in a memorable season. Everton ended two places above the relegation zone although their margin of 8pts gave them more comfort than the position would suggest.
30th August 2003
EVERTON (0) 0
LIVERPOOL (1) 3 (Owen 38, 52, Kewell 79)
EVERTON: Wright; Pistone, Stubbs, Unsworth (Gravesen), Yobo; Watson, Pembridge, Linderoth (Ferguson), Naysmith; Rooney, Radzinski
LIVERPOOL: Dudek; Biscan, Hyypia, Carragher, Finnan; Smicer, Gerrard, Kewell; Diouf, Owen, Baros
The 2003-04 season was only two weeks old when these two heavyweights clashed at Goodison. Liverpool had yet to register a win in their three league outings so far this season. Everton had a win, loss and draw under their belts.
Everton could consider themselves unlucky in this game although Liverpool’s finishing was far more clinical and ultimately, that’s what made the difference. Steven Gerrard was immense in this game, driving his side forward and encouraging Smicer, Kewell and Diouf to have their better performances in a red shirt. Rooney had chances for the home side but was probably short of match fitness to make a telling contribution.
Seven minutes before half-time and Michael Owen finally broke the deadlock. Kewell played a through ball for Owen to run onto and he deftly touched it past Simonsen and then rolled it in off a post. That gave the visitors a half-time lead and then seven minutes into the second half and Owen had doubled his, and his side’s, lead. Baros was involved this time and Owen finished in style to grab his second when he’d hardly had more chances up to that point.
Rooney had chances immediately after each of Owen’s strikes and Ferguson curled a free-kick against the underside of the bar to frustrate the home fans further. Then as the game moved towards its final 10 minutes, Simonsen came out to try and thwart Owen but the England striker’s cross found Kewell who drove past the despairing Naysmith on the line. It was Kewell’s first goal for Liverpool and crowned a fine win. Liverpool manager, Gerard Houllier became the first Liverpool manager to win four times in a row at Goodison Park.
Liverpool ended the season 4th with Everton struggling again down in 17th.
HEAD TO HEAD at Goodison Park
Liverpool win: 39
Everton win: 40
Liverpool goals: 132
Everton goals: 136