Five great April 9 victories for Everton to look back at today, including their joint-biggest win over the lot across Stanley Park, that FA Cup semi-final clash with Tottenham, and three more recent successes with goals aplenty. Let’s go:
1909 - A record derby victory
April 9, 1909 saw Everton inflict their heaviest defeat on Liverpool since the Blues formed in 1878. The 5-0 thumping in the First Division remains unsurpassed to this day, albeit equalled at Anfield in 1914.
Bert Freeman, an inspired signing from Woolwich Arsenal the previous summer, netted two of his 38 goals that season in this hammering at Goodison Park. Meanwhile, Bob Turner scored his first and only goal for the Blues on his debut following his move from relegated Leicester Fosse.
John Coleman, with 20 goals that term, also netted, as did Wattie White to complete the rout. It ended second-placed Everton’s three-game winless run, but with only four games to chase down leaders Newcastle. Liverpool, meanwhile, stood 14th after this humiliation, and would finish just two points above the drop zone.
1995 - Amokachi subs himself on to see off Spurs in FA Cup semi
Elland Road was the venue, Tottenham Hotspur the opponents. For Joe Royle and his Everton side, only two more hurdles stood between them and FA Cup glory.
Even the pre-match build-up cooked up a tasty sub-plot. Royle became understandably aggrieved at the apparent desire of the media to see Spurs prevail and face Manchester United in a ‘dream final’. The prolific Jurgen Klinsmann, one of the first major imports on these shores, had recently pitched up at White Hart Lane, too.
Spurs were, in fact, initially disqualified from the FA Cup earlier that season as well for financial misdemeanours in the 1980s. Fortunately for them, then-chairman Alan Sugar was successful in his appeal, with a hefty fine increased but the ban and 12-point deduction overturned.
And so Royle, fresh from guiding Everton clear of almost-certain relegation under Mike Walker, took the Blues to Leeds to try and set up the final nobody else wanted. With 70 minutes gone, the game was in the balance; Matt Jackson’s header and Graham Stuart’s tap-in gave Royle’s men a 2-0 lead that was soon halved by Klinsmann’s penalty. At which point: enter Daniel Amokachi.
With Paul Rideout down injured, Amokachi seemingly substituted himself on for the Blues talisman, despite Royle wanting to give Rideout more time to recover. It proved the most inspired decision Royle never made, as Amokachi netted twice in the last ten minutes to help rip the form book to shreds and thump Spurs 4-1.
Cue that memorable line from Royle post-match: “Sorry about your dream final, lads, but bollocks to it. And that’s with a double ‘l’!”
2011 - The lesser-spotted Phil Neville goal
April 9, 2011 saw another late-season resurgence under David Moyes gather further momentum, as Everton dismantled lowly Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-0 at Molineux.
The game was done and dusted by half-time; Jermaine Beckford broke the deadlock on 21 minutes by heading home Leon Osman’s inch-perfect cross, before the collector’s item of a Phil Neville goal, one of only five in 303 Everton appearances and 13 in his entire career, arrived just before the break. A perfectly-arrowed strike from the edge of the penalty area, Neville celebrated by mimicking Tim Cahill’s trademark punching of the corner flag.
The third and final goal, moments before the half-time whistle, was by some distance the best of the bunch. The mercurial talent that was Diniyar Bilyaletdinov only seemed to know how to score worldies, and he added another to his collection here, picking a loose ball from just outside the centre-circle, driving menacingly at the Wolves back line, before unleashing a rasping drive into the top corner of Wayne Hennessey’s net.
Wolves remained mired in the relegation zone after this bruising, while Everton stayed seventh, extending their unbeaten run in the league to six games, with Europa League qualification still a distinct possibility.
2012 - The lesser-spotted Magaye Gueye goal
A year later, another comprehensive victory for Moyes’ men, as the final game before their FA Cup semi-final with Liverpool saw them take Sunderland, the side they beat in the quarters, to the cleaners.
Though still goalless at half-time and just 1-0 until 74 minutes, Evertonians needn’t have worried. Winger Magaye Gueye, an increasingly influential member of Moyes’ team then, broke the deadlock with the first of just three goals in his four seasons at Goodison, firing home from a tight angle to put the Blues ahead.
Then came the goal rush; three in six minutes to be precise. Steven Pienaar first placed home with pinpoint precision, before Leon Osman produced a carbon copy moments later. Jack Colback then diverted in Victor Anichebe’s effort to round off a 4-0 win for Everton. It left the Blues again in seventh, with Europe still not off the table.
2017 - The more frequently-spotted Romelu Lukaku goals
Indeed, an infinitely more common sighting at Goodison Park was that of Romelu Lukaku causing the net to bulge, and it was three years ago today that he bagged a brace in Everton’s 4-2 win over Leicester.
A topsy-turvy opening saw Tom Davies put the Blues ahead inside the first 60 seconds, before some comical defending allowed Islam Slimani to equalise after just four minutes; the first goal Everton had conceded at Goodison for more than two months. Before long, they were then behind, as Marc Albrighton’s free-kick deceived everyone, including despairing goalkeeper Joel Robles.
But soon after, a wonderful Ross Barkley cross put the ball on a plate for Lukaku to do what he does, and Phil Jagielka’s header from a corner meant Everton went in 3-2 ahead at half-time against defending champions Leicester, who had rested a number of players ahead of their Champions League quarter-final with Atletico Madrid.
Goals in the second period were in short supply; Lukaku driving home from a corner after a goalmouth scramble the only strike, in fact. With this 4-2 win, Everton recorded their seventh successive league victory at Goodison, with the Belgian having netted in all of them.