Irish players have a long history of scoring in the Merseyside derby

Both Everton and Liverpool have benefited from goals from their Irish contingent

BY Raf Diallo 15:26 Monday 19 December 2016, 15:26 19 Dec 2016

Everton's Lee Carsley scores the only goal in December 2004. Picture by: Mike Egerton / EMPICS Sport

There are many things that divide Everton and Liverpool, but the Merseyside derby rivals are also united by one thing.

Both clubs have a long history of having Irish players in their ranks, many of those becoming full internationals at one point or another, regardless of birth country.

In Monday night's Merseyside derby, Liverpool won't have any Irish players on show at Goodison Park.

But in the Toffees ranks, Ireland captain Seamus Coleman will be looking to score for a second consecutive match after turning the game around against Arsenal last Tuesday.

James McCarthy also impressed in that game, while Darron Gibson remains on the books of the club.

Whether Coleman and McCarthy have a major impact in the derby by finding the net is in the laps of the footballing gods, but it would follow in a long tradition of Irishmen scoring in one of the world's most well-known intra-city clashes.

It's been a while though. You'd have to go back to December 2004 when Everton won 1-0 at Goodison Park in the 200th Merseyside derby, thanks to former Ireland midfielder Lee Carsley.

Liverpool's Ray Houghton (r) fires a shot at goal in the 1989 FA Cup final Picture by: S&G / S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport

It was a goal that claimed Everton's Goal of the Season award, coming from outside the box, although the goalkeeper could have probably done better (if we're being harsh). 

Prior to 1992 though, the days of pre-Premier League football saw this fixture dominated by Ireland internationals, who were regular scorers in the Merseyside derby.

Ray Houghton scored crucial goals against Everton for Liverpool. In the 1987–88 FA Cup fifth round, the ex-Ireland midfield hero scored the winner at Goodison Park.

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Months later in December 1988, he was the Liverpool scorer in a 1-1 First Division match at Anfield.

It wasn't his last Merseyside derby goal either, as another arrived in August 1991 in a 3-1 victory.

Between his second and third goals in the derby, John Aldridge found the net in the 1989 FA Cup final after just four minutes in a nerve jangling match, where Liverpool prevailed by a score of 3-2 at Wembley.

Meanwhile, if you go back all the way to the period around 1986 to 1987, ex-Ireland and Everton midfielder Kevin Sheedy scored once each at both Anfield and Goodison Park in 3-1 losses.

Mark Lawrenson (1982-83) and Ronnie Whelan (1981-82) also found the net in victories for Liverpool.

If you go even further back, Steve Heighway scored in a 3-2 win for Liverpool in the 1970-71 season.

And that was by no means the first goal by an Irishman in the derby. It also won't be the last if Seamus Coleman or James McCarthy have any choice in the matter tonight.

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