Leeds United 4-3 Liverpool
FA Charity Shield 1992
Eric Cantona, three months before a move to Manchester United, scored a hat-trick for Leeds as they grabbed a narrow win in one of the great Shield matches.
The Frenchman would make football history by becoming the first player to win a Championship medal with different clubs in successive seasons.
He put Leeds ahead at Wembley, The Shield’s permanent home since 1974, but Ian Rush scored a simple equaliser for Liverpool after ‘keeper John Lukic had failed to cut out a cross from Ronny Rosenthal. Tony Dorigo then gave Leeds the lead again just before half-time.
The defensive calamities continued when Leeds’ central defenders Chris Whyte and Chris Fairclough allowed Dean Saunders to score a stunning second equaliser midway through the second half. Two months later the Welsh striker would leave Liverpool for Aston Villa.
The incomparable skills of Cantona came to the fore after that. He notched a close-range third, but the fourth goal, headed in at the far post, had to go down as an error by Liverpool’s colourful ‘keeper Bruce Grobbelaar. He had lost the ball on the edge of the penalty area to Lee Chapman in the build-up to what turned out to be the winning goal.
The Zimbabwe international kept his place for The Shield, though Reds boss Graeme Souness had invested £1m in Watford’s David James during the close season.
The comedy didn’t end there. Liverpool’s third goal, a minute from time, provided an embarrassing moment for Leeds. Gordon Strachan, their captain, had only been on the field for five minutes as a substitute when he made three attempts to prevent Mark Wright’s speculative shot from entering the net. The ball finally crept between his legs and rolled over the line.
The 1992 Shield was something of an indication of the season ahead for both the Champions and the Cup holders. Leeds were knocked out of the European Cup in the second round, lost to Watford in the League Cup, went out of The Cup in the fourth round and sank to 17th in the Premier League. Liverpool made a rapid exit from Europe, escaped League Cup humiliation by Chesterfield before losing to Crystal Palace, and were brought down to earth by Bolton in The FA Cup.
Leeds United: Lukic, Newsome (Strachan), Dorigo, Batty, Fairclough, Whyte, Cantona, Wallace, Chapman (Hodge), McAllister, Speed
Liverpool: Grobbelaar, Tanner, Burrows, Marsh (Hutchison), Whelan, Wright, Saunders, Stewart, Rush, Rosenthal (Kozma), Walters