Pizzagate: a slice of strife

Long-standing hostilities between Manchester United and Arsenal reached a new boiling point in October 2004, when Sir Alex Ferguson's men ended Arsenal's 49-game unbeaten sequence in the Premiership. United won 2-0 in a match that has since been nicknamed the "battle of the buffet".

The action was tempestuous enough on the field, with Arsenal's forward José Antonio Reyes saying: "In all my sporting life, I have never received so many kicks as I did in Manchester. It was the hardest match I have played." The game swung United's way after a disputed penalty award but it was after the match that the sparks, and the food, really flew.

In a scuffle in the tunnel between players and staff on both sides, a slice of pizza was hurled at Ferguson. The former Arsenal defender Ashley Cole describes the shock of the incident in his autobiography: "This slice of pizza came flying over my head and hit Fergie straight in the mush ... all mouths gawped to see this pizza slip off this famous, puce face and roll down his nice black suit."


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Pizzagate: how Man Utd and Arsenal fell out

This article was first published on guardian.co.uk at 22.32 BST on Friday 15 September 2006. It appeared in the Guardian on Friday 15 September 2006 on p3 of the Stories section. It was last updated at 22.32 BST on Thursday 14 September 2006.

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