Today, September 15, marks the anniversary of one of the most memorable Merseyside derby goals in recent memory.
At Goodison Park in 2001, a youthful Steven Gerrard dropped his shoulder, surged past Gary Naysmith and buried an unstoppable cross-shot into the top corner of the Everton net.
Gerrard put his laces through this one in the derby, on this day in 2001 👊 pic.twitter.com/ZnodbiisHb
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 15, 2023
That was the equaliser in a 3-1 victory for the Reds that also boasted another vintage derby goal: Jon Arne Riise picking the ball up on the halfway line, jinking one way and then the other before slotting home a cool finish to complete another commanding Merseyside win for Liverpool.
Although Gerrard’s thunderbolt is close to making the list, what are the best goals in Merseyside derby history?
Gary McAllister (2000/01)
Of all of football’s great pleasures, moments don’t come much more stupendous than your team scoring an injury time winner.
And when said winning goal is a 40-yard free kick that comes completely out of the blue, it’s even more euphoric.
Gary McAllister was, for a time, an absolute colossus in the Liverpool midfield. Despite approaching the winter of his career, the Scot retained his technical brilliance while his experience and nous was vital to the treble-winning campaign of 2000/01.
For all McAllister’s magic moments, no doubt the one that he – and Reds fans – will cherish the longest was his incredible free-kick winner against the Toffees in 2001, which propelled Liverpool to a 3-2 victory in the dying embers of the contest.
Players in red and blue assembled inside the Everton penalty area as they awaited a floated cross from McAllister, but the Scot had other ideas. Spotting Paul Gerrard out of position in the Toffees’ goal, he powered a long-range shot that picked up pace as it skipped off the turf, leaving Gerrard helpless as the ball nestled in the ball of the net.
Just listed to that eruption from the away end at Goodison Park….
Mo Salah (2017/18)
Having already given up ground to Manchester City in the Premier League title race, the Merseyside derby of December 2017 was a vital game for Liverpool in retaining their interest at the top of the table.
As it transpired, the Reds would have to endure a disappointing 1-1 draw against their local rivals at Anfield, but it was a game that was at least lit up by a moment of trademark Mo Salah brilliance.
Receiving the ball just to the right of the Toffees’ penalty area, the Egyptian did what he’s been doing for years – he shimmied his way past dangling legs before curling a sublime shot into the top corner of the net.
It was quintessential Salah: a goal out of nothing that confirmed his place in the cockles of Liverpool fans for all eternity.
Philippe Coutinho (2016/17)
Around eight months prior to Salah’s wonder goal, Philippe Coutinho served up his own entry into the Merseyside derby super-strike hall of fame.
In the reverse fixture at Goodison Park, Everton dealt Liverpool’s hopes of a top-four finish a blow by holding out for a 1-1 draw.
But later on in that same campaign, the Reds made no mistake by dishing out a 4-0 thrashing to the Toffees at Anfield – headlined by Coutinho’s sublime run and finish.
The Brazilian was barely in Everton’s half of the pitch when he received the ball, but his first instinct was to run at the opposition defence – he beat one tackle and then another, before checking back on to his preferred right foot.
Coutinho then curled a gorgeous shot between two Toffees defenders and into the far corner – his first Liverpool goal that capped a resounding victory on home soil.
Graeme Sharp (1984/85)
In the interests of fairness, we should probably include an Everton goal in our rundown.
That honour is bestowed upon Graeme Sharp, whose goal in the Merseyside derby of 1984/85 is still regarded as one of the best Everton strikes in the annals of this storied contest.
Receiving a long ball, Sharp controls it with his left before firing a right footed half volley at goal – a baseball capped Bruce Grobbelaar had simply no chance of keeping it out.