Liverpool excuses, Duncan Ferguson first and best Everton Premier League derby victories

September 9, 2006: 3-0 at Goodison Park Liverpool came up with a whole litany of excuses for this drubbing – crying foul in the build-up to the first goal and making penalty appeals – but jubilant Evertonians were just happy to enjoy their biggest win over the Reds for some 42 years. The third goal came in bizarre fashion at the end of the game when Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina fumbled a long range shot by Lee Carsley, throwing the ball up into the air with Johnson heading in the rebound. With 16 minutes to go, Campbell’s strike partner Franny Jeffers and Liverpool goalkeeper Sander Westerveld – who would later play two games on loan for Everton – were sent off for fighting each other and with all three of the hosts’ allotted substitutions already made, defender Steve Staunton had to don the gloves. His eventual 16 goal haul from out wide – including another strike in the return derby at Goodison in April – in 1995/96 would inspire Everton to sixth place, their only top half finish in the first decade of the Premier League. Having narrowly escaped relegation on the final day of the previous season with a dramatic 3-2 comeback win at home to Wimbledon, the Blues were rock bottom of the Premier League table after 14 matches when Mike Walker was sacked. Paul Rideout, another striker who would be revived under Royle, hitting a career high 16 goals that season, slid in Everton’s second two minutes from the end after Ferguson got the better of Liverpool keeper David James in an aerial duel.