By Peter Guest, FootballPredictions.NET, 18:58 16/09/2020
The Merseyside Derby between English sides Liverpool and Everton has become one of the fiercest and most-watched rivalries in world football. You might have wondered which club is the older.
Everton came before Liverpool, having been founded in 1878 - A full 14 years before The Reds came into existence. A dispute between their board saw Everton leave Anfield to move to Goodison Park.
Liverpool was founded to fill the void left behind and the club has played at Anfield from 1892 onwards.
Whilst the two clubs seemed to begin as friends instead of rivals, since the 1980s the ferocity of the fixture has increased season on season.
The Evolution of England’s longest-running top-flight derby
Everton’s time as tenants at Anfield came to an end after eight years in 1892. Ironically it was an event that ultimately led to the formation of their city rivals, Liverpool.
The Toffees departed for Goodison following a dispute between the club’s directors and the Everton chairman and Anfield owner John Houlding.
The disagreement was caused by the rising rent charged to Everton, how the club was run and political matters - with Houlding’s conservative views conflicting with the mainly liberal Everton board.
As a result, The Toffees decided to move from the south of Stanley Park to the north-west corner to play at Goodison Park. Houlding subsequently went about forming Liverpool Football Club to fill the vacancy left at Anfield.
The two grounds are not only within one mile of each other but are also within sight of each other. The name ‘the Merseyside Derby’ comes from the English county in which the city of Liverpool is situated.
The fixture has become the longest-running top-flight derby in England, having been played continuously every season since the 1962/63 campaign.
The First Meeting
The two first met back in October 1894, with The Toffees running out 3-0 winners in the First Division fixture. The derby had developed a tag of being the ‘friendly derby’.
This was epitomised during the 1980s after signs of solidarity during both the 1984 League Cup and 1986 FA Cup finals, including both sets of fans chanting ‘Merseyside’ in unison.
From the mid-1980s onwards, though, the fixture has become increasingly heated; It is the fixture with the most red cards in Premier League history.
Whilst The Toffees dominated the early years of the derby - having won the most matches up until the late 1970s - Liverpool has enjoyed more luck in the last half a century.
As a result, The Reds now have the most wins, with there also now being more draws in the fixture than Everton wins. Overall, there have been 234 Merseyside derbies, with Liverpool winning 93 to Everton’s 66 victories, with an aggregate score of 331-262.
Merseyside Derby Records Further Develop Storied Rivalry
Across all of the Merseyside derbies, Liverpool and Everton have locked horns in five competitions and have never met in a league game outside the top flight.
Liverpool have been the most victorious in the old First Division, the Premier League, the FA Cup and the League Cup. The two sides also have a win apiece in their three clashes in the curtain-raising FA Community Shield.
At present, Liverpool are unbeaten in the last 22 derbies - a run which stretches back nine years to 2011. There have been 22 meetings at Anfield since Everton’s last away victory in the fixture, a troubling run that dates back to 2000, a period of two decades.
In contrast, Everton went 16 matches unbeaten at Anfield 100 years ago between 1899 and 1920, the record unbeaten away run in the fixture.
The Reds hold the record for the biggest Merseyside derby win, 6-0 during the 1935/36 season, as well as winning the highest scoring fixture - 7-4 in the 1932/33 campaign.
As far as individual records are concerned, former Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall is the highest appearance maker in the derby with 41 appearances between 1981 and 1998.
Ian Rush is the top scorer in Merseyside derbies with 20 goals across his two spells with Liverpool. Legendary forward Dixie Dean is the top scorer for Everton with 19 goals between 1925 and 1937.
The record attendance for a Merseyside derby was 78,299 in September 1948.