Five of the best Goodison Mersey derbies

Everton host Liverpool on Sunday in what is one of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures on the Premier League calendar. 

Although the rivalry between the two Merseyside clubs has often been referred to as the 'friendly derby', it is also the fixture on the English domestic calendar in which the most red cards have been awarded. 

We take a look at some of the most memorable fixtures between the two sides that have taken place at Goodison Park…

Everton 2-3 Liverpool, April 16th 2001

This match is arguably remembered for Gary McAllister’s long range winner in the dying seconds, but this tie had a bit of everything. Emile Heskey gave the Reds the lead in the first half before Duncan Ferguson leveled matters just before the half-time break. Gerard Houllier's side again took the lead through Markus Babbel after the break, and when Robbie Fowler stepped up to take a spot kick on the hour mark, Everton's goose seemed to be cooked. Fowler missed, though, and after Igor Biscan was sent off with 15 minutes remaining, Everton had their chance. 

David Unsworth leveled matters at 2-2 with a penalty of his own, before Liverpool were awarded a free-kick from about 44 yards. Up stepped McAllister, who spotted Toffees goalkeeper Paul Gerrard slightly to the right of his goal, and proceeded to curl in an inch-perfect strike into the bottom-left corner of the goal to send Liverpool fans into raptures.

Everton 0-3 Liverpool, August 30, 2003

In what proved to be Everton's fourth consecutive defeat at Goodison Park against their great rivals, Liverpool dominated much of the match after going ahead. Everton's front pair of Tomasz Radzinski and a certain Wayne Rooney proved a thorn in the Reds side during the opening exchanges, but the hosts found themselves behind when Michael Owen took advantage of some sloppy defending to open the scoring seven minutes prior to the half-time interval.

The hosts nearly leveled immediately after the break when Mark Pembridge's free-kick caught out Jerzy Dudek, but they soon found themselves with a proverbial mountain to climb. Six minutes into the second half, Milan Baros broke through the Everton defense to set up Owen, who made no mistake from 10 yards out.

Everton continued to pepper the Liverpool goal but eventually, with eight minutes left, the result was put to bed when Everton goalkeeper Steve Simonsen appeared to misread a through-ball, which allowed Owen to play in Harry Kewell, who scored easily.

Everton 3-0 Liverpool, September 9, 2006

When this match kicked off, Everton had won the Goodison Mersey derby just once since the turn of the century, but the crushing defeat of Rafa Benitez' side would have gone a long way to banish some of the demons of yesteryear.

Tim Cahill gave the hosts the lead halfway through the first period after some slack Liverpool defending left the Aussie international free in the Liverpool box and he calmly slotted past new Reds keeper Pepe Reina. Andy Johnson's pace had given the Reds defense nightmares throughout and came as no surprise that the England striker doubled Everton's advantage shortly before the half-time break following another defensive lapse from the visitors.

The Reds looked rejuvenated in the second half with their possession-based approach, but ultimately paid the price for too many mistakes at the back, as Johnson scored his second of the day late on after Reina fumbled Lee Carsley's shot to set up an easy finish for the Everton front man.

Everton 2-2 Liverpool, 28 October 2012

David Moyes hinted before the start of the match that he expected Luis Suarez to dive at some point in the match, and the Uruguayan did just that following the opening goal. Whilst the opener was later confirmed as a Leighton Baines own goal by the Dubious Goals Committee, Suarez, thinking that he had indeed scored, ran half the length of the pitch and delivered an outrageous, diving celebration right in front of the Everton boss, much to the ire of the home fans.

The Reds doubled their lead in the 20th minute thanks to another Suarez goal, but Everton pulled one back almost immediately when Leon Osman smashed one in after Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones couldn't clear from a corner. Everton played with more purpose after pulling one goal back and it came as no surprise that the equaliser came shortly afterwards. Kevin Mirallas surged forward and crossed to Marouane Fellaini, who played in Steven Naismith.

After a frenetic first half, the second stanza wasn't played at the same pace as the first and as the match progressed it seemed as if both sides would be happy with a share of the spoils. But with time running out Suarez, never far from controversy, seemed to slot in the winning goal in the dying moments, only for the linesman to incorrectly rule out the 'winner' for offside.

Everton 3-3 Liverpool, November 23rd 2013

This encounter was arguably the most exciting of the Merseyside derbies since the turn of the century, as both sides played with plenty of attacking verve throughout. 

Philippe Coutinho opened the scoring for the Reds inside five minutes, but Mirallas had Everton level again three minutes later. Suarez once again proved a thorn in the Everton side and gave the lead back to the visitors on 20 minutes.

Joe Allen missed a glorious opportunity just before the half-time break to double Liverpool's lead, but after the break it was all Everton.
The Toffees had to wait until the 72nd minute to get back to level pegging, though, as then-on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku outmuscled the Reds defense to bring Everton level again.

Lukaku then completed Everton's comeback 10 minutes later to set up what looked like a fine victory for the hosts, but the match had one final sting in its tail. In the final minute of regulation time, Daniel Sturridge restored parity with a finish from close range.

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