20 For 20: The Carsley Derby
The rundown of our most memorable Premier League games continues.
In a bid to discover the Club's most memorable games of the Premier League's 20 seasons, we asked fans to vote in an exclusive poll on evertonfc.com. Today, our countdown from 20 to one continues with the afternoon Lee Carsley guaranteed his place in the history books...
EVERTON 1-0 Liverpool, 11 December 2004
Brilliant Everton edged the 200th Merseyside derby thanks to a third goal in six games from Lee Carsley.
The midfielder had only scored six times in two years before October's League Cup defeat of Preston but has developed a timely Midas touch.
His goal here was undoubtedly the most important to date.
Indeed, in beating a motionless Chris Kirkland from 20 yards midway through the second half, the Birmingham-born enforcer lifted Everton up a place to second in the Premiership table.
The resilience and defiance they showed to dispatch of their closest rivals will not have gone unnoticed either; on this performance David Moyes' men really could rock the boat and break-up the long-established top order of the English game.
And, to that end, it could be Liverpool, who remain adrift in seventh, who ultimately make way for these unlikeliest of heroes.
To Evertonians - robbed at the start of the season of the boy perceived to be their greatest hope - that idea will seem like a blue print for their greatest, most treasured celebration in a generation.
In a tense encounter, both sides had glorious opportunities before Carsley met a lay-off from the impressive Leon Osman to deliver the telling blow.
It was Everton's first win over Liverpool for five years and put them 12 points clear of their arch rivals.
The opening exchanges were predictably fierce, but Everton created and wasted the first clear opportunity after 21 minutes.
Thomas Gravesen released Marcus Bent, and his perfect cross was met by Tim Cahill, who somehow headed wide from only six yards.
Neil Mellor then met a Steven Gerrard free-kick inches from goal, but his point-blank effort was brilliantly blocked by Nigel Martyn and Alan Stubbs scrambled clear.
Osman was dangerous on Everton's right flank, and it took a desperate interception from John Arne Riise to stop him forcing an opening for Bent as the interval approached.
Salif Diao then had an early opportunity after the break, half-volleying narrowly over.
But Carsley's would be the name to go into history as another Everton derby hero, his composed effort from the edge of the box sailing low to Kirkland's left to spark wild, unrelenting scenes.
It could have got worse for Liverpool had Riise not kicked off the line from Cahill seconds later. But the margin of victory will have mattered little to those in blue. Victory was a symbol of progress. And Everton are progressing very nicely indeed.
Osman (Watson 87)
Gravesen (Yobo 83)
Manager: David Moyes
Diao (Alonso 78)
Hamann (Nunez 66)
Sinama-Pongolle (Traore 75)
Manager: Rafael Benitez
"We are moving on when a lot of people didn't think we could do so. We have an honest bunch of lads, we've got great self-belief. We don't quite have the quality some other clubs have got but we are bridging that gap with every ounce of effort we've got." - David Moyes
"We've been waiting for this for five years now and today has really shown that the team has gone far in that time. It makes it all the more sweet." - Thomas Gravesen
"I didn't see what happened to be honest. I just got good contact on the ball. Chris [Kirkland] is a great goalie, so he was unlucky with that one." - Lee Carsley
"You could see how much it meant to everyone the way they were flying around and throwing their bodies in front of everything." - Alan Stubbs
- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is acquitted of bribery. The court's ruling implies that Berlusconi probably was guilty of bribing a judge in 1991, but too much time is deemed to have passed for him to be punished.
- 'Godfather of Soul' James Brown is diagnosed with prostate cancer.
- Hamid Karzai was officially sworn in as Afghanistan's first directly-elected president.
- Everton went on to secure Champions League football with two games to spare and eventually finished fourth, three points clear of fifth-placed Liverpool.
- Along the road to European qualification were more memorable victories - notably a Duncan Ferguson inspired 1-0 win over Manchester United at Goodison Park.
- Liverpool would go on to win the Champions League, beating AC Milan in the final to ensure their own participation in the competition for the following campaign.
For a full 2004/05 fixture list, click here.