LIVERPOOL’S BEST EVER LATE WINNERS AGAINST EVERTON
There are many ways to a win a Merseyside derby, and Liverpool fans will be familiar with just about all of them.
There are the ones where run riot and notch up a score-line that embarrasses Evertonians to the extent that they can’t bear to come in to work the next day. There are the ones which are nervy throughout but end up being settled by a piece of quality the Reds can produce which the Blues can’t match. There are the ones where your homegrown captain scores a hat-trick.
But best of all, there are the last-minute winners.
Yeah, rampant goalscoring and liquid football are all well and good, but nothing quite beats watching the life be sucked out of the Gwladys Street after its inhabitants have just had their worst nightmare brought to life, does it? The pained expressions, the heads-in-hands, the furious gestures, the hopes, dreams and belief ripped away from them at the final moment like so often before.
Liverpool have delivered a last-gasp sucker punch to their fiercest rivals so many times over the years that it feels right we rank some of the best here now.
For the purposes of this article, we’ll be including home, away, and neutral venue matches, and a ‘late winner’ is defined as a winning goal scored after the 84th minute. These are the rules. Don’t @ me.
5. VIRGIL VAN DIJK — LIVERPOOL 2-1 EVERTON — ANFIELD — JANUARY 2018
Everton rocked up to Anfield for the second time in two months under Sam Allardyce’s tutelage believing they could build on the Premier League draw they earned courtesy of Wayne Rooney’s penalty.
What they didn’t account for was that in the period between the two matches, Liverpool had purchased the greatest defender of all-time.
With six minutes left on the clock, Virgil van Dijk rose higher than Jordan Pickford at a corner and nodded into the empty Kop net to restore Liverpool’s lead, crushing the spirits of the thousands of Evertonians in the away end as well as those of the Count of Monte Bisto himself, and ensuring Liverpool supporters had yet another derby victory tale to tell.
4. SADIO MANÉ — EVERTON 0-1 LIVERPOOL — GOODISON PARK — DECEMBER 2017
A tense pre-Christmas affair at Goodison last season saw precious few chances created by either side, before Liverpool once again stole all the points at the death.
Substitute Daniel Sturridge, the scourge of Everton so many times before, stole a yard on Leighton Baines on the edge of the box and struck a shot which seemed to take an age to make its connection with the far post, before Sadio Mané reacted fastest to sweep in the rebound.
Merry Christmas, Everton.
3. DIRK KUYT — EVERTON 1-2 LIVERPOOL — GOODISON PARK — OCTOBER 2007
The Liverpool end couldn’t believe it. The television commentators were stunned. Evertonians were delighted.
With a man advantage and the opposition under the cosh, the Reds were substituting Steven Gerrard and replacing him with Lucas Leiva.
But Rafa Benitez knew exactly what he was doing.
Gerrard’s performance was deemed too rambunctious and the idea was that his Brazilian replacement, who back in those days still crossed the halfway and had that awful mullet/headband combo, would bring more composure. And so it proved, as his stoppage-time goal-bound shot was handled on the line by Phil Neville, giving Liverpool the opportunity to steal victory.
The innately composed Degsy Kuyt stepped up and slotted home for the second time in the match to secure the three points.
Big credit must also go to definite Liverpool supporter referee Mark Clattenburg who, as well as awarding Liverpool two spot-picks and sending off both Tony Hibbert and Neville, refused to give the Blues a penalty of their own after Jamie Carragher had blatantly triple-suplexed Joleon Lescott to the ground in the dying embers of the match.
Fun fact: Andriy Voronin started up front in this match. I sh*t you not.
2. ANDY CARROLL — EVERTON 1-2 LIVERPOOL — WEMBLEY — APRIL 2012
It’s easy to forget just how even a match-up this FA Cup semi-final was. Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool line-up on a sunny spring afternoon in the capital contained Jay Spearing in the heart of the midfield, Jordan Henderson manning the left wing, and Brad Jones, a man who had barely played any competitive football for two years (and who, let’s face it, was a bit bloody crap), in goal.
The Blues possessed a talented side at the time, and took the lead when their temporarily talismanic striker Nikica Jelavic stole in to slide a finish past Jones after Carragher and Daniel Agger failed to make a clearance so badly it looked like they might have been allergic to the ball.
After Sylvain Distin’s perfectly timed through ball to Luis Suarez helped level things up, Liverpool took control of the game and won a free-kick to the left of the penalty area with just a few minutes remaining. They needed the win. They needed a goal. They needed a hero.
There was only one man for it. Andrew Thomas Carroll. Andy Carroll. Caz. Big Caz.
The pony-tailed prince met Craig Bellamy’s cross with £35m worth of greasy Geordie forehead and crashed his header beyond the despairing Tim Howard and into the net, sending the red half of Wembley into delirious celebrations while the blue half sank into their seats.
1. GARY MCALLISTER — EVERTON 1-2 LIVERPOOL — GOODISON PARK —DECEMBER 2017
In the summer of 2000, a Liverpool side which had narrowly missed out on Champions League football needed personnel additions to give it the extra impetus to make it into Europe’s elite competition. Observers at the time might have argued that the squad required a more dependable goalkeeper, a defender who was actually left-footed to play at left-back, and a spritely, youthful winger to add some much-need pace to the starting line-up.
Gerard Houllier signed a middle-aged bald man instead.
Arriving on a free transfer from Coventry City at the age of 35, few would have anticipated that Gary McAllister would become such a crucial figure in helping the club secure an unprecedented trophy haul.
They probably didn’t expect him to score the greatest Merseyside derby winner of all-time, either.
After a rambunctious affair which saw the Reds twice take the lead before being pegged-back, with a Robbie Fowler penalty miss in there too for good measure, a free-kick from thirty-five yards out gave the Reds one final chance to win the game.
Here is what I believe McAllister’s thought process was as he was lining the ball up:
“Right, needs to be a good delivery this. Who am I aiming it at? Sami and Emile are in there – they’re probably my best bet. There’s a gang of meatheads in blue shirts swarming around them though. Not sure what to do here.”
“Suppose I could just stick it in the bottom corner and worry about the rest later, like.”
And that’s just what he did. His swerving, slow-motion free-kick beat the stranded Paul Gerrard and provided the platform for Liverpool to complete a historic treble by winning the FA Cup and UEFA Cup the following month, and also helped give birth to one of the great Liverpool songs…
Your derby goal!
(Your derby goal!)
Your baldy head!
(Your baldy head!)
You’re Gary Mac!
(You’re Gary Mac!)