Date: Saturday, 11th April 1992.

Venue: Elland Road, Leeds.

Competition: First Division.

Score: Leeds United 3 Chelsea 0

Scorers: Leeds United: Wallace, Chapman, Cantona. Chelsea: Nil.

Attendance: 31,404.


Leeds United: Lukic; Hodge (Newsome), Dorigo; Batty, Fairclough, Whyte; Strachan, Rod Wallace (Cantona), Chapman, McAllister, Speed.

Chelsea: Beasant; Clarke (Dixon), Myers; Jones, Elliott, Monkou; Le Saux (Barnard), Townsend, Stuart, Cascarino, Wise.

Referee: Mr N. Midgeley (Bolton).

A party always needs a good magician and French star Eric Cantona conjured up his own moment of magic against Chelsea at Elland Road in April of 1992. The clash with the Londoners was crucial to United’s title hopes and the enigmatic Frenchman capped a tremendous home display with one of the greatest goals ever seen at Elland Road. Cantona, who was on the bench, had only started five games for United and had been the only player to pay the price for the potentially damaging 4-0 defeat at Manchester City a week earlier. It was a game United simply had to win. Closest rivals Manchester United were inactive and victory would see Howard Wilkinson’s team back at the top of the table, even though only temporarily.

The first half saw United work hard with little impact, but Chelsea showed little ambition and Leeds raced into a two goal lead with Rod Wallace and Lee Chapman netting. The comfortable advantage, coupled with the blazing sun, created a party atmosphere inside Elland Road, and the scene was set for the French magician. Cantona’s first touch, after coming on for Rod Wallace, saw him unselfishly set up Chapman for United’s second goal, but no one was prepared for the grand finale. Cantona had shown undoubted talent in his earlier appearances but had yet to stamp his mark, up to that point!

A Gordon Strachan throw in was met by the right boot of the mercurial Cantona, who delicately chipped the ball over the head of defender Paul Elliott. He repeated the process with his left foot, leaving Elliott in a crumpled heap, before letting go the sweetest of half-volleys past the helpless David Beasant in the Chelsea goal. It was a moment of pure magic and the Elland Road faithful knew it. Not only were United going back to the top, but Cantona’s goal would be talked about for years to come.

The French National anthem rang out loud and clear from the Kop and few would have predicted the sad demise of the Cantona love affair just five months later. “The game will always be remembered for Eric’s goal.” Recalled United ace Gary McAllister. “In that one moment he proved what a special footballer he was. You would not see many better strikes than that. It was a privilege to be on the pitch when it went in.”

The 3-0 victory proved to be the start of a five-match unbeaten run which saw United claim the title with a 3-2 win at Sheffield United on the penultimate weekend of that season.






                               Rod Wallace, Lee Chapman and Eric Cantona got the Leeds goals



A Gordon Strachan throw-in                Gary McAllister was in awe.                  Steve Clarke and Andy Myers were the full-backs              

started the move for Cantona’s goal.                                             



Dave Beasant was in the Chelsea goal               Paul Elliott and Ken Monkou were the central defenders            



Graeme Le Saux, former United cult-hero Vinnie Jones, Andy Townsend and future United Manager Dennis Wise formed the midfield



Graham Stuart and Tony Cascarino started as the Chelsea strikers              Darren Barnard and Kerry Dixon came off the bench