Derby Week: Top 10 Merseyside Derby Games

The Merseyside Derby has had its share of timeless games.

1. The Hillsborough Final (1989 FA Cup Final) LFC 3 – Everton 2

Everybody attached to the English Premier League knows about Hillsborough. Nobody moreso than the two Scouser clubs. This game occurred a few weeks after the tragedy and the script couldn’t have been written any better. The grieving team against their old rivals, two of the best teams in the league at the time. Liverpool score first, only for Everton to equalize. They go up again, Everton scores again. It takes a great cross to Ian Rush to finally settle the game. It’s made all the more meaningful because it’s the FA Cup Final. Simply put, not only is it the best Merseyside Derby, it’s one of the best FA Cup Finals ever.

2. 1st All Meseryside Final (1986 FA Cup Final) LFC 3 – Everton 1

The first all Merseyside FA Cup, something that would become something of a familiar site in the coming years, was a 4 goal thriller. Everton went up first, only for Liverpool to work into their stride and brush aside Everton on their way to winning another FA Cup. An all around entertaining match, which was a sign of things to come.

3. The Game that Broke the King (February 20, 1991 FA Cup Match) LFC 4 – Everton 4

While many other factors entered into Kenny Dalglish’s decision to leave Liverpool, this was his last game in charge before leaving on the grounds of failing health. For the neutral and fan alike, it was a thrilling game. Eight goals isn’t something you see every day. Everton would go on to win the replay a week later.

4. Ian Rush Derby (November 6th, 1982 Derby) LFC 5 – Everton 0

Ian Rush was a phenomenal striker, quite unlike anything you see today short of Ronaldo (not CR7). He was mentally and physically fast and could score with anything. This game just went to show that. He scored four goals that day, which would be the last Merseyside derby hattrick until Stevie G would score one decades later.

5. Gary Mac Leaves It Late (April 6th, 2001 Derby) LFC 1 – Everton 0

I discussed this game in yesterday’s post about the best moments from Merseyside derbies, but this game was just something else. Hard fought, neither team blinked and it took an incredible free kick from the man that inspired a generation of young Liverpudlians to separate the two. This game immediately entered Merseyside folklore following that goal.

6. The Golden Sky at the End of the Storm? (January 28th, 2014 Derby) LFC 4 – Everton 0

The most recent posting on this list. This game was in the middle of a historic unbeaten run for Liverpool as they would just miss out on the first title in over two decades. This was the game for many Liverpool fans when they started to believe it was possible. Cautiously, perhaps, but still believe.

7. Pepe Reina Plays Volleyball (September 9, 2006 Derby) LFC 0 – Everton 3

As I said in my last article about this goal. What was Reina thinking? The game itself was a complete blow out by Everton. They just looked like the better team. The old cliche about derbies is that you throw out the form guide for them because you never know what team is going to show up. That day, Everton looked the real deal.

8. Graham Poll’s No Goal (April 21, 2000) LFC 0 – Everton 0

Still considered in the top games by many, if only because of the controversy. It was an unforgettable game that ended with what should have been a goal in literally the last seconds. Poor Graham Poll had to deal with the guilt until he retired and apologized.

9. First Merseyside Derby (October 13, 1894) LFC 0 – Everton 3

The first Merseyside derby had to be on this list somewhere. Unfortunately, this was before any real video technology so no recordings exist of the game. Just imagine some old-timey soccer in sepia tone. Handlebar mustaches. Using the word “Bully” as an adjective for something good. I miss those things. But the game itself ended in a 3 nil drubbing by Everton on their younger brothers, Liverpool Football Club. This was at the time when there was really only 2 defenders, something of a 2-3-5, so it’s not too surprising that it was high scoring. Still, it was the start of something great between these two clubs.

10. From Bottom to Top (November 21, 1994) LFC 0 – Everton 2

Finally, this game, while looking like nothing too important, was actually the start of something special for Everton. Up to that point in the season, Everton had only won 1 of 16 matches. They had just fired their manager and it was Joe Royle’s first game in charge. What followed was an incredible turn around for Everton that would culminate in them winning that season’s FA Cup. Talk about comebacks, both teams could definitely use this weekend as a springboard.

About Jeff Snyder

Jeff Snyder is a professional writer and has been in sports broadcast for almost half a decade. You can follow him on Twitter at @TheJackAnty.