Tomorrow's matchup between our Blues and Liverpool's Blues is steeped in history. The clubs have through the years shared so many players, managers and competitive matches - the series is balanced with Manchester City holding a one win overall lead in a rivalry that began in 1899. The League Cup Semifinal first leg promises to be a competitive affair.
In our history of competitive games against Everton though the statistics are a little more balanced. In fact they really couldn't get more balanced, City has won 67 times while Everton has won 66 games from a total of 177, with the other 44 obviously being tied games. When you remove cup competitions from the equation City have the slight advantage with 62 wins against Everton's 58.
It all began two days before Christmas, and eight days before the start of the 1900's, when Manchester City hosted Everton for the first time in league play. A single Meredith goal was not enough for City who lost 2-1 to visitors. The return game, which was also the last one of that campaign, ended worse for City as they were thumped 4-0.
As heavy as that defeat was, it was not the heaviest suffered by City at the hands Sundays hosts. A 6-3 defeat on September 26th 1908 or a 6-1 in our first season at Maine Road would not even be the worst. In the second game on the 1906/07 season, away at Everton, City let in 9 and is in our history as the heaviest defeat we suffered.
But it is not all doom and gloom. City have spanked Everton at points in the history also. Though two 4-0 victories in both 1909 and 1912 did little to help our plight those seasons as we suffered relegation in 1909 before barely surviving in 1912. Both games in the 1928/29 season were high scoring also with City victorious 6-2 away and then 5-1 at Maine Road. Similar was done in the 1957/58 season, although City slipped up a little as Everton managed to sneak in an extra goal (6-2, 5-2).
Recent history has not been such a good read though for City with only five wins in the last sixteen meetings, with three of those coming in the last four games. When you take results just at Goodison, the stats just get worse. Two wins in the last seventeen league games played at Goodison Park needs adjusting and maybe Sunday could be no better time to rectify the situation a little.
So it seems we share overall statistics with no side having an historical advantage, but there are also players and Managers have we shared. Of course you instantly think of Gareth Barry who went to Everton, or Jack Rodwell who left them for us but going back you have a whole host of players and Managers who did a lot for one, or both, of the clubs. Sylvan Distin played for City in defense at a time when City defenders were earning their money. Anyone remember Jo? He spent time at both clubs and was as consistent at Everton as he was at City! Ha!
Joe Royle, the man who guided City through the dark time and back into the Premier League fifteen years ago, also played for us and did the same for Everton, 125 goals in a combined 299 appearances for the two clubs.
Mark Hughes and Peter Beardsly are both more famous for playing for the red half of each City but both also had spells at City. For Peter it was a brief spell in 1998, five years after leaving Everton. For Hughes, well we all remember our first Manager of the Abu Dhabi era. Eight years before taking the reigns at City he was turning out, albeit briefly, in Everton colors.
The list goes on and on with Peter Reid, Howard Kendall and Andrei Kanchelskis all employed by both clubs at some point in their careers.
Of course Joe Mercer had links with both clubs also. Won everything under the sun with City while also playing almost 200 times for Everton. Speaking of Joe Mercer and City winning things, how have our games against Everton gone in those particular seasons?
In the 1936/37 season, our first League title, our visit to Everton resulted in a 1-1 draw as it did in November 1967. Under our title with Mancini our game against Everton ended in a 1-0 defeat with ex United player Darron Gibson scoring the only goal. Our last title though, in 2013/14 was much better. Sergio Aguero and an Edin Dzeko brace secured all three points as the league was wrapping up.
Interestingly, with our European victory in the 1969/70 season the game away to Everton was played exactly seventy years to the day of that very first encounter and, like back then, Everton won by the single goal. In fact, other than the most recent Premier League trophy, City have never won away to Everton the same season they go on to win a trophy. All our FA Cup victories were in a season Everton beat us in the League on their ground. In the League cup, we never won away to Everton before lifting it, except again with our last one. With that in mind, thinking back to that streak I mentioned at the beginning, would we sacrifice that if it meant lifting a trophy at the end of the season?