Recently, we reached the 2,000 Goal mark in the EPL. From equalising against Sheffield United to winning at Brighton, I think we've scored every kind of goal over the past 30 years. So here is a chance to remember a selection of them down the years. It's my 3,500 post, so you'll need time and patience to read this one.
v Chelsea (h) 2-1.
Dean Saunders last goal for us gave us the lead, but a last minute winner won us the game. Saunders played and scored against us at Aston Villa 2 weeks later.
v mancs (a) 2-2.
Ian Rush scored away at the mancs for the first time just before half time to put us 2-0 up. As the Stretford End was a building site at the time, there was nobody behind the goal to see it, and no travelling Kop there either. The lead lasted until injury time, so a point would have to do.
v Everton (h) 1-0.
Continuing the injury time theme, Ronnie Rosenthal got in on the act to win us the derby in front of the Kop in March. It seemed as though we were the only people interested in the game, as it was one of the last Saturday 3pm kos for the home fixture.
v Sheffield Wednesday (h) 2-0
This would be a make or break season for Souness, so it was important to get off to a good start. New signing Nigel Clough was determined to help out, and he scored on his debut just before half time. It was Day 1 of the last season of the standing Kop, and Day 1 of the squad numbers and surnames appearing on the shirt. The 2-0 win along with 4 wins in our first 5 games was just the start to the season we were looking for.
v mancs (h) 3-3.
Clough added 2 more to his tally to get us back in the game after a nightmare start to the new year. They were the last goals against the mancs in front of the standing Kop. Our other new signing Neil Ruddock got us back on terms, and we were all ecstatic except him, as he took a blow to the head in the process. But the comeback was complete and a cup tie against Bristol City at the weekend would surely be a routine win. 3 weeks later, the tie was lost and Souness resigned.
v Ipswich (h) 1-0
After such a promising start to the season, it gradually fell apart and it couldn't end soon enough. With 3 points won from the last 4 home games, it was left to Julian Dicks to score the last goal in front of the standing Kop from the penalty spot to win the other game against Ipswich on April 9. For the second season running, we failed to qualify for Europe.
v Arsenal (h) 3-0.
The new Kop Grandstand was opened for our first home game of the season v Arsenal, well at least the 4,000 lowest tier of it for now, as the rest of it was still under construction. Robbie Fowler burst onto the scene against Fulham in the League Cup the previous season, and in less than 5 minutes halfway through the first half, he scored a hat trick in our 3-0 win for our first win against them in 3 seasons. As with last season we started it well, but could we maintain it?
v Nottingham Forest (a) 1-1
With Evans now 1 year in the job, he was making slow and steady progress cleaning up the wreckage that Souness had left behind. But in our first trip to Forest since the opening day of the EPL, some things hadn't changed. We were still losing. Then Robbie stepped up again in injury time to nick us a point, and keep up the chase to get back into Europe.
v mancs (h) 2-0
After 2 years of frustration against the mancs, the first home game against them in front of a fully seated Kop, brought our first win in the fixture since the day we pushed Leeds over the line. Redknapp gave us the lead, and an own goal wrapped it up late on. The game ended with a song by a bunch of comics that every manc recognises, except it was being sung by the Kop instead.
v Blackburn (h) 2-1
The final day of the season saw the visitors leading the league and needing to better the mancs result to stop the three in a row. But we were their opposition so we had to try to win the game and still hope the mancs lost the league. Barnes scored an overhead kick in the away game earlier in the season, but when he scored this time, it made it 1-1 and set up a nerve wracking finish. In injury time everything was still undecided, when Redknapp scored a late free kick. Thankfully it didn't hurt anyone. We won our game, the mancs failed to win theirs and Blackburn won the league. The day could have gone horribly wrong, but it had a happy ending.
v Sheffield Wednesday (h) 1-0
As current League Cup winners, we were back in Europe. So it was time to splash the cash and Stan Collymore arrived during the summer, and on Day 1 he showed why he was signed by scoring the winner from 25 yards.
v Manchester City (h) 6-0
Yes it did happen. Once. They arrived here in October without a win, bottom of the table, and the laughing stock of the league. After we beat them 4-0 in the League Cup during the week, they got hit for 6 more in the league game at the weekend. Today the scoreline would attract headlines, back in October 95 though it was with more of a shrug of the shoulders. We had to make the most of it though because we didn't win for the next 6 weeks, and City were relegated after playing us on the final day of the season.
v Aston Villa (a) 2-0.
The Christmas fixture away from home was postponed, so it was rescheduled for the end of January. Collymore and Fowler scored 2 quick goals after an hour of play to win there for the first time since the hattrick by Rush in 1984. The home game in March was a routine 3-0 win with all the goals in the first 10 minutes.
v Newcastle (h) 4-3.
After losing to them in the League and League Cup in November, we had even more reason to win the home game than just to stay in the title race. When Robbie scored after 2 minutes, we were on our way, except games against Newcastle in that era were title deciders and not quite as straight forward as that. Losing at half time, it was time to leave nothing on the table in the second half. With the score 3-3 in injury time, Barnes was the only man in Anfield to see Collymore unmarked, so he passed it for him to score the winner. In this case revenge was sweet, and the title challenge was still on track. For the next 3 days until we lost at Coventry which left us with too much more work to do.
v Spurs (a) 2-0.
As was often the case during the era, November was a banana skin that we slipped on several times. So a game at Spurs in early December was a chance to get our next title challenge back on track. Michael Thomas and McManaman scored either side of half time for us to win 2-0. The second goal coming from a fortunate bounce on a divot that fooled the keeper, for the second time in the same year after an identical goal against Blackburn the previous season. It's never happened since.
v Southampton (a) 1-0.
Trips to Southampton are always our longest of the season, and not really somewhere you want to go to during Christmas. But after 1988, mistakes by Beasant in the opposition goalmouth were always welcome. In this case, it was a rash clearance well outside the penalty area from him that went straight to John Barnes, who sent it back into net at slow mo speed, but still enough to beat Beasant and score the winner. It put us 5 points clear in the title race at the end of 96, and some people thought we were going to win the league again. Instead the wait for it would go on.
v Aston Villa (h) 3-0.
My first time at a home game since 1990, saw Carragher make his home league debut in January. He used to play upfront in years gone by, and when he put us ahead early in the second half, it was hopefully a sign of things to come. His goals didn't come, but his appearances did for the next 16 years. Fowler and Collymore wrapped it up soon afterwards. I would be back in time, but Collymore would not after he left for Villa in the summer.
v Spurs (h) 4-0
The new season did not see a title challenge, but it did see the new Anfield Road Stand open, for away fans only. In November, they got a good view of all 4 of our goals after half time, as Redknapp, Owen, and new signing Leonhardsen all chip in. After 3 league games with away fans only in the stand, they would just get half of it at most, from now on.
v Newcastle (a) 2-1.
Last year it was Southampton, this year it was another long trip to Newcastle as part of our Christmas schedule. Barnes was now on their side, and they scored early. Before half time though, McManaman had put us ahead with s great long range strike that won the game, our first win at Newcastle in 10 years.
v Everton (h) 3-2.
The 98/99 season had very few highlights, but the derby at home stood out. A goal down in the first minute didn't help much. Then Robbie responded twice in a few minutes, and Patrik Berger scored the third with a low volley from the edge of the box to win us our first derby since 1994.
v mancs (a) 1-0.
On the crest of another November slippery slope, we headed off to face the mancs in hope more than expectation. We had taken the lead there before since our last win there, so even when Danny Murphy scored just before half time we didn't really expect it to last. But this time it did and we won there for the first time in 10 years. It was the first of three winners there from Murphy in 4 seasons, and the start of 5 wins in a row against the mancs. The sudden sunny spell of success against them, all felt like enjoying a 5 course dinner at the end of 40 days of lent.
v Everton (a) 3-2
After losing at home on Good Friday at home to Leeds, we headed north across the park on Easter Monday to another place we hadn't won in 10 years. The game had everything. Goals, penalties, red cards, and a 40 yard goal from McAllister's free kick in the last minute of injury time. It was our first away league win in 3 months, and the race to get back into the top 3 was back on. With the spell now broken, it was the start of 4 consecutive away wins across the park.
v Charlton (a) 4-0.
A win at Charlton would secure a top 3 spot. Their ground had one stand behind a goal with a roof, but no cover on it. After winning the cup treble, the hangover kicked in until Houllier got everyone in at half time for a chat. Then came the response. 3 goals from Fowler and Murphy put us at ease, then Owen wrapped it up, to secure the top 3 spot and kick Leeds out of the European Cup qualifiers by one point. After winning it 9-1 on aggregate, we were finally back in the European Cup proper, with our first game scheduled for September 11, just another random date in the year of 2001. Or so we thought.
v Ipswich (h) 5-0
Having already lost 6-0 to us at home 3 months ago, they arrived here needing to win to stay up. But we had our own goals to get. Riise, Owen, Smicer and for the last time Anelka, scored for us as we won 5-0, to get us automatic qualification for next year's European Cup group stage and become the first side since 1990 to finish above the mancs and still not win the league. Ipswich were relegated, but their fans held up banners stating that they would be back in the league. They've never been back and we've never played them since.
v Chelsea (a) 1-0.
After 2 successful seasons, things unravelled in Houllier's last 2 in charge, and highlights were harder to find. So the odds on us winning at Chelsea were long. And the odds on Bruno Cheyrou being the hero were longer again. But he turned up and won us the game, which got our first win there after almost 15 years of trying. It was a long wait but worth it in the end. We got fourth spot and got back into the European Cup. Minus Gerard. The board felt that just finishing 4th was no longer good enough to keep the manager in charge, so we needed to find someone else if we were going to win the league.
v Arsenal (h) 2-1.
Benitez was the man hired for the task, and 3 months into his reign, Arsenal showed up here, with 1 loss in 55 league games. A bright start saw Alonso put us ahead at half time. It didn't last however, and with the game drifting to a draw, Neil Mellor announced himself to us by scoring the winner from 35 yards with the last kick of the game. It should have put a marker down for the future. But the wait for better than finishing fourth would go on and on and on.
v Watford (h) 2-0
There wasn't much progress over the next 2 years in terms of winning the league, but at least when I went to the home game against Watford, early and late second half goals from Belllamy and Alonso won us the game 2-0, and gave us something of a Happy Christmas. Or at least for 3 days, before the team went to face Blackburn.
v Sheffield United (h) 4-0.
It was their first trip here in the league in 13 years, the first season of Fowler. This game was a routine 4-0 win where Robbie scored his last goals for us, both from the spot with modest goal celebrations in the driving rain. He retired for good at the end of the season and Sheffield United were nowhere to be seen here for the next 13 years.
v Manchester City (a) 3-2
By now they had Thai owners and wanted to make new statements, but at least we could still face a relatively fair fight. But 2 down at half time left us with a lot of work to do. Thanks to Kuyt and Torres, the job was completed in injury time. But there have not been many highlights to enjoy there since.
v QPR (h) 1-0.
In a season that started poorly and never got going, Carragher decided that he was fed up enough of the annual top 4 fight, or in this season's case the top 6 bunfight, and decided to retire at the end of the season. We were at home on the last day for the first time in 4 years, and with nothing much at stake when it came, the biggest challenge was trying to get tickets. I was there for his first home game and his last game on the field, having got a ticket at the office with minutes to spare. He nearly scored himself when a 30 yard effort hit the post, but Coutinho had a more accurate effort midway through the first half, and that was all we needed to beat the already relegated visitors. We should have scored even earlier when the ball clearly crossed the line but it wasn't given. Thank god it was the last senior team game without goalline technology, but if we had it at the time, I'm sure the 2,000 goal mark would arrive even earlier.
v Stoke (h) 1-0
After the title challenge that went all the way to the last game the year before, Suarez was sold and we struggled to cope without him. By the end of November, we were already too far behind to have another go at it, and questions were already being asked of Rodgers. Then came the Stoke game at home. It was another afternoon of frustration until Glen Johnson bundled home a header with 5 minutes to go. The trip to Stoke on the last day of the season was billed as Gerrard's last game, which he marked with the last of his 186 goals. After the career he had, it should have been scored in a better setting than a cold day in Stoke.
v Manchester City (a) 4-1
6 months later Jürgen had arrived, and within a month it was his first time to face City. They couldn't compete with all the gegenpressing and we were 3 goals up in half an hour. Skrtel didn't give Sterling a sniff and wrapped it up with a magnificent 4th. Great as it was, it is atm, our only league win there since 2008.
v Norwich (a) 5-4.
Klopp's heavy metal arrival to the EPL had plenty of moments and plenty of critics. And by the time we went to Norwich in January, there was plenty of both. Firmino gave us the lead, and then we were 1-3 behind. Henderson, Firmino and Milner then put us ahead, where it was time to put the shutters up and experiment with game management, which didn't last long. In the fifth minute of injury time, Lallana scored a mishit shot into the net to win us the game. Jürgen lost his glasses, the players gave their shirts to the travelling Kop at the end, such was the emotion of winning league games at Norwich in those days. It would be a 6 game wait before we won again with a 6-0 win at Villa.
v Hull City (h) 5-1.
So Norwich were relegated and Hull replaced them. And apparently, one of the perks of promotion is a trip to our house, especially with us having a brand new three tier stand to show off to the world. To mark it's arrival, Leicester got hit for 4, Hull for 5, and a month later Watford for 6, to have us top of the league. Hull had an ex-manc in charge when they showed up on his birthday. After the game, Jürgen was asked if he had a birthday message for him. His response was simply "sorry".
v Watford (a) 1-0
By the time the trip to Watford happened on May Day, the title was over and the top 4 fight was back on. With last year's thrashing down there still fresh in the memory, it was a bit much to expect a thrashing of our own doing. A very average performance was brightened up with an overhead kick by Emre Can. Of the 2,000 goals we've scored, there have been few better in terms of individual skill. It deserved to win the game and it did. And 10 points won in the last 4 games was enough for us to kick Arsenal out of the European Cup for the first time in 20 years. We've been in it ever since.
v Manchester City (h) 4-3
The away game in September was declared over as a contest after 37 minutes, after an incident. There was no VAR around to help out, so when we had the chance to respond in January, revenge was in the air. Within 10 minutes the Ox put us ahead, while Firmino and Mane strengthened the lead, and not wanting to feel left out, Mo Salah curled a shot in from at least 40 yards. It was the winning goal of the game and I voted it as goal of the season. They won the league at a canter, but we beat them twice again in the European Cup and put them on notice regarding the years to come.
v Huddersfield (h) 5-0
If they didn't get the message then, they had by April 2019 when the title was still on. It was my last home game atm, and my first evening ko. With just 3 games left, a home game against an already long since relegated opposition, is the perfect fixture ahead of what's still to come, at home and abroad. Within 17 seconds of ko, Naby Keita had already scored and the win was in the bag. We've scored in the first minute before, but never earlier than this. By half time it was 3, by full time it was 5, and it put us top of the league with 2 games to go. We all headed home knowing that if only we were top of the league after the next home game, the title would be back home, but if is the biggest word in football. There was a parade at the end of the season, with the gleaming European Cup to proudly show off again.
v Wolves (h) 1-0
The last game of the decade was at home to Wolves, and for the only time in our history, we were allowed to display the FIFA World Champions Seal of Approval on our shirts during a league game. After having a very Happy Christmas, this one saw the hangover kick in. Mane had a goal disallowed by the ref for a handball by Lallana. Thankfully VAR was in operation for the first time this season, to spot that the "handball" was just an illusion by a manc based ref, and the goal should be given. So for the first time a VAR goal won us the game and had us 13 points clear going into the new year with a game in hand. Most of us were still wary of title talk, but one poster here got so excited that he started to book tickets for the parade in May already.
v Bournemouth (h) 2-1
The points lead had stretched further by the time Bournemouth arrived here in March. Goals by Salah and Mane put us 25 points clear, and needing just 6 more points to end all the years of hurt. It took 3 more months to get them, but plans for parties and parades couldn't beat the realities of a global pandemic, so the trophy parade all around the streets was restricted to an in-house celebration all around the pitch. But when you've been waiting 30 years for something, it's still fantastic to finally see it happening.
v Brighton (a) 2-0
After almost 30 years of fantastic goals, long range shots, short range tap ins, set piece specials, pass and move exhibitions, goalmouth scrambles, along with many emotional moments and seasons ranging from over 100 goals scored to 47, fate would have it that the 2,000 goal mark was finally reached with a penalty from Mohammed Salah, despatched with the minimum of fuss. His latest 20th goal of the season put us 2-0 up and keep our title challenge going. We'll know how that went soon enough, well at least sooner than it will take us to score our next 2,000 league goals...