Mon. Oct 26th, 2020

5 of the Most Memorable Merseyside Derbies in FA Cup History

4 min read

​The Merseyside derby is always worth a watch.

Even if it isn’t an end-to-end, rollercoaster ride of a game, you can be pretty damn sure you’ll get bang for your buck. There’ll be blood, sweat, and tears, plus plenty of yellow cards, and the occasional red. No one wants to come off second best when Liverpool lock horns with Everton, making it a truly enthralling fixture.

James Milner,Alex Iwobi

Fortunately for all you lucky football lovers, the FA Cup third round draw has served up another mouth-watering encounter between the pair, with Jurgen Klopp’s men hosting the ​Toffees at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.

To get you in the mood for some more Merseyside madness, 90min takes a look at five classic clashes from previous editions of the competition.

Everton 1-0 Liverpool (11 March 1967)

Peter Shilton,Joe Royle

In 1967, there was such a high demand to see Everton’s fifth-round meeting with ​Liverpool at Goodison Park that the Reds decided to sell tickets to watch the match on the big screens at Anfield.

Quite incredibly, more than 40,000 watched the game from inside another stadium, while Goodison itself was packed to the rafters as 65,000 Merseysiders crammed into the grand old arena.

It was a seismic game at the time after Everton had won the FA Cup the year prior, with Liverpool collecting the First Division title the same season.

A half-volley from Alan Ball was all that separated the sides, the midfielder’s opportunistic goal handing the hosts a 1-0 victory, as well as bragging rights in the city.

Everton 2-1 Liverpool (24 January 1981)

There was plenty of hubbub before the Toffees took on their rivals at Goodison in 1981, having triumphed in only one of their last 20 matches against the Reds.

The ground would descend into raptures by the time the final whistle blew, but it was confusion that reigned supreme in the opening minutes as Peter Eastoe joyfully wheeled away after appearing to put Everton in front.

According to the official record, it was the frontman who scored the goal, though replays suggest his bobbling effort was hacked off the line by Phil Neal, only for the ball to rebound in off the latter’s teammate Avi Cohen.

Much like a VAR referral today, no one was quite sure if the goal would stand. Soon enough, the referee confirmed that Everton were, indeed, 1-0 up. 

Imre Varadi doubled the advantage with a tap-in at the back-post, but incurred the wrath of Liverpool supporters when he decided to celebrate right in front of them, with one fan launching a meat and potato pie into the forward’s face.

Jimmy Case got one back for the Reds in an affair that was exceptionally feisty – even for 1980s football standards – yet it wasn’t enough to deny Everton a monumental victory.

Liverpool 3-2 Everton (20 May 1989)

Kevin Ratcliffe, Dave Watson of Everton and John Barnes of Liverpool

Barely a month on from the Hillsborough disaster, Everton and Liverpool faced off in the FA Cup final.

The red side of the city was still reeling from the loss of 96 supporters, and this timeless clash was a wonderful way for Kenny Dalglish and his recruits to pay tribute to them all.

Liverpool broke the deadlock inside four minutes as John Aldridge struck, and they would hold onto that advantage until the last kick of the match, when Stuart McCall levelled, triggering a pitch-invasion from the Toffees fan-base.

A manic nine minute period at the start of extra-time saw the Reds win an emotional encounter, Ian Rush hitting two volleys past Neville Southall in the Toffees net, either side of another McCall equaliser.

The cup was Liverpool’s, and even Evertonians couldn’t be too upset with them on this occasion.

Everton 4-4 Liverpool (20 February 1991)

This was just a stupidly-entertaining game of football, with the match containing so many twists and turns that it actually lead to Dalglish’s resignation as Liverpool boss.

It should be no surprise he cited health concerns when stepping down from the Reds helm, having watched his team give away the lead four times.

Goals from Rush and John Barnes, plus a brace from Peter Beardsley, saw Liverpool creep ahead, only for both Tony Cottee and Graeme Sharp to net doubles, helping Everton reel their opponents in. 

This was the first replay the clubs had following a 0-0 draw at Anfield three days prior. A week on, the Toffees finally ended things, defeating the Reds 1-0 at Goodison to progress to the quarter-finals.

Liverpool 2-1 Everton (5 January 2018)

Virgil van Dijk

These days, when you look back on Virgil van Dijk’s Liverpool debut, you probably think, ‘of course he scored.’

However, hindsight is a beautiful thing. The Dutchman had only just sealed his £75m switch from ​Southampton, and he was yet to prove the money was worth it.

Well, Van Dijk sent out a warning to his critics with a match-winning header in the closing minutes of the game after Gylfi Sigurdsson’s clinical sweep into the far corner.

James Milner had opened the scoring with a first-half penalty, but no one was too fussed about the midfielder’s goal. The big story was Big Virg’s superb start to his Liverpool career, with that providing a launchpad for all of his – and the club’s – future success. 

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