Merseyside Derby (Liverpool v Everton)
Liverpool is a city known for many things – as a port, as the home of a very special sense of humor and the birthplace of the Beatles and a consequent revolution in popular music. It is also statistically the most successful football city in England. Between them Everton and Liverpool have won 27 league titles, and in the history of the First Division and its successor the Premier League at least one of the two teams has always been present. There has never been a season without one of either Everton or Liverpool competing in the top flight.
Unlike many other footballing derby matches, there is fierce partisanship and no quarter given on the field – in fact at one time the matches were marked out by the large number of fouls and yellow and red cards; the fixture has seen 20 red cards in the Premier League seasons alone (one subsequently withdrawn) , the highest tally for any fixture However the police do not call for crowd segregation at Merseyside derbies and there is no evidence of hooliganism between the two sets of supporters. Twice in the late 80s Liverpool and Everton reached the FA Cup final at Wembley and fans of both teams travelled peacefully together on specially commissioned trains.
The two famous grounds on which the clubs play – Anfield and Goodison Park are situated in the same part of Liverpool and are barely a mile apart, separated by Stanley Park. A frequent barb against badly performing home players would be to “get over the other side of Stanley Park” implying that they were only good enough for the rival side!
The head to head statistics show a strong but not massive Liverpool dominance. Taking League matches alone Liverpool have won 73 and Everton 57, 62 being drawn, with a goal difference of 264-224. If we include all matches (FA Cup, League Cup and the FA Community Shield, the figures from all 224 contests up to June 2015 are 88 Liverpool victories, 66 Everton wins and a goal tally of 312-256.
Over the years since the fixture was first contested on 13th October 1894 (ending in a 3-1 Everton victory) there have been many memorable matches. Both Cup Finals resulted in Liverpool victories (3-1 and 3-2) but an epic semi-final had a different outcome. On 20 February 1991, an FA Cup replay saw Everton come from behind 4 times. It is generally regarded as one of the greatest Merseyside derbies ever. We can say with authority that the Liverpool-Everton clash may be the Friendly Derby but the football and the passion it creates is invariably of the highest possible order.
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