Everton 0 - 0 Liverpool
Half Time: 0 - 0
FA Carling Premiership 1999-2000 Game 35
8pm Friday 21 April 2000
Goodison Park, Merseyside
The 162nd league derby match started in a vibrant
atmosphere at rain-soaked Goodison Park, and ended in high
controversy as Everton were cruelly denied the winning
With Liverpool riding high, challenging for a Champions League slot on
the back of only 2 losses in 24 games since their humbling Anfield derby
defeat, and Everton still clutching at the straw of European qualification
despite injuries to key strikers, there is even more to play for than local
pride and prowess.
The unusual kick-off time 8pm on a Bank Holiday night means that
the amber fluids will have been flowing freely for many hours.
Hopefully this will only act as a lubricant for the traditional verbal
jousting at Goodison, and not as a pretext for some more aggressive
Richard Gough (calf injury) and Joe-Max Moore (knee ligament damage) are
both ruled out but
David Unsworth and Abel Xavier are expected to be fit.
Everton won the toss in a tremendous atmosphere at rain-soaked Goodison Park. And the tough challenges started straight away with Thomson and Collins both getting poleaxed. Thompson later fouled Barmby badly, and went in the book before 10 mins. Good Everton move then let Barmby in but his shot was well saved.
A good chance for Owen was then saved well by Gerrard,
despite Everton starting the match well with Stephen Hughes
well involved. On the whole, Liverpool defending
solidly, and repulsing the Everton trusts. HT: 0 - 0 after exactly
two full minutes of added time...
Fowler came on for Heskey after half-time.
Jeffers, Ball, and Ward were the late, late, late subs for
Everton (Why, Walter, Why???)
The ding-dong battle persisted throughout the second
half but, despite persistent Everton pressure, it was Paul Gerrard
who was forced to make the most vital saves. At one
point, Everton broke strongly and Mark Hughes who had
an excellent match was through on goal, but pushed his
effort just wide when he should have scored.
Then, in the last seconds, Everton were again denied by
the ref, when Westerveld took a free-kick quickly, it hit
Hutchison in the back as he was walking away, and it flew
into the net... GOAL! No, said Mr Poll!!!! He claims he had already blown for
time. Yeah right. With the clock at 91:45 15 seconds short of the
2 mins of added time???
You be the judge:
of the "Goal"
(5MB .mpeg file)
Subs Not Used
||Gerrard, Xavier, Weir, Dunne, Unsworth,
Barmby (89' Ward), Collins, Pembridge (85' Ball), S. Hughes, M.
Hughes (81' Jeffers) , Hutchison.
Unavailable: Cleland, Campbell, Gough,
Moore, Williamson, (injured); Myhre (on loan).
Westerveld, Carragher, Henchoz, Hyypia, Matteo,
Thompson (56' Heggem), Hamann, Gerrard, Berger, Owen,
Heskey (46' Fowler).
Smicer, Murphy, Nielsen.
Royal Blue shirts; white shorts; blue socks.
Red shirts; red shorts; red socks.
Thompson (8'), Hamman (42'), Henchoz
A KOP-out of the highest order
No preamble, just complaints about the referee. It's too late and I'm
not rational enough to do anything else. Why? Ask Graham Poll.
If this is a Cup Final referee, then I hope its a tip-tap, fairy dust sort
of game. The guy can't make a decision. Except when its cut and
dried. You know the sort of thing: sneeze at Owen or Heskey;
free-kick. Tug at Mark Hughes; its Sparky up to his old tricks and he
probably deserved it same sort of view I've espoused in the past.
Another unusual line up from Walter with Barmby (left) and Pembridge
(right) swapping sides. We might have prospered more had they played
the other way round as our best moves were pressed down the right, but
Pembridge played below his recent form.
Overall, the game itself was a fast and furious affair, typical of the
genre. No quarter asked, none expected. Unless you wear
red. Want a quick free kick? Take it. If you score, well
done. Take a quick free kick and you lose out and the home side score,
pretend you've blown for full time. A KOP-out of the highest order.
We out-fought, out-competed and out-passed a team riding high,
'invincible' for 5 months and about to stuff us stupid. Just a pity we
couldn't out-score them. But Mr Poll saw to that.
Both keepers were busy throughout the game, with both pulling off
excellent saves. The midfield was combative and creative on both
sides. But we edged it in the second half, with honours even in the
The game should have been ours
Man of the Match:
A difficult choice with good performances all over the park. Once
more Paul Gerrard made some outstanding saves but was let down by some
erratic handling. His command of the box was much improved,
At the back both Richard Dunne and David Weir had solid games. The
second half switch of Xavier to centre-back improved his performance, no end
and David Unsworth, whilst defensively good had one of his poorer games in
terms of distribution.
In midfield, Barmby ran and ran and must have impressed the watching
Kevin Keegan with his industry. Collins was again excellent,
completely controlling midfield himself in one purple patch, though he tired
towards the end. Stephen Hughes again showed that his game is
improving apace as he gets more match fit and made an excellent
contribution. Pembridge's performance was below his more recent high
Up front Don Hutchison played well, but was over-elaborate on occasion,
whilst Mark Hughes at last made me eat my words. No longer did he play
in a five-yard area, no longer was he the roughneck up front. His
control and vision in bringing others into the game was impressive, more as
he was in his prime rather than the pale shadow of recent years. All
he lacked was a goal.
So, where does the Man of the Match award go? Along with Sky Sports
viewers, I'll give it to Mark Hughes.
Player Ratings from "Greggs"
- Paul Gerrard Another solid game.
Handled everything well and made two crucial saves.
Did nothing fancy and his kicking was good. 7/10
- Richard Dunne One of his better games for
the club. Caught out on a couple of occasions but
acquitted himself well. 7/10
- David Unsworth Solid and strong in the
tackle. Covered the centre backs well.
Passing let him down on occasions but full of passion
and pride. 7/10
- Davie Weir One of the most under-rated
players in the division. Full of calmness and
style throughout. Cannot remember him making too
many errors. 8/10
- Abel Xavier Played his best game for the
club. A few misplaced passes and caught out but
made up for it with a sound aerial display. Kept
Heskey and Owen quiet. 8/10
- Mark Pembridge Played in an unaccustomed
right wing role. Full of energy and
commitment. Missed a great opportunity. Gave a
- Stephen Hughes Very quiet. Seemed
lost at times. 5/10
- Nick Barmby Had a good first half but was
very quiet in the second half. Showed glimpses of
quality in front of watching England manager Keegan.
- John Collins Showed touches of genius
followed by sloppy balls and was tackled at times too
easily. However looked the most accomplished
midfielder on the pitch. 8/10
- Don Hutchison Good battling
performance. Should have scored the winner.
Good link between midfield and attack 7/10
- Mark Hughes Give it everything and was
unluckily substituted. Missed the chance of the
game when clean through. Held the ball up well
and made some great runs off the ball. Man of the
Its inexplicable. Lets just get the two 'facts' straight:
- Westerveld tried to take a quick free kick and Don's back was turned
moving away from the ball. It can't be encroachment.
- I thought that the board telling everyone how long was left was meant
to defuse these kind of situations. If it says two minutes to go,
then the least you expect is the two minutes.
It wasn't two minutes. Sad trainspotter that I am, I was
clocking it on my stop watch and even allowing for stoppages, of which there
were two, there was still only 1 minute 40 seconds played... it is
absolutely scandalous and unforgiveable that they get away with things like
this time and again. If we miss out on Europe by two points, then...
well its just another reason, as if one were needed, why the 'brotherly'
relationship between our two clubs is turning into a Kane and Abel style
And on the subject of Abel, he was magnificent last night. How the
kiddie-messer can come out and criticise him for his 'treatment' of Heskey,
I'll never know. Abel was awesome. As was MOM Mr Collins the
really class player on the pitch. I can honestly say that I didn't even
think Gerrard and Hamann were playing, such was JC's dominance. I
couldn't believe the Daily Post giving S Gerrard 8/10. He was
anonymous at best.
1 to 11 we had heroes all over the park. If I was good enough and
fit enough to play in a Derby then I KNOW I would be like Dave
Unsworth. Every tackle, every stretch and launch up field was done
with the kind of determination that only a fan can muster. I bet the
redshite wish they had someone with the same kind of feeling for their
pathetic, cheating, blood-stained club.
Even before Mr Poll decided to write himself into Merseyside folklore, he
had already signalled his intention to do everything in his power, bar
actually scoring himself, to win the game for Liverpool. From failing to
give Sparky even one foul, to awarding them a free kick on the edge of our
box after a particularly mystifying fall from the Toy Blunder, he gave
possibly the most inept, biased display of refereeing I've seen for a long
time. And there are no shortage of opponents for that accolade.
As I thought, the game passed young S Hughes by a little bit, but once
again, there is a touch of class about him that when he starts producing it
consistently, he'll be a real match winner. Mark Pembridge went off to
hero's reception and he deserved it for a biting, terrier-like job on
Berger. And he showed touches of brilliance down the right flank as
I was saying in the Black Horse last night that one of the really
positive things to come out of this season is the versatility that Smith is
demanding of his players. Xavier, Collins, Hutchison, Unsworth, Dunne,
Barmby, Pembridge all have been asked to play in a number of different
roles, and nobody can say that they've looked out of place wherever they've
played. Its heartening to know that not only are we able to change
systems of playing this season, 3-5-2, 4-4-2, 4-4-1-1, 4-5-1 whatever
but we also have the confidence to play certain players 'out of
position' and be comfortable in the knowledge that they'll do a job.
Anyway, I'm going to stop now before I get too emotional. I'm just
sick of being cheated and seeing our players not get the credit when they
deserve it. We'll have them next season.
Heskey's injury hinders Liverpool
by Phil Shaw, The Independent
Failure of Houllier's men to beat Merseyside rivals means
Manchester United can seal the title at Southampton today
A fierce but largely finesse-free deadlock in the 162nd Merseyside derby
saw local honour grudgingly satisfied by a point apiece for Everton and
Liverpool last night. It also provided food for thought for Sir Alex
Ferguson and the watching Kevin Keegan.
Liverpool's failure to record their first victory at Goodison Park since
1990 means that Ferguson's Manchester United will be crowned Premiership
champions for the sixth time in eight seasons if they win at Southampton
Meanwhile, the England manager witnessed the long-awaited if rather rusty
return of Robbie Fowler after serious ankle problems, although Keegan will
have been concerned that he owed his comeback to an injury to Emile Heskey.
The evening ended in controversy as Everton claimed a bizarre last-gasp
winner. Sander Westerveld drove a free-kick against Don Hutchison, the ball
looping gently back over the Liverpool goalkeeper but the referee, Graham
Poll, had blown his whistle to show that injury-time was up.
Form reputedly counts for nothing on these occasions, but successive
four-goal flourishes by Everton and Liverpool's five consecutive wins meant
the atmosphere was even more electric than usual. David Thompson inflamed
passions further by going down as if elbowed by David Unsworth and then,
after a miraculously quick recovery, earned a booking for a foul on Nick
Barmby all inside the first five minutes.
Walter Smith, the Everton manager, may have surprised Gιrard Houllier by
making several positional changes. The revamp, which involved Mark Hughes
foraging alone up front with Don Hutchison operating just behind, did not
adversely affect their fluidity. As early as the eighth minute the Welsh
warhorse helped to fashion a shooting opportunity for Barmby which
From less possession, Liverpool created the better chances of the first
half. Patrik Berger, seizing on a lapse by John Collins after 12 minutes,
freed Michael Owen for a characteristic run on goal but he could not find
the angle to defeat Paul Gerrard's dive.
There seemed scant danger to Everton when Heskey overran the ball on the
half-hour. However, it broke obligingly for Thompson, whose cross to the far
post was volleyed goalwards, but into the ground, by Owen. Paul Gerrard
Heskey, renowned for the frequency with which he goes to ground, required
treatment three times as a helter-skelter half came to a close. A clash of
heads with Abel Xavier was followed by an aerial brush with Stephen Hughes
which left the £11M striker clutching his back. Minutes later, he crumpled
again near the visitors' goal.
Heskey gave way to Fowler, making his first appearance since scoring at
Wimbledon nearly four months earlier. Before he had so much as touched the
ball Steven Gerrard broke clear and played an unwitting one-two with a
defender before unleashing a follow-up drive which his namesake parried.
Fowler had still not adjusted to the frenzied pace before Liverpool came
tantalisingly close to taking a 58th-minute lead. Owen left Abel Xavier and
David Weir trailing in his wake, but Paul Gerrard touched his low shot
behind for a corner.
Although Everton had been slower out out of the blocks, they responded
immediately. Collins initiated the move and Mark Pembridge carried it on
with a pass that left Mark Hughes facing Westerveld in the inside-right
channel. Evertonians rose as one to acclaim a goal, only for Hughes to drag
his shot wide.
Timekeeping of Poll fails to impress Everton
by Matt Dickinson, The Times
THE Merseyside rivals battered each other to a scoreless standstill last
night to leave Manchester United as the principal beneficiaries. Sir Alex
Ferguson and his team travel to Southampton this afternoon when victory will
secure their sixth FA Carling Premiership title in eight years.
Owen finds himself cramped for space by the presence of Dunne in a
combative Merseyside derby
they can put their feet up. United were reliant on Liverpool's failure to
win at Goodison Park and it was one of football's safer bets. They have not
raided enemy territory for three points since 1990, and once again they
found an Everton side able and willing to match them tackle for shuddering
It was impossible to prise the two warring teams apart although Everton
supporters were adamant that they had been unjustly denied victory right at
the death. When a free kick by Sander Westerveld struck Don Hutchison on the
back and looped back into the Liverpool net, the home players celebrated the
most unusual of last-minute winners.
Imagine their surprise and anger, then, when the next thing they saw was
Graham Poll picking up the ball and walking off to the dressing-room. No
goal, the referee said, claiming that he had already blown the final
whistle. "The players got excited and confused as they do in derby
matches but it was clear in my mind," Poll said. Strange, then, that
his hands should have been down by his sides as Westerveld took the kick,
and Walter Smith was not alone in believing that the official had panicked.
"The fourth official put up two minutes on the board, but the ball
crossed the line 15 seconds short of that," the Everton manager said.
"We have a computer that measures it. I feel the referee has taken the
easy way out."
battles to wriggle free of Pembridge's attentions
It was an unsatisfactory end to an unsatisfactory game
watched by Kevin Keegan, the England coach. Keegan came with a busy scouting
agenda but, apart from the discovery that Merseyside derbies are even more
frenetic than in his day, it is hard to know what he can have gleaned.
English football played at this intensity does nothing to benefit the
national side was probably the most obvious and depressing lesson.
What is bad for the England coach is, though, not necessarily bad for
anyone with a ticket or a television set and the spectators were served up a
derby of sound and fury. It would have to go some way to match Everton's
victory at Anfield earlier in the season when three men were sent off, but
no tackles were shirked and no mercy asked for or given except in front of
With a lack of width from both sides, possession in the crowded centre
changed almost every second but it was Liverpool, despite their early
defensiveness, who carved out the best early chances amid all the chaos.
Owen might have opened the scoring after only 11 minutes but he flicked a
weak shot as Unsworth slid in. The England forward might have done better
when Heskey's surging run straight into the heart of the Everton defence
caused palpitations, but his volley was parried by Paul Gerrard.
Good chances both, but they still felt as if they came on the
counter-attack because Everton were dominating possession even if they
struggled to use it inventively. Nick Barmby, another player hoping to catch
Keegan's eye, was the best of their forwards as he skipped past Henchoz
early on but his left-foot shot was easily saved by Westerveld.
With so many errors and ferocious challenges, there was little for Keegan
to judge from the performances of Barmby, Carragher, Steve Gerrard and Owen
while Heskey went off with a back injury at half-time. He was replaced by Robbie Fowler for the forward's first appearance since
December and the second of his ankle operations, but this was not a match
for a player feeling his way back and the savagery of the tackles never
The ball continued to fly from end to end a little quicker than either
manager would have liked. Liverpool would create their chances with Gerrard,
in the Everton goal, thwarting his Liverpool namesake after a rampaging run
and then saving from Owen after he had skipped past two tackles on the edge
of the penalty area.
But then Everton would charge back at them as if their status in the
Premiership depended on the result. They should have taken the lead when a
pass from Collins put Mark Hughes through the Liverpool defence. It was
exactly the type of match that old Sparky relishes but, after drawing
Westerveld, he pulled his chance horribly wide.
And so the game went on with chances missed at either end. Liverpool had
more reason to rue them as they attempt to secure a place in the European
Cup Champions' League. United had most cause to be grateful.
Times Newspapers Ltd
Liverpool set up title decider
Henry Winter, Electronic Telegraph
FULL OF SOUND and fury, this frenetic Merseyside derby ultimately proved
of significance only to Manchester United, who can now secure a sixth
Premiership title in eight years if they prevail at Southampton today.
This draw for second-placed Liverpool means they can achieve only 78 points
and United already have 76.
Everton's David Weir towers over Liverpool's Michael Owen
The result will also have interested Arsenal, who now lie six points
behind Liverpool but with two games in hand. Yet one of those matches
comes at Everton, who showed last night why they could prove a more
consistent force next season, providing John Collins does stay. The
Everton captain was outstanding here.
Long on commitment but short on chances, a predictably pell-mell first
period saw these age-old rivals tear into each other with all the speed and
gusto of stock-car racers. Mark Hughes v Sami Hyypia was a
full-bloodied contest that should have been delayed until after the 9pm
Out wide, David Thompson, Liverpool's feisty right midfielder, resembled
a dismissal waiting to happen in the first few minutes as he charged into
tackles, earning a booking for a meaty lunge at Nicky Barmby. Emile
Heskey looked like he was auditioning for Casualty such was the time he
spent being attended to by the medical men. Bruised and battered,
Heskey departed at the break to be replaced by Fowler.
Although Steven Gerrard and Patrik Berger displayed occasional classy
touches for Liverpool, the half's glimmers of grace were provided primarily
by Everton, particularly Collins, whose willingness to bring the ball down
and build passing movements was admirable.
Collins was a scoreless half's outstanding figure, continually snapping
into tackles, earning rich applause from the Goodison faithful as he slid in
amid the studs to prise possession. Alongside Collins, Stephen Hughes
continued to embellish his Everton reputation with some neat passes.
But possession is a commodity rarely held for long in any derby match.
Too many moves broke down too quickly.
Apart from Stephen Hughes' wayward shot and Abel Xavier's header wide,
the half's best chances fell mainly to Liverpool. When Collins, for
once, slipped in the 12th minute, Patrik Berger was swiftest to the loose
ball, which he swept through the middle of Everton's defence to Michael
Owen. The England forward speeded in but, under pressure from David
Unsworth, failed to trouble Paul Gerrard with a weak shot.
Another opportunity fell Owen's way after 32 minutes. Thompson's
cross eluded Everton's centre-halves and was met unconvincingly by Owen,
whose volley was pushed out by Gerrard. Heskey's follow-up was cleared.
The second half produced a greater quota of chances. A one-on-one
between the two Gerrards saw Paul thwart Steven. Nicky Barmby tested
Westerveld, who saved well. Then Steven Gerrard and Owen combined
well, allowing Owen to go racing through the blue ranks but his shot
deflected behind for a corner.
Back came Everton, reflecting the game's end-to-end nature, giving their
fans great hope of victory. Mark Pembridge's through pass was seized
on by Mark Hughes, palpably offside, but he shot wide. Westerveld then
repelled drives from Pembridge and Stephen Hughes.
The thrust and counter-thurst never stopped. Eleven minutes from
time Dietmar Hamann burst through but shot wide. Back came Everton,
Stephen Hughes forcing a corner with a blocked shot. But Berger almost
conjured a winner with a fulsome drive parried by Gerrard.
Controversy reared its head at the end when Westerveld kicked the ball
into the back of Don Hutchison. The ball cannoned back and over the
line but the referee, Graham Poll, insisted that he had already blown for