Danny Cadamarteri's stunning strike 15 minutes from time ensured that Everton restored their battered pride with a rousing Merseyside derby victory over Liverpool at Goodison Park.
Everton went to war and Liverpool could not cope.
It was billed as the biggest mismatch in years with Liverpool on a roll and Everton reeling from their 4-1 Coca-Cola Cup defeat at Coventry in midweek.
But Everton, stung by criticisms from boss Howard Kendall, produced a performance of pride and passion to maintain their proud recent record against the arch enemy.
Everton took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Andy Hinchcliffe's corner was flicked on by Speed and turned into his own net by Neil Ruddock.
And Cadamarteri conjured up a thrilling clincher.
The 18-year-old chased and dispossessed Kvarme on the left, ran on, cut inside Ruddock and drilled a low shot inside James' right hand post.
Goodison Park erupted, the likely lad from Bradford was buried under a mountain of delirious colleagues, and Liverpool were finished.
Everton's defenders had done their bit and their midfield battlers were a match for Paul Ince and Co, but it was little Cadamarteri who stole the show again.
When he went off to a standing ovation two minutes from time, he even won a handshake of approval from Ruddock.
Everton were playing keep ball at the end, to rapturous applause from their fans, as they cruised to victory.
Kendall's men were in the relegation zone before then game but by the end the raw guts that Kendall had been demanding was there for all to see.
Liverpool have not won a derby at Goodison Park since 1990, and now none of the last seven anywhere.
Everton produced a first half of commitment and fire that was in sharp contrast to the nightmare at Coventry the previous Wednesday, when their display enraged Kendall so much he branded them passionless and unwilling.
But the same players, with Neville Southall restored in goal, went at Liverpool with more than enough passion to have the Goodison faithful roaring.
Gary Speed in midfield, Dave Watson and Craig Short at the back, and thesnarling menace of Duncan Ferguson up front gave Everton the upper hand.
If all that was not enough for Liverpool, they had to contend with the scampering skills of Cadamarteri and John Oster's instinctive control and passing.
All afternoon the ball was tossed in at Ferguson and he won virtually everything.
Early on he fed Cadamarteri, who hooked wide, and then Graham Stuart hacked wildly over after another towering header from the giant Scot.
The expected early bookings went to Bjorn Kvarme for blocking a Cadamarteri run, and then Stuart for his third assault on a red shirt inside a couple of minutes.
Liverpool efforts were rare in the first half, one fell to Karlheinz Riedle, and he flicked it wide from six yards, and then Robbie Fowler hoisted one wide after Steve McManaman's fine run and pass.
But it was still Everton who looked the most likely, and Cadamarteri chased and caught keeper David James as he dallied with the ball at his feet, and almost embarrassed the Liverpool man.
Everton should have scored when James spilled Oster's shot, Ferguson's effort was blocked by the 'keeper and Cadamarteri hooked over an open goal.
The second half saw Michael Owen on for Riedle, and Oyvind Leonhardsen for Berger as Roy Evans tried to inject pace into attack and steel into midfield.
Liverpool stepped it up, and Southall made brave saves at the feet of McManaman and then Fowler.
But Everton could have scored again when Short went on a rampaging run, found Cadamarteri, with the resulting shot being blocked twice by James.
Cadamarteri also got away on the right to create an opening for Oster but the Welshman flashed wide.
Liverpool upped the tempo, tried desperately to pen Everton in, but the blue shirts survived.
Oster was withdrawn to allow Gavin McCann to enter the midfield fireworks.
But as Liverpool tried to batter their way back into the game old hands like Watson and Short stood firm.
Everton: Southall, Barrett, Hinchcliffe, Short, Watson, Williamson, Stuart, Speed, Ferguson, Cadamarteri (Ball 87), Oster (McCann 9).
Subs Not Used: Gerrard, Phelan, Barmby.
Booked: Stuart, Cadamarteri, Barrett.
Goals: Cadamarteri 75, Ruddock 45 og.
Liverpool: James, Kvarme, McAteer, McManaman, Fowler, Riedle (Owen 50), Ruddock, Berger (Leonhardsen 56), Thomas, Ince, Bjornebye.
Subs Not Used: Nielson, Harkness, Wright.
Booked: Kvarme, Thomas, Owen.
Ref: M D Reed (Birmingham).
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