It’s that time of the year season again, Liverpool vs Everton at Anfield and it has as much weight as ever.
Liverpool in desperate need of a Premier League win whereas Everton will believe they won’t have a batter opportunity to win at Anfield for the first time since 1999.
As they reach match 238, the two Northern powerhouses meet at the home of the Reds on Saturday.
The Beginning of the Bitter Rivalry
Liverpool played Everton at Anfield for the first time in November 1894 where the game ended in a 2-2 draw. The Reds would get their first win against the blues at Anfield in September 1897 thanks to goals from Joe McQue, Dan Cunliffe and Frank Becton.
The longest unbeaten run at Anfield is the current one held by Liverpool which is near 21 years. The record for a biggest win at Anfield is 6-0 (1935/36) to the reds and the highest scoring game was a 7-4 win (1932/33) for the reds as well.
The War Years
Liverpool and Everton played each other despite the world wars but these games were in the Lancashire section and the North Region War league respectively. The First World War saw the red plays the blues eight times with the reds emerging victorious five times with two defeats and one draw.
The end of the first world war saw the first normal Anfield derby be played on the 27th December 1919 where the reds emerged victorious 3-1. This was the first game back in the old first division.
The Second World War-era still favoured the reds as they won at Anfield 11 times whereas the blues only won five times as well as two draws. The league format was different in the war league. This meant there was 6 derby’s a year with 3 being at Anfield. The highest-scoring game was in October 1943 where the reds ran out 5-2 winners.
Liverpool & Everton Peak Rivalry
The 60’s 70’s and 80’s are widely saw as the peak of the merseyside derby due to how successful both sides were in these periods. There were no merseyside derbies at Anfield for 12 years due to Liverpools relegation. The first Anfield derby back ended in a 0-0 but the talent on show that day was not to be ignored.
The 1963 fixture had the likes of Ron Yeats, Roger Hunt and a young Ian Callaghan who would go on to make the most appearances in the clubs history. Everton even had the likes of Alex Young and Brian Labone in their ranks. All names that would go on to achieve legendary status.
The November 1970 Anfield derby lives fondly in the memory of many fans and is one that started a barren run of 14 years without an Anfield win for Everton. After 15 minutes of the second half, the Reds were two goals down against an Everton team that were superior at the team.
A Steve Heighway masterclass of a goal and assist to big John Toshack got the Reds level and five minutes from time Chris Lawler popped up from right back with a volleyed winner. The Kop belted out YNWA as the reds went onto win the game 3-2.
This was a turning point and the reason start of Liverpool’s Anfield Merseyside derby dominance as since 1970 Everton have only emerged victorious at Anfield five times in the league.
The ’80s saw Liverpool dominate, however, the blue side of Merseyside did manage to win back to back games at Anfield for the first time since 1941. The Anfield Derbys were largely overshadowed by the ones at Goodison and the FA Cup games at Wembley in particular.
Despite it not being at Anfield, the Fa Cup final of 1989 sits at the top of most fans most memorable derby. Liverpool won the game 3-2 in extra time following a late fight from the blues.
The ’90s – Present
The penultimate decade before the Millenium saw a decline of quality from both clubs as the rise of Manchester United and Arsenal left Merseyside by the wayside. This didn’t stop the Anfield derby from being any less eventful. 1999 is a year that had two large events.
In 98/99 derby following a goal Robbie Fowler proceeded to eat grass – shall we say. This was in reply to drug accusations the Toxteth god had faced and it’s a celebration that has never been replicated.
The 99/00 derby was by no means less eventful. Francis Jeffers and Sander Westerveld were both given their marching orders after some handbags as well as a young Steven Gerrard who was shown a straight red card after a challenge on Kevin Campbell. The striker ultimately scored the only goal of the game that saw the Blues win 1-0. The last at Anfield to date.
Since this meeting the Reds have been dominant at Anfield, winning 11, with nine draws and no defeats. Rafa Benitez, Brendan Rogers and now Jurgen Klopp have helped oversee this unbeaten run.
Klopp has won four of his five Anfield league derbies, with two wins in the FA Cup. With the Reds needing form the German will definitely want to make it five wins in six to help re-kickstart the premier league season and get a win over their city rivals.
Liverpool vs Everton kicks off 17:30 GMT on the 20th February.