A View From Below

Sporting debate and opinion

Fabregas confirmed as ‘Battle of the Buffet’ culprit

Former Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas was the player that threw pizza at Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson after the ill-tempered Premier League encounter in 2004.

Martin Keown taunts Ruud Van Nistelrooy after his late penalty miss in 2003's league fixture at Old Trafford

Pundit and ex-Gunners defender Martin Keown revealed the Spaniard as the guilty party behind the astonishing act this week on 5 Live.

The game saw a 2-0 victory for Man United at Old Trafford that ended Arsenal’s unbeaten run at 49 games, ensuing a fiery post match fracas between players and management of both sides in the tunnel.

Before now rumours had surrounded who was responsible for the ‘Pizza-gate’ scandal, with Chelsea left back Ashley Cole only hinting at the identity of the perpetrator.

All I can say is that the culprit wasn’t English or French, so that should narrow it down,” wrote Cole in his 2006 book ‘My Defence’.

Cole describes the event that has kept journalists and fans alike guessing for almost a decade: “This slice of pizza came flying over my head and hit Fergie straight in the mush.”

The slap echoed down the tunnel and everything stopped – the fighting, the yelling, everything. All eyes turned and all mouths gawped to see this pizza slip off that famous puce face and roll down his nice black suit.”

Sir Alex Ferguson himself spoke out about the incident in 2006, which forced him to chance clothes before he did his post match TV interviews with the press.

“In the tunnel [Arsene] Wenger was criticising my players, calling them cheats, so I told him to leave them alone and behave himself.”

To not apologise for the behaviour of the players to another manager is unthinkable,” scathed Ferguson.

The bad blood between the two sides has diminished somewhat since 2004, as Arsenal have been overtaken as the Red Devils main rivals by Chelsea and Manchester City.

But at least now Keown has admitted that Fabregas, 17-years-old at the time, was the man with pizza in hand, the hatchet can be buried on one of English football’s most scandalous stories.

2004's Old Trafford encounter was later coined 'Pizzagate' due to unsavoury scenes in the tunnel after the game


November 13, 2011 - Posted by | Football

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