Liverpool's Sturridge scores a goal against Everton during their English Premier League soccer match at Goodison Park in Liverpool

Was Everton 3-3 Liverpool the best Merseyside derby in history? Here’s a few contenders…

Leave a comment

 

On Saturday at Goodison Park, the red and blue havles of Liverpool converged to put on with heck of a spectacle.

The pulsating 3-3 draw between Everton and Liverpool, watch above, showcased Premier League soccer at it’s finest. No doubt.

We had late goals, great goals and controversy galore as Roberto Martinez’ Toffees fought tough and nail with Brendan Rodgers’ high-flying Liverpool. After 90 minutes of exhausting end-to-end action, the 220th episode of the Merseyside derby had to go down as one of the greatest, certainly in modern history.

Let’s take a quick look back at some of the other classic matches this intense rivalry has thrown up in the past. Here’s three that could rival, or surpass, Saturday’s sensational draw.

1. FA Cup fifth-round replay, 1991 (Goodison Park) Everton 4-4 Liverpool (Everton won second replay 1-0)

This game had it all, what a tremendous cup tie. Just a few days earlier in the original tie the two teams drew 0-0 at Anfield, safe to say this one was a much better occasion as Peter Beardsley put Liverpool ahead only for Graeme Sharp to equalize a minute later. Beardsley then put Liverpool back ahead but Sharp again equalized, after a defensive mix up, to make it 2-2. Ian Rush popped up to put the away side ahead with just over 10 minutes left but Tony Cottee’s dramatic late equalizer sent the game into extra time. The goal of the game came from John Barnes as the England international smashed home a beauty from 30-yards but that fox-in-the-box Cottee scored five minutes from time to force another replay which saw Everton prevail. Can we do away with penalty kicks and just have endless replays return to the FA Cup? Thanks.

2. FA Cup final, 1989 (Wembley) – Liverpool 3-2 Everton

Back when the FA Cup meant much more than it does today, sorry soccer purists it’s true, this game was an incredible occasion down at the Old Wembley stadium. Underneath the famous twin towers fans of both Liverpool and Everton piled into the famous stands in North London after traveling down from Merseyside together. Then their two teams played out one of the finest FA Cup finals in memory. Add into the mix that this game came just five weeks after the Hillsborough disaster, both sets of fans behaved impeccably as they mourned those fans who perished in the tragedy during Liverpool’s semifinal. John Aldridge opened the scoring and it wasn’t until late on that Stuart McCall equalized to send the match into extra-time. Ian Rush jumped off the bench to put Liverpool ahead, only for the ginger menace McCall to equalize once again. But the ‘divine mustache’ himself had the last laugh in the 104th minute as Liverpool won the FA Cup.

3. Premier League, 2001 (Goodison Park)- Everton 2-3 Liverpool

It’s been 12 years since there was a real humdinger in front of the Gladwys Street End and boy, it’s fun to reminisce about this clash. These were heady days at Liverpool as Gerrard Houllier sent them on a one man mission to win every trophy known to man (except for the PL or Champions League, but we’ll forget that) and the likes of Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen and Jamie Carragher were just becoming legends at Anfield. But it was an older pro by the name of Gary McAllister who stole the show in this derby as his cheeky free kick right at the death stole all three points and stunned the Evertonians. Back and forth this game went as Emile Heskey and Marcus Babbel had given Liverpool a 2-0 lead but then big Duncan Ferguson and David Unsworth leveled it at 2-2… before Gary Mac had the last laugh. Sublime, superb, sensational.

Europa League: Mourinho says targeted Man Utd must win; Saints shorthanded

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24:  Jose Mourinho, Manager of Manchester United makes his way to the tunnel after the final whistle  during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Leicester City at Old Trafford on September 24, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Europa League goes into its second day of group play with the onus on the biggest club in the tournament to pick up a win.

Don’t believe us? Ask Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho.

“To be honest, I think we have to win,” Mourinho said at his pre-match press conference. “If we don’t win, I would say we’d have to win all the last four matches, which is difficult, so I think it is very important that we win this game.”

[ MORE: Wenger excited at Arsenal’s chances ]

United fell 1-0 at Feyenoord to open the group stage, and now hosts Ukrainian side Zorya Luhansk at 3:05 p.m. ET Thursday. He knows its the equivalent of a massive Cup match for the visitors.

“The Europa League is a competition Man United isn’t normally in, so when these teams have a giant like Man United in front of them, it’s a huge moment for them and they come to the game with incredible motivation.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will start for United, as there’s a chance that Anthony Martial will rejoin the side. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is out, and Wayne Rooney (back) and Luke Shaw (illness) may not play.

The other Premier League side in play is Southampton, as the Saints take a long flight to Israel for a 3:05 p.m. ET kickoff against Hapoel Be’er Sheva.

[ MORE: Why is Walcott on fire? | Wenger on MiB pod ]

Saints handled Sparta Prague at home, and now face the Camels, who went to Inter Milan and won. Southampton is without Charlie Austin, Jose Fonte, Ryan Bertrand, and Steven Davis.

Should be a very decent match from Turner Stadium in Be’er Sheva.

Elsewhere

all times ET

Mainz at Gabala — 11 a.m.
Young Boys at Astana — 11 a.m.
Osmanlispor at Zurich — 1 p.m.
Red Bull Salzburg at Schalke — 1 p.m.
PAOK at Liberec — 1 p.m.
Qarabag at Fiorentina — 1 p.m.
Villarreal at Steaua Bucuresti — 1 p.m.
Nice at Krasnodar — 1 p.m.
Standard Liege at Ajax — 1 p.m.
Braga at Shakhtar Donetsk — 1 p.m.
Panathinaikos at Celta Vigo — 1 p.m.
Inter Milan at Sparta Prague — 1 p.m.
Konyaspor at Gent — 1 p.m.
Sassuolo at Genk — 3:05 p.m.
Zorya at Manchester United — 3:05 p.m.
Anderlecht at Saint-Etienne — 3:05 p.m.
Apoel Nicosia at Olympiacos — 3:05 p.m.
Maccabi Tel-Aviv at Dundalk — 3:05 p.m.
Feyenoord at Fenerbahce — 3:05 p.m.
Rapid Wien at Athletic Bilbao — 3:05 p.m.
Viktoria Plzen at Austria Wien — 3:05 p.m.
AZ Alkmaar at Zenit Saint-Petersburg — 3:05 p.m.
Astra Giurgiu at AS Roma — 3:05 p.m.

Wenger after UCL win: This year’s Arsenal has “interesting potential”

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28:  Arsene Wenger, Manager of Arsenal looks on during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Arsenal FC and FC Basel 1893 at the Emirates Stadium on September 28, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is growing in confidence when it comes to his Gunners’ chances in England and Europe, and it’s not hard to see why.

Four days after Arsenal battered Chelsea 3-0 in Premier League action, the Gunners went out and handled FC Basel in the UEFA Champions League.

[ MORE: Why is Walcott on fire? | Wenger on MiB pod ]

Theo Walcott scored both goals in the 2-0 win, and there could’ve been so many more. Arsenal was fast, deliberate, creative, and dangerous. The finishing was not ideal, but the promise was massive.

Perhaps more important, the Gunners posted a third-straight clean sheet and have allowed just four goals in eight matches since the 4-3 loss to Liverpool that opened the PL season.

And Wenger acknowledges that his side can do big things, provided it doesn’t get too full of itself after solid performances. From Arsenal.com:

“It looks like the team has interesting potential. We have to be ambitious and, as you know, keep our feet on the ground to continue to develop. We know exactly how we want to play football and we have to continue to stick to that and get better at it. That demands big focus and some leadership inside the squad. It also requires humility.”

Arsenal has a very winnable run in the Premier League, and could be right there with Manchester City by the end of October. And with a winnable UCL group, who knows what the Gunners could do with a decent knockout round draw?

Bayern can’t break down Simeone’s Atleti: “We played too slowly”

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 28:  Carlo Ancelotti, Manager of Bayern Muenchen looks on before the UEFA Champions League group D match between Club Atletico de Madrid and FC Bayern Muenchen at the Vicente Calderon Stadium on September 28, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Bayern Munich sits second in Group D of this season’s UEFA Champions League after losing its toughest match of the bunch: a trip to the Vicente Calderon.

Atletico Madrid won 1-0 when Antoine Griezmann linked up with Yannick Carrasco for a first half goal and Diego Simeone’s stubborn defense lived up to its reputation in blanking the Bavarians.

[ MORE: Champions League roundup ]

Manager Carlo Ancelotti has been frustrated by Simeone in the past, perhaps most notably in his brief stint at Real Madrid. But the Bayern boss says the loss was down to speed.

“We tried to get back into the game but we played too slowly, which is why we did not have many chances to equalize,” Ancelotti said. “It’s never nice to lose.”

Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer also acknowledged a lack of speed in a way, pointing at urgency when he said, “Atlético showed a killer instinct tonight and we didn’t.”

Bayern hosts PSV Eindhoven in its next UCL match on Oct. 19.

Guardiola, Rodgers left to unpack thrilling Celtic-Man City draw

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 28:  Brendan Rodgers, Manager of Celtic issues instructions to his players next to Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City during the UEFA Champions League group C match between Celtic FC and Manchester City FC at Celtic Park on September 28, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images
Leave a comment

What a match in Glasgow.

The UEFA Champions League group stage returned to Celtic Park on Wednesday, where the hosts thrilled their crowd by taking a trio of leads before settling for a 3-3 draw with mighty Manchester City.

[ MORE: JPW on Walcott’s Arsenal heroics ]

The draw is the first competitive game City hasn’t won under Pep Guardiola, but the manager didn’t feel much like complaining after his team rallied.

From the BBC:

Guardiola: “It was difficult for us. I’m happy with the reaction from the players, it’s not easy to score three goals away.

“I don’t know how many the chances they had after the third goal. We should have won it.”

As for Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers, he was tickled. After all, Celtic had fallen 7-0 to Barcelona at the Camp Nou during their first outing.

From the BBC:

Rodgers: “We were brilliant, the pressing and the energy. Every time we went forward we looked like we could score.

“Apart from the Barcelona game these players have been operating at a high level this season. Now, to do it against that team, it was a magnificent performance.”

Celtic Park was loud on Wednesday, and both sides gave the crowd plenty of oohs and aahs. It’s hard to imagine Celtic could do the same again, and City did give away a pair of goals (one own goal from Raheem Sterling, one gaffe from Aleksandar Kolarov).

But for one afternoon, who cares about anything other than an entertaining 90 minutes?