"I was so in-tune" - Remembering Brian Deane's remarkable lob for Sheffield United against Liverpool, almost 30 years on

His first goal was from around 45 yards, the second from 12. It's almost 30 yards since Brian Deane's memorable double against Liverpool in March 1992, but it's as fondly remembered now as it ever was at Sheffield United.

Sunday, 21st February 2021, 6:00 pm

This was an era before the Premier League and, if you asked Sky Sports, before football began later in 1992. United were 17th in the old Division One and the illustrious visitors were fourth, albeit a fair way off the leaders and eventual champions Leeds.

The Liverpool side that graced Bramall Lane that day was packed with quality, with a combined 334 international caps, but the underdogs won the day 2-0, with Deane stealing the show with both goals.

The second was sublime, but the first was ridiculous. Kevin Gage's clearance was helped on by Alan Cork and with Bobby Davison looking to chase it down, Bruce Grobbelaar raced off his line to intercept.

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Never one to do things the orthadox way, Grobbelaar looked to chest the ball past Davison and Deane's eyes lit up. The United striker calmly took a touch, let the Liverpool 'keeper run past him and then executed a perfect lob into the back of the net in front of the Kop.

Deane was around 45 yards when he let fly and still Steve Nicol, racing back to the goalline to cover his goalkeeper, had no chance. Maybe that stuck in his head some years later when, after moving into punditry, he derided United's Premier League hopes. He made a mess of that, too. The Blades went on to finish ninth.

Often unfairly tagged as a target-man, Deane believed that the goal showcased the aspects of his game that people did not always recognise and his manager described it as "great skill".

"Although Bruce gets the blame for it, Brian showed great composure," Bassett added.

"He showed tremendous ability to chip it home as well.

"His second goal was of a similar calibire. It looked easy, but Burrows was putting him under pressure. He went to ground, Brian feinted to put the ball past Bruce to his right, took it to the left and slipped it in."

Brian Deane and Dave Bassett, reunited 25 years after Deane's remarkable goal against Liverpool - Marisa Cashill

For Grobbelaar, it was an afternoon to forget and he made another error too, under pressure from Deane, which resulted in Dane Whitehouse slotting home.

But the goal was disallowed, for reasons unknown to just about everyone apart from the referee, and Grobbelaar - a six-time Division One winner with Liverpool who also lifted the European Cup in 1984, breathed a sigh of relief.

That is until Deane beat him again, after outmuscling David Burrows and putting the goalkeeper on his backside before rolling the ball into the empty net in front of almost 29,000 at Bramall Lane.

Brian Deane, Sheffield United FC - 1992

Deane scored 121 goals across three spells with United, and admits that brace against Liverpool stands out in his mind.

"The first one was just instinctive," he said. "I was so in-tune."

Less than six months later, Deane made history with the Premier League's first goal. But for pure technical ability, there surely haven't been many better scored at Bramall Lane in the near-30 years since.