Derby Week: Top 10 Merseyside Derby Moments

The Merseyside Derby is one of the oldest, most hard-fought derbies in the EPL. It’s one of the incredibly interesting match ups every year because for those 180+ minutes every year, brothers and sisters, fathers, sons, daughters and mothers, best friends and coworkers become enemies in the city of Liverpool. It is one of the most violent games in the top flight, resulting in the most red cards of any match. Yet it’s called the Friendly Derby. A derby this old will undoubtedly have some memorable moments. Too many to fit on a list of 100, let alone 10. It took a lot of thought, but here is the 32 Flags picks for the Top 10 Merseyside Derby Moments.

1. The Hillsborough Memorial Before 2012 FA Cup Semifinal

I picked this as the top moment in Merseyside Derby history because it shows the brotherhood between these two teams. A genuinely shared moment before we get into the red cards and goals and rivalry. Both sets of fans had family and friends who went a match in Sheffield and never came home. I picked this remembrance before the 2012 FA Cup Semifinal match to represent the constant and continued support the survivors and loved ones of the victims have received from both clubs. Displays like this show that the two teams are less enemies and more rival brothers.

2. Gary McAllister’s 40 Yard Free Kick

Okay, on to the fun stuff. As you will know from my weekly Oh You Beauty posts, I enjoy a great goal. This one is definitely near the top, in terms of power and precision. Gary McAllister was something of a free kick specialist, but this is going an extra step up from that. To top that off, it was the winning goal in the 4th minute of stoppage time against the Blues. Legendary.

3. Clive Thomas (1977)

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find video for this listing, but to put it bluntly, this man was not a good ref. His name is still synonymous with incredibly bad refereeing in the city of Liverpool to this day. The big incident for this list occurred during the 1977 FA Cup Semifinal between the two Merseyside clubs. The game was tied 2-2 when Everton’s Bryan Hamilton scored a goal. Inexplicably, Thomas disallowed the goal. The result of this draw was that the game had to be replayed, leading to Liverpool winning the replay.

4. Stevie G Hattrick, March 2012

Stevie G has always been one for big games, especially Everton and United. This hat trick, only his second in his career, put him at the second highest amount of goals scored against Everton. He is currently second only to Ian Rush, who could have also made this list for his incredible 4 goals in one game against Everton.

5. ITV’s Error

Now we’re starting to get to the goofier occurrences that somehow always seem to crop up in this match. First up is the ITV screw-up that happened in the 2009 FA Cup. The game was tied 0-0 in the 118th minute (the 27th minute of extra time). Everton is driving down the pitch when out of nowhere, ITV cuts to what you see above you. When everything finally gets back to normal, Dan Gosling scores the winner. Having worked in sports broadcast, I can tell you that some harsh words were thrown around there.

6. Luis Suarez “Flops”

Oh Luis. What a flawed genius you are. Seriously, this is some great mocking of the “football genius” that is David Moyes. Earlier that week, Moyes had come out in the media, discussing Luis Suarez’s propensity to dive. So what does Suarez do when he scores? Why, run over to Moyes and dive right in front of him, of course. #TopBantz

7. Robbie Fowler ‘Eats Grass’

Another legendary response to criticism from opposition fans. Robbie “God” Fowler had been accused of having a cocaine habit by opposition fans. Now, there’s two ways of going about this. There’s the mature, and boring, way which is to ignore it or come out in the media and squash the rumors. Then, there’s the fun way, in which Robbie opted for the latter. Robbie scores a sweet penalty to put Liverpool ahead. His celebration? He got down on his hands and knees and started sniffing the white endline. Gerard Houllier would later claim he was pretending to eat the grass. Nice try, Ged. Nobody was fooled.

8. Pepe Reina Juggles

I watched this match live. I’ve rewatched it at regular speed and slow motion. I’ve seen it analyzed by experts and lamented by fans. I still don’t know what the heck Reina was thinking when he volleyed that ball up like that. It wasn’t a particularly hard shot. From there, I can’t figure out why he threw the ball so weakly away from the net when he tried to correct his mistake. It was simply a howler of a mistake. Something Reina would become somewhat famous for in the following years.

9. Steve Gerrard’s 18 Minute Red Card

This match is always a heated affair. For Liverpool’s own, Gerrard and Carragher, it had extra meaning as this was their home, where they grew up. It makes sense that they would go into challenges a bit harder, run a bit faster, and yell a bit louder. Getting two yellow cards/a red card in the opening 18 minutes of the game, however, is a bit much. You almost have to try for that. This match was one of the crazier ones, with two red cards and four goals (including an own goal from Phil Neville).

10. Graham Poll Pulls a Clive Thomas

Another bad refereeing display that cost Everton points. While the video above doesn’t have sound, what happened was that near the end of the April 2000 derby match, Liverpool goalkeeper, Sander Westerveld, cleared the ball into Everton’s Don Hutchison. The ball ricocheted off his back and into the goal. Luckily for Liveprool, Graham Poll blew the whistle to end the game before it went in the net. Slow motion replay of the game, however, showed that Poll was mistaken and the goal should have stood. Poll would later write that he regretted the decision and should have allowed the goal. Too little, too late for Evertonians, I’m afraid.

Did we leave anything off? Respond below or tweet us @32flags. Come on, you Reds!

(Sorry, couldn’t help myself)

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.