Premier League - Five classic Merseyside derbies

The first Merseyside derby of the season is nearly upon us, so what better time to look back on some truly classic encounters between bitter rivals Everton and Liverpool?

Premier League - Five classic Merseyside derbies

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FOOTBALL 1989 Hillsborough disaster tribute flowers Liverpool Everton

23 April 1977: Liverpool 2-2 Everton - Toffees denied winner at death

With a place in the FA Cup final up for grabs, the 1977 semi-final at Maine Road was a tightly-contested affair - and one that ended in controversy. Liverpool twice took the lead in Manchester, through Terry McDermott and Jimmy Case, but twice Everton fought back; Bruce Rioch and Duncan McKenzie levelling the scores. The match was heading for a draw when Bryan Hamilton netted for the Blues in the dying seconds. Everton fans thought their side had done enough to reach their first cup final since 1968 but Welsh referee Clive Thomas chalked off the 'goal' for an infringement and the game ended in stalemate. Liverpool went on to win the replay 3-0, only to lose the final to Manchester United.

20 May 1989: Liverpool 3-2 Everton - Extra-time Rush brace hands Reds Cup

In the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster, the 1989 FA Cup final was always going to be a memorable and emotional day, but the incredible action on the Wembley pitch served to make it even more so for the hoards of travelling Scousers. John Aldridge put Liverpool into the lead after just four minutes and it stayed that way until virtually the last kick of the game when Stuart McCall sparked a delirious Evertonian pitch invasion by poking the ball home. On as a substitute, Ian Rush then restored Liverpool's lead in extra time before McCall again gave the blue half of Merseyside hope with his second equaliser of the day. But, just as in 1986 when he netted twice to down Everton in the first all-Merseyside final, Rush was to have the last laugh, heading what proved to be Liverpool's winner on 104 minutes.

20 February 1991: Everton 4-4 Liverpool - Blues refuse to be beaten in replay thriller

Perhaps the greatest of all Merseyside derbies, the FA Cup once again paired the two sides together in 1991, this time in the fifth round. After a dull and goalless first game at Anfield, the tie exploded into life in the Goodison Park replay. Peter Beardsley twice put Liverpool ahead, only for Graeme Sharp to equalise on both occasions. That man Rush then headed the Reds in front and his goal looked to have sealed Liverpool's progress to the next round, only for substitute Tony Cottee to slide in a dramatic leveller in the last minute. Cottee was again the Everton hero in extra time, bringing his side level for an amazing fourth time in the match after John Barnes had fired Liverpool back in front. Everton went on to win the second replay 1-0.

25 March 2006: Liverpool 3-1 Everton - Gerrard off but Reds hold on for win

The 2005-2006 Anfield derby ended in victory for battling Liverpool, but the Reds were made to work hard for it - they had to play most of the match with 10 men following Steven Gerrard's early dismissal for a second bookable offence. But, thanks to a Phil Neville own-goal just before the half-time whistle and Luis Garcia's lovely chip immediately after the restart, the hosts found themselves in the unlikely position of being two goals to the good, despite their numerical disadvantage. Tim Cahill brought Everton back into the game on 61 minutes but when Andy van der Meyde was sent off for elbowing Xabi Alonso, Liverpool seized the moment and Harry Kewell sealed all three points in front of the Kop with six minutes remaining.

9 September 2006: Everton 3-0 Liverpool - Everton go goal crazy

Everton were able to exact revenge just five months later when Liverpool made the short trip across Stanley Park to Goodison. The Toffees had not scored three in a league derby for 40 years, but some calamitous first-half defending from the visitors gifted opportunities to Tim Cahill and Andy Johnson to put Everton two up. And when Johnson bagged a second in injury time following a comical error from Jose Reina, not only did Everton record just their second win over Liverpool in seven years and go top of the league in the process, they also emphatically gained local bragging rights.

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