Manchester City first played Everton, from the city of Liverpool, two days before Christmas and just a few days before the end of the nineteenth century.
The two sides met in League Division One at City’s Hyde Road ground in Manchester on 23rd December, 1899. Everton won the match 2.1. Inside-right Jimmy Settle scored one of Everton’s goals that day. Settle could also play as a winger and was considered to be so fast that he could have had a successful sprinting career had he not concentrated on football.
Settle played six times for England and scored their goal in a 1.0 win over Scotland on 5th April, 1902. However, this match does not appear in official international football records, rather it was a tragic example of back page match reports becoming front page headlines. The match was played at Ibrox Stadium, home of Glasgow Rangers. After heavy rain during the previous night the wooden West Tribune stand collapsed, killing 25 football supporters and injuring 517. The first major incident of its kind in British football, it will be forever known as the ‘First Ibrox Disaster.’
City had been founded nineteen years earlier, as St Mark’s Church in West Gorton. In 1887 St Mark’s evolved into Ardwick A.F.C. and moved to Hyde Road. Hyde Road was destroyed by fire in 1923 and the club moved to Maine Road where they remained until they moved again to the City of Manchester Stadium in 2003, now more commonly known as Etihad Stadium or simply ‘The Etihad.’
Ardwick were founder members of the new Second Division of the Football League in 1892 before going bankrupt and being reformed as Manchester City in 1894. This was the same year that the Manchester Ship Canal – also known as the ‘Big Ditch’ – was opened confirming Manchester as the world’s first inland port. Although a great commercial rivalry already existed between the cities, many cite the building of the Canal and the maritime business and jobs that subsequently moved to Manchester from Liverpool as the source of such fierce competition which still exists today on the football field in derby matches between Liverpool and Manchester United, and Everton and Manchester City.
Manchester City were promoted to the First Division in 1898-99 and so faced Everton in the league for the first time the following season. All of the league meetings between these two teams have taken place in the top tier of English football – League Division One of the Football League until 1992 and the Premier League since then.
Everton were originally founded two years earlier than Manchester City, in 1878 as St Domingo’s (after the local Methodist Church), changing their name a year later to Everton F.C. They were founder members of the world’s first football league – The Football League – in 1888, were league champions in 1890-91 and moved to the new Goodison Park a year later – one of the first purpose-built football grounds in the world. They had also finished as runners-up twice by the time they played City. Certainly they would have been seen as the ‘Grand Old Team’ when they first encountered these ‘upstarts’ from Manchester, though both sides were well established as the Victorian Age drew to a close.
Everton also won the corresponding away league fixture – and first of the new century – at Goodison Park, 4.0 on 28th April, 1900
Manchester City won their first match against Everton later that year. A First Division match, they won 1.0 on 13th October, 1900 in front of 15,000 at Hyde Road. The winner was scored by Scottish forward ‘Jim’ Cassidy who had previously played for Newton Heath – the team from the other side of town and destined to become Manchester United in 1902.
Manchester City’s first league game against Everton at Maine Road occurred on 15th December, 1923 in the First Division. City won 2.1 in front of an attendance of 35,000. Horace Barnes and Frank Roberts scored the goals for the home team.
Everton’s biggest win in the fixture came just under six years later when they beat City 9.1 at Goodison Park on 3rd September, 1906. Settle scored two more goals and Scottish striker Alex ‘Sandy’ Young scored four of Everton’s goals that day. Young had scored Everton’s FA Cup Final winner against Newcastle United the previous April and would go on to also play for Manchester City for a season in 1911-12. With 125 goals, he is fourth in the all-time list of top Everton goalscorers. His life after football was far less glorious with him being certified as mentally unstable and dying in 1959 in an Edinburgh mental asylum.
The Toffees put a further six goals past Manchester City two years later, on 26th September, 1908, again at Goodison in a 6.3 league win in which Sandy Young also scored a hat-trick.
They repeated the feat between the wars and, again, just before Christmas in a 6.1 league win at Goodison Park, a week after that inaugural game between the teams at Maine Road. Scorer of four goals on 22nd December, 1923 was ‘Wilf’ Chadwick who would go on to amass an impressive fifty goals in 102 league appearances in his three years at Everton.
Manchester City also scored six of their own – the highest number of goals they have ever put past Everton – for the first time on 15th September, 1928. City had been relegated at the end of the 1925-26 season but promoted back to the First Division in 1928 and so this was the first time they had played Everton for two and a half years. They certainly celebrated their return in style, winning 6.2 at Goodison Park in front of 47,871 astonished fans. Forward Tommy Johnson scored five of City’s goals that day and would go on to achieve the record for the most goals scored by a Manchester City player in a single season with 38 in that campaign. Like Jimmy Settle he would also play for the other club, joining Everton in 1930.
City were certainly back in the top flight with a vengeance – certainly as far as Everton were concerned – as they went on to win the corresponding fixture in Manchester 5.1 on 26th January, 1929. ‘Fred’ Tilson scored two of City’s goals that day. A one-team player he would compete for Manchester City up until the outbreak of WWII which included him scoring the two goals which helped Manchester City to beat Portsmouth in the 1934 FA Cup Final 2.1.
The Citizens would win 6.2 again on 7th December, 1957 – this time at Maine Road. Captain Ken Barnes scored a hat-trick – this time all penalties. He was only the third player to achieve this in the top flight of English football and, as designated penalty-taker for City, scored eleven in total during that season.
As well as in that 1929 match, Manchester City have scored five goals against Everton on three other occasions: 5.2 at Goodison on 19th April, 1958; 5.0 at home on 9th December, 2000 and 5.1 at home on 15th May, 2004.
The match in 2000 provided Manchester City’s highest margin of victory in these matches and, a bit like in 1928, was their first encounter with Everton after City had been relegated and even slipped into the third-tier before successive promotions saw them regain their Premier League status. Paulo Wanchope scored one of City’s goals that day and added two more in the 5.1 victory in 2004 which was the first time the fixture had been played at City’s new home.
The highest scoring draw in this fixture came fairly early on – a 4.4 draw on 19th September, 1925 at Maine Road. One of Everton’s goals came from legendary striker Dixie Dean while Tommy Browell – who had formed a lethal goalscoring partnership with Horace Barnes – scored all four of City’s goals as their season promised much and then fell apart at the end. They reached the 1926 FA Cup Final via some huge victories such as an 11.4 win against Crystal Palace and 3.0 against Manchester United in the semi-final. However, they lost in the Final 1.0 to Bolton Wanderers. As we have seen, they were also relegated at the end of the season after a 3.2 defeat on the final day of the season at Newcastle United.
These two sides have met seven times in the FA Cup and on two occasions the winners of those ties have gone on to the Final: Everton who beat Sheffield Wednesday 3.2 in 1966, and City who lost in that dramatic FA Cup Replay of 1981, also 3.2, to Tottenham Hotspur.
They have only met three times in the Football League Cup. A 2.0 victory in the fourth round at Maine Road on 14th October, with goals by City stalwarts of the time Colin Bell and Francis Lee, again helped them to reach the Final in 1970 in which they beat West Bromwich Albion 2.1. Everton got their revenge on 20th January, 1988 when a crowd of more than 40,000 at Goodison Park saw them win by the same score in that year’s quarter-final: Adrian Heath and Graeme Sharp got the Everton goals.
The last time they met in this competition came in the two-legged semi-final of 2015-16 and a period of three games between the sides in a three-week period in January 2016. Everton won the first leg 2.1 at Goodison Park. There then followed a goalless draw at The Etihad before the teams met again in Manchester on 27th January, 2016 with City winning 3.1 with goals from Fernandinho, De Bruyne and Aguero to progress to the Final where, once again, they won the trophy by beating Liverpool on penalties 3.1 after the match had finished 1.1.