Duncan Ferguson launched Joe Royle's brave new Everton world in the most wonderful way imaginable, victory in the 151st Merseyside League derby.
The 4 million pound Rangers bad boy, who may be facing yet another court appearance, could not have timed the first goal of his two-month loan spell more perfectly. He then set up a last-minute second for substitute Paul Rideout to clinch only Everton's second win in 17 games.
It hoists them off the bottom of the Premiership for the first time above Leicester and Ipswich. Daniel Amokachi at last got his act together with a strong run at the heart of the Liverpool defence.
His low shot took a deflection off Neil Ruddock and a sprawling David James just only managed to tip it round his left-hand post. But from Andy Hinchcliffe's inswinging corner, lanky Ferguson headed home at the near post.
He added to his cause in the last few moments, challenging James for Hinchcliffe's high cross and pressurising the goalkeeper into releasing the ball to the unmarked Rideout for the clincher.
The value of victory can be measured by the fact that Royle's six predecessors won only seven and lost 20 of the previous 42 League derbies.
Liverpool headed back across Stanley Park feeling hard done by; their vociferous claims for an 82nd-minute penalty turned down when it seemed Rideout had stopped a Ruddock shot with his hand.
But the Everton substitute could have already put the game beyond their reach.
John Scales' mistake gave John Ebbrell the chance to put Rideout away on the right but cracked his shot low and hard against the base of the far post.
Then Rob Jones came sweeping in from the right to drive a great chance clear across the face of the goal as the game finished much more entertainingly than it had started.
Liverpool's new England boy Steve McManaman curled a delightful shot wide of the far post in the seventh minute.
Then James sprawled to his left at the other end when Joe Parkinson's shot skidded off the heel of Ruddock.
But a busy beginning gave way to a frantic first half, only the measured passing of John Barnes and Jan Molby briefly lifting them above the frenzy.
Unfortunately they were rarely in a position to supply the final pass, the missing Liverpool ingredient.
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