The world was a very different place the last time Everton beat Liverpool at Anfield. Bill Clinton was President of the US. Piers Brosnan was James Bond. And Jurgen Klopp was an unknown second-division defender in Germany.
It’s been a long and arduous wait to taste victory at the home of the old enemy. In fact, half of this Toffees fan’s life has gone by — but Carlo Ancelotti has finally given us Evertonians reason to cheer with a thrilling derby win last night.
- English Premier League: Is it time for Jurgen Klopp to leave Liverpool?
- AS IT HAPPENED - Dominant Chelsea held by Southampton at St Mary's
- English Premier League: Everton beat Liverpool at Anfield for first time this century, but what happened last time?
- Champions League: Salah on target as Liverpool beat Leipzig to break losing run
The spine of the team that last achieved that feat back in September 1999 is getting on a bit and may not even remember that triumph. Richard Gough, who was our calming influence at the back, is 58. The silky John Collins who pulled the strings in midfield, is 53. And our match-winner 21-years ago, Kevin Campbell, is 51. The Toffees were managed by serial Scottish Premier League winner Walter Smith and having assembled an expensive and impressive squad, more victories across Stanley Park should have been on the cards. But, it didn’t materialise that way. We made the one mile trip to our former home 23 times since then, and never won. We drew 10 and lost 13 often coming away battered and bruised.
But, this was the best chance we would ever have to put one over the red half of Merseyside. Liverpool had been in woeful form. Their 68-match unbeaten home run had been shattered and Klopp’s champions were on a run of three consecutive defeats. On the other hand, we had been thriving on the road picking up 13 points in our last five. The law of averages suggested our long wait must surely come to an end. After all, Fulham finally sealed their first ever league victory at Goodison a week earlier. And now, it was our turn to right more than a few wrongs (Pickford’s 96th-minute blunder will always hurt).
Richarlison’s precise early opener was followed late on by a successful Gylfi Sigurdsson penalty. Every player celebrated the second in front of the section where the Everton fans would have been sitting. It was a nice touch from a team that showed their full quality on Saturday night.
Incredibly, Klopp’s teams had never even trailed to us. That’s how bad our derby record is. He has grown used to setting all sorts of records as manager of the Reds from consecutive wins, massive point hauls and of course ending the club’s 30-year wait to be crowned champions of England. But the blue half is enjoying the latest record; defeat last night marked the first time since 1923 that they lost four home matches in a row.
Anfield used to be an impregnable fortress, but even Everton are winning there now. That says it all really. The wheels have come off at Liverpool. They’ll face a battle to even qualify for next season’s Champions League. Is there a power shift occurring once again in Merseryside like it did in the 1980s when Everton became the dominant force of English football? Blues all over the world are praying so and with King Carlo at the helm, there is every possibility of it happening.