Everton and Liverpool will contest the Merseyside derby for the 225th time on Sunday afternoon. In more recent times, the Reds have been top dogs when it comes to this fixture, winning 20 of the 49 games between the sides since the formation of the Premier League, with 19 draws. But it hasn’t all been doom and gloom for the men from Goodison Park. There have been some good times, too!
So here’s a rundown of the top five Everton derby moments since the turn of the century. Disagree? Have your say in the comments section below!
5) Cahill silences Anfield
For some, this may rank higher, for others, they’d rather see Jagielka’s name here instead. But Tim Cahill’s last ditch goal at the Anfield Road end not only salvaged an Everton point in a game that looked to have been settled 20 minutes earlier with a Steven Gerrard strike, but also denied Liverpool a place at the head of the Premier League table, delivering a blow to their title hopes.
As it turned out, Liverpool went on to lose out to Manchester United by four points – Cahill’s flick-on header at the near post certainly contributed to that. It was the first of three Merseyside derby fixtures in two-and-a-half weeks, and not a bad way to get things going.
4) Arteta and Cahill add to Hodgson’s woes
When Everton chants of "Going down, going down, going down," are directed at Liverpool, you know things are going well. It was the narrative of the Gwladys Street crescendo, as goals from Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta either side of half time condemned a dire Roy Hodgson team to defeat.
Overall, it was a comfortable game for the Blues. Liverpool were already reeling after a poor start to the season and Everton took full advantage. One highlight was Yakubu barging a hapless Raul Meireles to the floor, before Timmy the blue kangaroo put the hosts one goal to the good with a smashing effort. Arteta wrapped up proceedings shortly after half time, converting a shot following a short clearance from a corner against quite possibly the poorest Liverpool side in some time.
3) Gosling cut off by adverts, but gets Goodison rocking
You could call it Tici Taca football by Everton. After all, the majority of the watching nation missed the only goal of a fourth-round FA Cup replay thanks to an ITV blunder which saw Dan Gosling’s last minute strike replaced by an advert for Tic Tac mints. Not to worry, because the 40,000 strong inside Goodison Park saw it, and the cameras came back in time to record the wild celebrations inside the Old Lady.
It took two 90 minute games and almost a full half hour of extra time to separate the two teams, but Everton finally managed to put Liverpool to the sword and go on a run that saw the Toffees go all the way to the final. Dan Gosling’s goal helped propel one of the best Everton seasons in the past two decades.
2) The Carsley derby
The occasion was the 200th Merseyside Derby, it was exactly two weeks before Christmas and Everton had the chance to go second in the Premier League with a win over rivals Liverpool. It seemed destined to go wrong for Everton, but untypically it didn’t.
The game wasn’t really that good. There were a few chances here and there, but nothing that spectacular (perhaps aside from Cahill’s header from six yards out). Then came the goal. Liverpool headed clear an Everton attack, but only as far as Marcus Bent who played in Leon Osman. But there was nowhere to go, only the option to lay it off to Lee Carsley. The rest, as they say, is history. Anyone for a piley-on?
1) Liverpool drop the ball as Everton net three
It doesn’t get much better than beating Liverpool, but doing so comfortably is the icing on the cake. It was a day where derby nerves were dispelled quickly, rather than dragging on as per usual, and Andy Johnson had his finest display in the royal blue jersey.
Everton were two up at the half, and although any cushion never seems to be enough, there was an overwhelming feeling that Liverpool were never going to get back into the game that day. It was pretty much summed up when, towards the end of the game, Pepe Reina decided to assist Johnson rather than let his momentum carry the ball over the line to make it a triumphant 3-0.
It was the biggest Everton margin of victory in a Merseyside derby since the days of Harry Catterick, and a fine derby performance.