Throwback Thursday: The Merseyside Derby (November 6th, 1982)

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This Sunday marks another meeting of the Merseyside Derby, one of the longest-running derbies in English football. Dating back to 1894, the twice-per-season meeting between Liverpool and Everton is long on history and high on tension. In the Premier League era, the Merseyside Derby has seen more red cards than any other fixture. After one match in 2010 in which Liverpool won 1-0 thanks to Dirk Kuyt and in which both teams finished the game with ten men, the Daily Mail referred to the Derby as “[t]he most ill-disciplined and explosive fixture in the Premier League.”

Yet tensions were probably highest in the 1980s, when Liverpool were near their peak and Everton had seen historic successes in both the league and the FA Cup. In many ways it was a golden age for Merseyside football, and it is in this period that some of the most memorable Derby match-ups were staged.

This week, we look back at one such meeting— Goodison Park, November 6th, 1982.

At the risk of spoiling the plot, Everton fans who don’t know how this game went down might want to turn back now. That day at Goodison for the Toffees was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

And before we dive into the game itself, let’s take a moment of appreciation for the old Match Of The Day production of the time. The quintessentially 1980s graphics, Jimmy Hill as studio presenter, play-by-play by John Motson. If you like your English football analogue and retro-tinged, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Right. So, the game. It was a disaster for Everton. Ian Rush opened the scoring after just 11 minutes and started the Reds off on a campaign of total domination. Kenny Dalglish came close twice to tallying in the first half— his first effort was saved, the second ruled offside. The game changed irredeemably in Liverpool’s favor in the 37th minute when center half Glenn Keeley was sent off. Both teams went into the tunnel with the home side down a goal and a man.

It got worse.

Rush netted again in the 51st minute. Mark Lawrenson scored four minutes later. In the 71st minute, Rush made history when he got his hat trick after scoring on his own rebound. It was the first hat trick in the Merseyside Derby in five decades and, to this day, Ian Rush remains the only Liverpool player to score a hat trick at Goodison Park. The mustachioed Welshman tacked on a fourth in the 85th minute to deepen and compound Everton’s humiliation. The referee blew three times and fans in both red and blue looked at the scoreboard in absolute disbelief— Everton 0, Liverpool 5.

You can never tell what the score will end up being at a Merseyside Derby, but these are very rarely boring. You can check out the fireworks- and possibly carnage- yourself this Sunday morning. Kickoff is at 8:30am EST on NBC Sports Network.

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