As Steven Gerrard prepares for what could very well be his final Merseyside derby, we pick out 10 to remember – for better or worse – for the Liverpool captain.
It began with a win and a goal-line clearance in 1999 and it could all end at Goodison Park on Saturday. Gerrard has history in this fixture with red cards, goals and every emotion in between.
Here we pick out 10 Premier League matches in which Gerrard made his presence felt on the Merseyside derby…
Liverpool 3-2 Everton – April 1999
Gerrard’s first appearance in a Merseyside derby came in a 3-2 win in 1999 when Gerard Houllier brought him on to replace Vegard Heggem with 20 minutes remaining. Liverpool were already 2-1 up thank to Robbie Fowler’s brace but Gerrard, wearing the No 28 shirt, soon had another goal to celebrate and didn’t hesitate in doing so. He clambered onto Patrik Berger’s back after the Czech volleyed in a third but there was more drama to be had before the finish. Francis Jeffers pulled one back for the visitors and Gerrard had to clear the ball off the line from Danny Cadamarteri late on. Jamie Carragher and Jamie Redknapp were among those on hand with a pat on the back.
Liverpool 0-1 Everton – September 1999
Gerrard’s next Merseyside derby didn’t go quite as well his first as he experienced an early taste of the highs and lows that this fixture can bring. He was as one of three players sent off in an ill-tempered affair in the September meeting at Anfield. Kevin Campbell had put Everton ahead early and things heated up further when a fight between Jeffers and Sander Westerveld reduced both sides to 10 apiece. Having come on as a substitute, Gerrard soon joined them after a waist-high challenge on Campbell was punished by referee Mike Riley. Unfortunately for the midfielder, the visitors held on in stoppage time for the win.
Everton 1-3 Liverpool – September 2001
Just as he had two years earlier, Campbell scored the opening goal for Everton after four minutes, but this derby had a very different conclusion for Liverpool – and for Gerrard. He was enjoying something of a career high having scored in England’s 5-1 win over Germany earlier that month and this confidence was evident as he forced home a powerful equaliser across the face of goal early in the first half. That helped turn the game in Liverpool’s favour as David Unsworth subsequently brought down Emile Heskey to allow Michael Owen to score from the spot before John Arne Riise completed the comeback.
Liverpool 2-1 Everton – March 2005
Gerrard’s first Merseyside derby goal at Anfield came in the team’s glorious 2004/05 season, just months before his Champions League heroics in Istanbul. In the March fixture between the two teams, Gerrard netted the opening goal from 20-yards out when Didi Hamann tapped a free-kick his way and he went for placement to beat Nigel Martyn. Luis Garcia then doubled the lead when Martyn struggled to deal with a Fernando Morientes shot and though Milan Baros’s red card was a problem, particularly after Tim Cahill pulled one back, Liverpool held on for the win.
Everton 1-3 Liverpool – December 2005
This comfortable win was Liverpool’s ninth successive Premier League victory. A neat finish by Peter Crouch had given the Reds the lead before Gerrard’s deflected shot from distance also found its way beyond Martyn and low into the net. James Beattie did pull one back but Djibril Cisse soon restored the advantage and red cards for Phil Neville and Mikel Arteta in the second half made the result a formality. Indeed, Gerrard could even have added a fourth when a stunning long-range drive flew just off target.
Liverpool 3-1 Everton – March 2006
It was the same scoreline when the two teams met again just three months later but not such a good game for Gerrard as he was sent off in the first half for two bookable offences. The first was for kicking the ball away and the second came as a result of a fierce challenge on Kevin Kilbane. Fortunately for Liverpool, Momo Sissoko and Xabi Alonso won the midfield battle even in his absence and a Neville own goal followed by further efforts from Garcia and Harry Kewell were more than enough to seal the points. Even so, Rafael Benitez had a warning. “We must learn, Steven and all the players, that you can play with the brain as well as the heart,” he said.
Everton 0-2 Liverpool – Oct 2011
By 2011, Gerrard was a Liverpool legend playing under a Liverpool legend with Kenny Dalglish at the helm. The skipper was also enduring a slow start to the season as he recovered from injury and was yet to start a game by the time the team visited Everton in October. With the game goalless, Dalglish turned to Gerrard and Craig Bellamy and it had the desired effect. Everton had been controversially reduced to 10 men following Jack Rodwell’s red card and with Gerrard driving the away side on, David Moyes’ team were finally broken down late in the day thanks to goals from Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez.
Liverpool 3-0 Everton – Mar 2012
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This was surely the most spectacular performance of Gerrard’s Merseyside derby career as he became the first player since Ian Rush in 1982 to score a hat-trick in this fixture. It was also Liverpool’s biggest win over Everton in nine years and was all about the Reds captain as he became the record goalscorer in this fixture in the Premier League era. Two finishes either side of half time – one delicate and the other ferocious – set up the victory and Gerrard had the final word in the dying moments as his simple finish at the Kop End after good work by Suarez ensured he got his hands on the match-ball.
Everton 3-3 Liverpool – Nov 2013
In one of the more dramatic Merseyside derbies of recent years, Gerrard provided two crucial assists to begin and conclude the flood of goals at Goodison Park. It was the captain’s corner five minutes into the game that found Philippe Coutinho at the far post for the breakthrough goal but the lead didn’t last long as Kevin Mirallas equalised within minutes. Suarez restored the lead but two second-half goals from Romelu Lukaku looked to have won the game for Roberto Martinez’s men. However, Gerrard’s free-kick found Daniel Sturridge with a minute remaining and the England striker headed home to keep Liverpool in second spot.
Liverpool 4-0 Everton - Jan 2014
Liverpool were still maintaining their push by the time of the return fixture and blew Everton away in a 4-0 win at Anfield. It was Gerrard who got the scoring underway when he eluded Lukaku and Gareth Barry to power home Suarez’s corner and within 15 minutes Sturridge had added two more goals to put Liverpool out of sight. Suarez added a fourth in the second half and Gerrard might have completed the rout had he not allowed Sturridge to assume penalty duties in search of his hat-trick only for the deputy to blaze the ball over the bar.
Even in his most recent Merseyside derby there was the stunning free-kick that opened the scoring in a 1-1 draw, while there was an FA Cup equaliser in a game of the same score back in 2009. The Merseyside derby won’t be the same without him and there’s still the possibility of a Europa League meeting between the two teams later this season. Does the Liverpool icon have one last heroic performance left against Everton or will the emotions get the better of him? We’ll find out on Saturday Night Football…
Watch Everton v Liverpool live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 4.45pm this Saturday