Merseyside Derby or City of Liverpool Derby – a football match between two English clubs from the city of Liverpool – Everton and Liverpool. This is the longest derby in England, which has continued without interruption since 1962, when Liverpool returned to the First Division of the Football League.
Liverpool is statistically the most successful football city in England. Both Liverpool clubs have won 27 league titles, which is more than the clubs in London or Manchester. There has never been a season in which at least one of the two Liverpool teams did not play in the top division of English football. Both clubs have a rich history, so Everton is one of the twelve founding members of the Football League. The Blues only dropped out of the top division twice, having spent a total of more than 100 seasons in it, more than any other English club. Everton has won 9 championships in England, 5 national cups and one cup of cups. In turn, their neighbors rivals from Liverpool won the Champions League / Champions League five times, more than any other English club, became the champions of England 18 times, only in 2011, losing the lead in the number of national titles Manchester United won seven wins in the FA Cup and a record 8 wins in the Football League Cup, won three times in the UEFA Cup. In addition, since 1892, Everton won 45 times in the drawing of the Liverpool Senior Cup, and Liverpool – 39 times.
For the first time in the national press, the match between Everton and Liverpool was called the Merseside Derby in 1955, 19 years before the formation of Merseyside County. Previously, the rivalry of Liverpool clubs was known as simply “derby”. Sometimes the Merseyside derby also calls the matches of the Liverpool teams against the Tranmere Rovers club located in Birkenhead near Liverpool, however this club has never played in the same division with Everton and Liverpool, and therefore not often met with clubs from Liverpool.
Traditionally, the Merseyside derby is called the friend (English Friendly derby), as in many families of Liverpool you can meet fans of both the “blue” and “red” teams. Due to the fact that many fans have relatives and friends who support both clubs, the rivalry of the Liverpool teams is one of the few derbies that does not practice separate placement of fans in the stadium. Therefore, during the 1984 League Cup finals, fans of both teams sat on Wembley next to each other and sang “Merseyside, Merseyside” and “Do you watch Manchester?” Together. Since the mid-1980s, however, rivalry has intensified both on and off the field. Since the creation of the Premier League in the Merseyside derbies, judges have traditionally been forced to remove players more often than in other games, so the Liverpool derby has earned the reputation of being the most undisciplined and explosive in the Premier League. At the beginning of the XXI century, the significance of the derby for fans of “Liverpool” fell. For many fans of the Reds, the rivalry with Manchester United is more important. Nevertheless, the Merseyside derby remains one of the greatest and most significant in English football.
The traditional name “friendly derby” given to the Liverpuldian meetings appears relatively judicious. Indeed, there exists between these two clubs, located both north of the side and within two kilometers of each other, no antagonism, social, political or religious. In fact, division often transcends the family circle (which would be unimaginable in Glasgow, Rome, Milan or Madrid).
Before the turn of the previous century, Everton was playing at Anfield, but due to rent litigation, the executives chose to leave for Goodison Park. From 1902 to 1932, the two clubs shared the same calendar.
During the 1950s and 1960s, Everton was considered a Catholic club, often favoring Irish recruitment (like players Tommy Eglington, Peter Farrell and Jimmy O’Neill or manager Johnny Carey), while Liverpool FC was perceived as Protestant. In truth, the two clubs, each having a Protestant as well as a Catholic base, did not insist on these divisions3.
Unlike many derbies, violence between supporters is very rare. Nevertheless, after the Heysel tragedy, relations got a little tense, with some Blues fans blaming the Reds hooligans for the ban on English clubs taking part in European competitions.
Recently, after the murder of an eleven-year-old Rhys Jones in 2007, Liverpool invited the parents and brother of the victim to Anfield for a Champions League game. The input music of Everton players was played for the first time at Anfield. A standing ovation was made before You’ll Never Walk Alone was played.
The city of Liverpool is the most successful football player in England. Between them, Everton and Liverpool have won 27 championships and at least one of the two rivals has always represented the city in the first division. Since 1892, both clubs have almost participated in all the Liverpool Senior Cup. Everton won 45 titles and Liverpool 38.
The matches between Everton, Liverpool and Birkenhead-based Tranmere Rovers (on the other side of the Mersey) are also classified as Merseyside derbies, but Tranmere has never been in the first division. Pre-season friendlies are often played between the Rovers and the two big Mersey clubs, more for geographic reasons than tradition. Everton and Liverpool also have women’s teams playing in the women’s first division, but only Everton’s girls have won first division titles.
In the first decade of XXI, Liverpool played stronger than the previous one, although it was never able to become a champion. At the same time, the “Reds” successfully performed in cups and in the European arena, having managed twice to win the England Cup and the League Cup, as well as winning the UEFA Cup in 2001 and winning the Champions League in 2005, which was the biggest success of the team since the last championship title. In the Premier League, Liverpool was second twice. Everton again performed worse than their fellow countrymen. The only trophy of the “Blue” in the 2000s was reaching the 2009 FA Cup final, where they lost to Chelsea. In the Premier League, the team achieved its greatest success in 2005, becoming the fourth and for the first time since 1987, ahead of Liverpool in the final table. At the same time a year earlier, Everton ended the season only in 17th place.
In April 2001, fans saw one of the most exciting Premier League era derbies. At Goodison Park, Liverpool won a thrilling victory with a score of 3: 2, thanks to which the Reds, taking second place in the final table, received the right to play in the Champions League. Two years later, in April 2003, Everton lost at Goodison Park and dropped from fifth to seventh place, having lost the right to play in European competitions. In the 2008/2009 season, Liverpool and Everton met four times. In the fall of 2008, the Reds won at Goodison Park. In January, both teams at Enfield split twice, first in the Premier League match and then in the England Cup game. In the February replay, Everton managed to win and continued on its way to the final.
In the first decade of the 21st century, the teams played 22 matches with each other, including 2 in the FA Cup. Liverpool won 13 games, scoring 30 goals and conceding 9. 6 meetings ended in a draw (3: 3), including three times with a score of 0: 0. 3 matches with a total score of 5: 0 won by Everton, all three at Goodison Park. Average derby attendance was 42.0 thousand spectators per game. On average, 2.72 goals were scored per match.
The beginning of the 2010s was not very successful for Liverpool clubs. In the first three years, both teams never managed to enter the top five. The only trophy so far is the League Cup, won by the Reds in 2012. In the 2011/2012 season, Liverpool and Everton met three times, twice in the championship and once in the FA Cup, with the Reds winning in all three games. In the first game at Goodison Park, on October 1, 2011, Liverpool won 2-0 with Everton, weakened at the very beginning by the removal of Jack Rodwell, whose red card was later canceled by the Football Association. The second derby on Enfield on March 13, 2012, the Reds won thanks to hat trick of Steven Gerrard, who became the first player to score three goals in the derby since hat-trick Ian Rush in 1982. Wembley. In the FA Cup semi-final, Everton opened the scoring in the first half, but Luis Suarez equalized in the middle of the second half, and in the 87th minute Andy Carroll scored the winning goal, leading Liverpool to the Cup final, where he lost to Chelsea. However, despite the triple success of the “Reds” in the derby, the “Blue” in the final table ahead of their traditional rival. In the 2013/2014 season, the teams met twice. The first derby this season took place on November 23, 2013 at Goodison Park and ended in a draw 3-3. January 28, 2014 at the “Enfield” the hosts won with a crushing 4-0. That season Liverpool finished second, and their rivals finished fifth.