11 April 2012
50 Years of Merseyside Derbies
There have been 217 Merseyside derbies in total. I limited this remembrance to the previous 122, those played in the last 50 years. Which is actually a handy dividing line, as Liverpool and Everton only met once between 1951 and 1962, in the '54-55 FA Cup (which Liverpool won), because of Everton then Liverpool's relegation to the Second Division. Since '62-63, the two clubs have played at least twice per campaign, with 22 cup ties joining the two seasonal fixtures.
And one club is obviously better than the other.
54 wins, 41 draws, and 27 losses pretty much speaks for itself. Liverpool have a better record in four of the six decades, and by some distance in the 1970s, 1980s, and 2000s. The only competition in which Liverpool doesn't have a winning record over Everton is the season-opening Charity Shield, where both have one win, one loss, and one draw (each club had custody of the trophy for six months following the draw, if you're wondering).
Liverpool have also faced Everton in four cup finals – 1981 and 1984 in the FA Cup, 1984 in the League Cup, and 1986 in the ScreenSport Super Cup (don't ask) – and won all four, albeit with a replay in the '84 League Cup Final. The Reds also won both FA Cup semi-finals against the Blues, in 1971 and 1977. In total, Liverpool have won more matches, scored more goals, kept more clean sheets (48 to 43), and incurred fewer red cards in Merseyside derbies.
It's too bad the past isn't perfect proof of the future. Although that might well be a good thing since Liverpool have failed to win the last five derby cup ties.
As usual, most stats from the irreplaceable LFCHistory.net, without which I wouldn't be able to do approximately half of the infographics I've created. Red card totals from Liverweb and the Merseyside Derby Wikipedia page (don't laugh), all between 1979 and 2011. In theory, there could have been red cards in the derbies from 1962-78, but I couldn't find evidence of it.