Results: Arsenal 2-4 Norwich City, Chelsea 1-1 Oldham Athletic, Coventry City 2-1 Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace 3-3 Blackburn Rovers, Everton 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich Town 1-1 Aston Villa, Leeds United 2-1 Wimbledon, Sheffield United 2-1 Manchester United, Southampton 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur, Nottingham Forest 1-0 Liverpool FC, Manchester City 1-1 Queens Park Rangers
After all the hype, the anticipation and the build-up, a new dawn for English football began on Saturday 15th August 1992 – the very first day of action in the newly-formed FA Premier League.
18 of the 22 clubs took part on the first day of action and there was a fast start at Bramwall Lane, where the first goal in the league’s history was scored by Brian Deane of Sheffield United. His header after just five minutes opened the scoring against title favourites Manchester United. Deane added another goal in the second half as the Blades came away with a 2-1 victory and gave the Red Devils plenty of food for thought.
Arsenal were also among the bookies’ favourites for the inaugural title. English champions in 1989 and 1991, the Gunners started against Norwich City, who had just managed to avoid relegation the previous campaign. Whilst the North Bank standing terrace had been demolished for an all-seater replacement, the controversial ‘Highbury Mural’ took its place. It was created to hide the various cranes and construction works that would be in place during its restructure. The team found no inspiration. In fact, they crumbled from a 2-0 winning position to lose 4-2. Norwich would end the opening weekend on top of the table.
The defending champions were Leeds United and they started off with an edgy 2-1 home win over Wimbledon. Lee Chapman scored both goals for Howard Wilkinson’s side. Home form wouldn’t be too much of an issue in their title defence but their away record was terrible and would totally derail any long-term title tilt in 1992/1993.
Blackburn Rovers were new to the top-flight, having been promoted via the playoffs. They had spent big too that summer, smashing the British transfer record to sign Southampton striker Alan Shearer, who had been courted by Manchester United. Shearer immediately started to repay the first instalments of the fee. He scored twice at Selhurst Park but Blackburn were to be denied an opening win in the blazing South London sunshine. Simon Osborn scored in the last minute to ensure a share of the spoils for Crystal Palace.
“A Whole New Ball Game” began a day later with the first live game televised by Sky Sports. Teddy Sheringham had the honour of scoring the first live televised goal in the Premier League. His strike was enough for Nottingham Forest to defeat Liverpool FC 1-0 at the City Ground on Ford Super Sunday. It would prove to be Sheringham’s final goal as a Forest player. Days later, he was transferred to Tottenham Hotspur.
The final weekend concluded with Manchester City vs. Queens Park Rangers on the Monday Night Football. David White scored from close range to give the home side the lead. This was swiftly cancelled out in the second half by an Andy Sinton blockbuster. 1-1 was the final score at Maine Road.
30 goals were scored on the first weekend of Premier League football. The omens were good for a fruitful opening season in the new English top-flight.
What else happened in August 1992?
- David Gower plays in his final cricket test match for England.
- The 25th Olympic Games come to a conclusion in Barcelona. Linford Christie, Sally Gunnell and Chris Boardman are among the Gold Medal winners for Great Britain.
- 35 people lose their lives as Hurricane Andrew hits South Florida.
- Canada, Mexico, and the United States announce a deal is reached on the North American Free Trade Agreement.
- Intimate photographs of the Duchess of York and a Texan businessman, John Bryan, are published in the Daily Mirror.
- Nigel Mansell wins the FIA Formula One World Championship after finishing second to Ayrton Senna at the Hungarian Grand Prix.