Two Reasons to Get Excited About Sunday's Merseyside Derby


The last time a Merseyside derby was scheduled as the match of the week (in the much-coveted Sunday timeslot of 4pm GMT/11am ET), it was three years ago. Liverpool beat Everton 2-1 at Anfield with goals by Gerrard and Luis Garcia. Cahill pulled one back for Everton, but of course the match featured the obligatory red card. That time it went to Milan Baros.

Looking ahead to this Sunday’s clash between Liverpool and Everton, there’s a lot riding on the match other than the pride of Merseyside. The battle for fourth place in the Premier League is close with the red half of Liverpool just two points ahead of the blue half. A shock win by Everton here would allow the Toffees to jump over Liverpool.

Don’t count on it, though. The last time Everton won at Anfield was 1999 when Kevin Campbell scored the only goal. In that match, three players were sent off.

While the Merseyside derby is known for being very physical and usually low-scoring, this Sunday’s match should be a lot more intriguing and, I believe, will feature more goals than the typical nil nil derbies we’re used to seeing.

In anticipation for this weekend’s Liverpool derby, I want to share with you two pieces that touched my heart:

1) The first is an incredible video of what Anfield used to look like long before the ground was modernized. Whether you’re a Liverpool fan or not, watch this brief video. It gives me shivers every time I watch it.

2) The second piece I want to share with you is an heartwarming story of an Everton fan living in Canada who has traveled more than two million miles from British Columbia to England to watch his favorite team. That isn’t the story, though. What this Everton fan has done for others is wonderful. Read the story here. Here’s hoping that this Sunday’s match will be just as exciting to watch as the matches shown on the previous two Sundays in the same timeslot: Manchester City v Spurs, and Chelsea v Arsenal.

6 thoughts on “Two Reasons to Get Excited About Sunday's Merseyside Derby”

  1. Nice video of an old Anfield, early 1970’s that I think. There’s a feeling among a lot of Everton fans that apparently they will adopt a physical approach to try and knock Liverpool out of their stride and grab a win on Sunday but I doubt this will work. With the likes of Carragher, Gerrard and Lucas (who loves a battle) involved, Liverpool should be more than a match for their city rivals in that department. I expect a backlash following the poor display against Man U and a convincing home win.

  2. Hate to admit it ,but the first time I went to Anfield and heard the old Kop singing it sent a shiver down my spine. Of course I didn’t admit it at the time.

    Think it’ll be a blue weekend all round.

  3. Everton were cheated out of a draw last time these two met because of poor refereeing.
    GO back and watch the game, you will see what I’m talking about.

    Everton are out for revenge and Liverpool have lost at Anfield this year… to Wigan I believe? So they aren’t unstoppable at home.

    2-2 or;
    a 2-1 to Liverpool.

  4. Gaffer, a podcast interviewee of yours on the big match:

    The big clash at Anfield has everyone talking. It’s a big matchup of rivals who were once part of the same team but are now increasing bitter antagonists. Yes, Hicks v Gillett is turning out to be a stormer.

    Everton? That’s just a bit of local difficulty.

    Of course, beating Everton will be a nice way of erasing the memories of last week and the events at Old Trafford. And it’ll serve as a nice warm-up for a big Champions League clash with Arsenal.

    But biggest game of the season? Only in the crazy world of the Bitter Blue.

    Relations between the two sets of fans have deteriorated in recent years. It’s increasingly hard to have a rational conversation with an Evertonian. The phrase, “If it wasn’t for Heysel” has become a destructive mantra that has changed the nature of the relationship between the two sets of fans. For some, the shame of Brussels was that it stopped the ‘People’s Club’ from claiming their rightful place as the best team in Europe. The 39 dead? Extras in Everton’s “tragedy”. It’s deluded nonsense on so many levels but, for too many, it has come to be seen as the moment when Everton’s destiny changed, when they were robbed of their chance to be a big club.

    It has spawned a new ugliness in the city on derby day. Last year, there were Evertonians in the Anfield Road end making gestures mocking the Hillsborough dead and and holding up copies of The Sun to antagoinse the home fans. This was never quite “the friendly derby” of popular fiction but the younger elements on each side can’t even remember a time when it felt cordial.

    Which is a shame. Especially for those who remember the mid-80s. Then, for the FA Cup Final and Charity Shield games, thousands of Scousers arrived on the same trains at Euston, red and blue ski hats mixed up as we stated our collective identity with chants of “Merseyside”.

    The derby has become a much bigger game for Everton than us. And that galls them more than anything. Recalling the old days, I wish they weren’t so resentful.

    Looking forward, a good spanking at Anfield would put Everton in their place and make them even more bitter. I could live with that. All in the spirit of comradeship, of course…


  5. “Deluded nonsense on so many levels”

    Tony, I’m afraid it’s you who is deluded if you think that Heysel did not have a direct impact on changing the entire history of Everton Football Club.

    Evertonians do not begrudge Liverpool their five European Cups, 18 Championships and the rest. What we do begrudge is the inability of Liverpool Football Club and their fans to acknowledge that the actions of some of their fans on the fateful night removed the possibility of Everton FC playing in – and possibly winning – the European Cup for the first time in our history, and led to our double title-winning teams of ’85 and ’87 breaking up, and the most successful manager in our history leaving the club.

    For us (and other teams such as Wimbledon, who would have played in Europe for their first and only time), being banned from Europe for five years – for a tragedy instigated by Liverpool’s fans – is a difficult pill to swallow.

    Finally, to say that Evertonians regard the 39 dead as ‘extras’ is insulting and self-serving for your own one-eyed view.

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