Stevie G’s Merseyside Derby Delights

Barring a return to Liverpool from LA or a Europa League meeting later this season, Steven Gerrard prepares for what will be his last ever Merseyside derby this weekend.

Only Ian Rush has made more derby appearances for the club so we take a look at his best performances against Everton.
Liverpool 3-2 Everton, 1999
The Liverpool captain’s first of 32 derby appearances came as an 18-year-old in a pulsating clash at Anfield. He came on with 20 minutes remaining and made a goal-line clearance to thwart an Everton equaliser.

However, his next home derby didn’t go as well, as he was among three players sent-off in a fiery Everton win.

Everton 1-3 Liverpool, 2001
A minute’s silence observed ahead of the 165th Merseyside derby, which came just days at the September 11th attacks in America. Gerrard netted his first derby goal in the twelfth minute past namesake Paul Gerrard to cancel out an early Kevin Campbell strike for the Toffees.

His equaliser inspired a Reds comeback and further goals from Michael Owen and new signing John Arne Riise claimed the three points for Liverpool.

Liverpool 2-1 Everton, 2005
Gerrard notched first home derby goal with a 20-yard strike, just two months before his heroics in Istanbul. The clash was deemed one of the most important derbies in years as both sides battled for a Champions League place.

Luis Garcia headed home a second for the Reds before Tim Cahill pulled one back to set up a nervy finish for Rafa Benitez’s men.

Everton 1-3 Liverpool, 2005
Gerrard inspired the European champions to their ninth successive league win at Goodison Park. His deflected goal put Liverpool 2-0 up against a struggling David Moyes’ side, before Djibril Cisse put the game beyond reach for Everton, who had pulled one back through James Beattie.

The win moved a rampant Liverpool into third place in the table, with two games in hand. However, that’s where they finished the season, consoling themselves with an FA Cup win in May over West Ham – where again Gerrard was inspirational.

However, in their next derby Gerrard saw red again, and was criticised by Benitez for not playing with “his brain as well as his heart”.

Liverpool 3-0 Everton, 2012
Arguably Gerrard’s best ever derby performance, the talisman became the first player since Ian Rush in 1982 to record a hat-trick in the clash. Gerrard went into the 217th Merseyside derby as only the fifth player to make 400 Premier League appearances for one club and ruined David Moyes’ 10th anniversary at Goodison.

The midfielder’s performance was simply majestic, with a left-foot chip putting his side ahead in the 34th minute. His second, a thumping 51st minute drive, effectively ended the contest, before completing his hat-trick in injury time.