Everyone is always banging on about the special atmosphere generated at Anfield on European nights, but across Stanley Park things can get pretty rowdy as well.
Goodison Park will host its first European match since February 2010 tonight as Everton play host to Wolfsburg in the Europa League, and Blues supporters have been waiting with baited breath to cheer on their team under the old ground’s famous floodlights.
To celebrate their return to European action, here are five memorable Everton European nights:
Everton 0 Inter Milan 0, September 18 1963
Everton actually beat Liverpool to the privilege of hosting the first ever European Cup tie on Merseyside, when the giants of Inter Milan arrived amidst the chaos of ‘Beatlemania’ in 1963.
The Liverpool Echo reported that traffic was blocked in the city centre as everyone made their way to Goodison, but despite a raucous atmosphere the Italian giants held on for a goalless draw before winning the second leg of the first round tie 1-0.
Everton 3 Bayern Munich 1, April 24 1985
Described as Goodison Park’s greatest ever night, Everton came from a goal down to beat German giants Bayern Munich 3-1 in the semi-final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup, a trophy that they would go on to win.
Trailing both on the night and on aggregate, goals from Andy Gray, Trevor Steven and Kevin Sheedy completed the turnaround in front of almost 50,000 fans, plenty of whom still tell the tale to this day.
Everton 6 SK Brann 1, February 21 2008
No-one has ever been quite sure just how old Yakubu is, but it was goals not years that Everton fans were counting when the Norwegians SK Brann came to Goodison in the last 32 of the Uefa Cup in February 2008.
Having won the first leg 2-1, the David Moyes’s Blues routed the visitors 6-1 in front of an appreciative home crowd, who saw Yakubu bag a hat-trick, Andy Johnson score twice and Mikel Arteta find the net as the Blues won a club record seventh straight European game.
Everton 2 Fiorentina 0, March 12 2008
This clash ended in glorious failure for the Blues, who battled back from 2-0 down in the first leg of this last 16 tie to take the match to extra-time thanks to goals from Johnson and Arteta.
Younger Blues fans claim that this night produced the greatest ever atmosphere at Goodison, but the evening couldn’t end in victory as penalty misses from Yakubu and Phil Jagielka helped the Italians triumph in a shootout.
Everton 2 Sporting Lisbon 1, February 16 2010
Everton’s most recent European campaign ended with a last-32 defeat to Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon, but not before they’d given them a huge scare at Goodison.
Goals either side of half-time from Steven Pienaar and Sylvain Distin put the Blues in control of the clash, but the latter was then sent off for bringing down Liedson in the box late on, and Miguel Veloso scored a crucial away goal from the penalty spot.
Sporting won the second leg 3-0.
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