Sheffield United: Six memorable opening day Blades matches

Brian Deane makes football history as he scores the first ever Premier League goal in a 2-1 victory for the Blades against Manchester United at Bramall Lane in August 1992
Brian Deane makes football history as he scores the first ever Premier League goal in a 2-1 victory for the Blades against Manchester United at Bramall Lane in August 1992
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On the eve of the new season we take a look back at some of the most memorable Sheffield United opening day matches.

August 24 1990

Sheffield United 1 Liverpool 3

Reigning League Champions Liverpool visited Bramall Lane for the Blades first game back in the top flight for more than a decade.

The match-ball was parachuted into the ground and there was a carnival atmosphere inside the Lane as Dave Bassett's Blades sought to pull off a sensational opening day victory.

The match started in the worst possible way for United when just 15 minutes in keeper Simon Tracey suffered a fractured cheekbone.

Vas Borbokis celebrates scoring on his debut for the Blades against Sunderland on the opening day of the 1997/98 season

Vas Borbokis celebrates scoring on his debut for the Blades against Sunderland on the opening day of the 1997/98 season

These were the days before substitute goalkeepers and Tracey was replaced between the sticks by full-back John Pemberton.

However it took Liverpool until the 59th minute to beat the makeshift keeper and break the deadlock - John Barnes getting on the scoresheet.

But within a minute the Blades were back on level terms - Brian Deane latching onto a through ball to fire past Bruce Grobbelaar in front of the Kop.

The joy was short-lived though and late goals from Ray Houghton and Ian Rush condemned the Blades to defeat.

Danny Webber and Leigh Bromby join Rob Hulse in celebrating his goal which gave the Blades the lead against Liverpool on the opening day in 2006

Danny Webber and Leigh Bromby join Rob Hulse in celebrating his goal which gave the Blades the lead against Liverpool on the opening day in 2006

Despite the defeat Blades fans were in good voice at the final whistle - United were back in the big time and had put up a good show against the champions.

August 14 1992

Sheffield United 2 Manchester United 1

History was made at Bramall Lane as Brian Deane scored the first ever Premier League goal.

Just three minutes into the match a long Carl Bradshaw throw was flicked on and Deane powered an unstoppable header past Peter Schmeichel in front of a rapturous Kop.

The second half began just as well for the Blades when Alark Cork was brought down in the box by Gary Pallister and Deane stepped up to fire home from the spot.

Mark Hughes got one back for the Red Devils but the Blades held on for a famous opening day victory.

August 9 1997

Sheffield United 2 Sunderland 0

Nigel Spackman's first game in charge of United and return of Blades legend Brian Deane.

The Blades tore Sunderland apart for 90 minutes with some of the most scintillating football seen at Bramall Lane for many years.

It wasn't Deano who stole the show but fellow new boy Vas Borbokis.

The classy Greek full back spent most of the mach marauding down the right flank, leaving defenders for dead.

The Blades opened the scoring just after half hour mark - Jan Aage Fjortoft heading home from Borbokis' perfectly delivered free kick.

Minutes later Borbokis doubled the lead when he latched onto a pass from Fjortoft to fire into the top corner.

United could have gone on to score five or six as they created a host of chances but the final score remained 2-0.

August 20 2005

Sheffield United 4 Leicester City 1

Neil Warnock spent big in the pre-season and the Blades started the season with a bang.

Andy Gray's goal ensured United went in at half time one goal to the good.

Leicester hit back with an equaliser five minutes after the restart but three goals in the last 10 minutes - from Steve Kabba, new signing Paul Ifill and Leigh Bromby ensured the Blades season got off to the perfect start.

The performance and the result set the tone for the rest of the season - with the Blades winning promotion back to the Premier League after a 12 year hiatus.

August 19 2006

Sheffield United 1 Liverpool 1

Anticipation was high ahead of United's first match back in the Premier League after a 12 year absence.

After a cagey first half the match burst into life shortly after the restart when new signing Rob Hulse met David Unsworth's free kick with a flying header to give the Blades a one nil lead.

The home side were only denied a famous opening day victory by a hotly disputed penalty after Steven Gerrard had gone down in the box.

August 8 2015

Gillingham 4 Sheffield United 0

This match was memorable for all the wrong reasons - Sheffield United heaviest opening day defeat for many years.

United were favourites to win the league and Blades fans travelled down to Gillingham in force.

But Nigel Adkins first match in charge turned out to be a complete disaster ending in a 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Gills.