As the final whistle was blown and the teams prepared to leave the pitch, the roar went up and in unison the ground acclaimed their heroes.
'Everton, Everton, Everton,' they sung, for it was that kind of the day.
The statistics will record that Everton lost 2-0 at home to their neighbours Liverpool but that barely tells the story of the match.
Handy Andy: Carroll fired the Reds in front not long after coming on as sub
MATCH FACTS Everton: Howard,Hibbert (Velios 78), Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Coleman (Drenthe 59), Fellaini, Rodwell, Osman (Neville 69), Cahill, Saha.
Subs not used: Mucha, Bilyaletdinov, Stracqualursi, Barkley.
Sent off: Rodwell
Liverpool: Reina,Kelly, Carragher, Skrtel, Jose Enrique, Kuyt, Lucas (Henderson 88), Adam (Gerrard 67), Downing (Bellamy 67), Suarez, Carroll.
Subs not used: Doni, Coates, Spearing, Flanagan.
Goals: Carroll 71, Suarez 82
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)
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There was anger and frustration aplenty at Goodison Park but clearly a degree of pride about how their team had competed against richer rivals from across the park.
'Look, the team did everything,' said Everton manager David Moyes, exasperated. 'It was a hard, tough game for us today and it became tougher but the players kept at it. I just thought it ruined the game.'
He was referring, of course, to the 23rd-minute dismissal of Jack Rodwell.
The fact the game remained competitive for another hour after that was only because of the shift his players put in.
For Rodwell was hard done-by.
His sliding tackle was undoubtedly strong, but he never appeared to lose control or come off the ground as he slid in on Luis Suarez.
The fact that he won the ball is, these days, irrelevant, for if the referee deems that excessive force isused, a red card must be shown.
However, it was bewildering to see how Martin Atkinson had come to that conclusion.
The red card was immediately produced.
'I'd have been disappointed if it had been a free-kick,' said Moyes, echoing the views of most.
It was a great shame because a feisty derby had been developing.
Red alert: Rodwell clashes with Suarez and is promptly shown a red card
Goodison was at its most ferocious, in a positive way.
Not so later, when missiles were thrown at Liverpool.
But the initial stages of the game justified the crowd intensity.
In a thrilling 60-second sequence, starting in the eighth minute, Dirk Kuyt managed to out-wit Phil Jagielka and hook the ball in to Luis Suarez, who should have scored with a header.
But Everton broke back, with Seamus Coleman crossing for Tim Cahill, whose header was superbly tipped over by Pepe Reina.
Sylvain Distin and Louis Saha then both went close for Everton before the turning point arrived.
Spot on: Howard celebrates saving Kuyt's first-half penalty
'It's hypothetical whether we would have won it against eleven,' said Kenny Dalglish, and you couldn't fault his logic.
But the game changed at that moment as Cahill was forced to retreat into midfield alongside Marouane Fellaini, although Everton restricted Liverpool to two further chances that half.
One was a clumsy penalty, conceded byJagielka on Suarez and quite brilliantly saved, with a dive to his left, by Tim Howard from Kuyt.
The second came on the stroke of half-time, Charlie Adam's strike coming off the bar. Liverpool, and especially Andy Carroll, did improve after the break.
Saha had to clear off the line from the centre forward and then Howard saved from Carroll.
Game over: Suarez slides home the Reds' second to seal the three points at Goodison Park
Jagielka cleared smartly on 54 minutes, while Kuyt went close on 57 minutes.
Yet Everton persevered, with Saha turning neatly and unleashing a ferocious shot from 30 yards on the hour that was just wide.
Goodison could almost believe.
'We were very professional and composed,' said Dalglish.
When the chance came, on 71 minutes, it owed much to substitute Bellamy's scurrying and pass for Jose Enrique, who pulled the ball back for Carroll to turn it in from close range, his first league goal of the season.
Comeback King: Gerrard made a welcome return for Liverpool
'I don't think his confidence is a problem, I think the media is the problem,' said Dalglish.
Every week, he claimed, he is asked to assess the Carroll-Suarez partnership.
'We said when we signed both of themit was a great deal for the club and we don't see any reason to change that opinion or have a weekly bulletin.'
If Everton's defending was poor for the first goal, it was chaotic for the second on 82 minutes.
Leighton Baines had robbed Suarez of the ball as he advanced on goal, only to collide with Distin, whose prodreturned it to the Uruguayan. He finished from a tight angle from six yards to kill the game.
What have I done? Rodwell exits the field after being shown a red card
There were chances for Royston Drenthe and Saha thereafter but the cheekiest moment surely came when Suarez prepared to take a late corner.
Initially he flinched, as if hit by an object, which he then waved at the ref.
Yet as he did so he saw Kuyt in space and chipped the ball over a defender for his team-mate to shoot and strike the post.
You beauty! Carroll is mobbed after he opened the scoring for Liverpool
'It wasn't the referee that lost us the game, it was us, because we made a couple of defensive lapses and wedid everything we could to try to contain them,' said Moyes.
It was a noble thought that few managers in a similar position would have acknowledged.
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