Sir Alex Ferguson autobiography: What happened during the 'Battle of the Buffet' after ending Arsenal's unbeaten run
Incident featured manager being covered in pizza, but does he know the culprit?
Tuesday 22 October 2013
Having finally ended Arsenal’s 49-game unbeaten streak – and ending the ‘Invincibles’ tag once and for all, you would have forgiven Sir Alex Ferguson and his Manchester United side for celebrating their 2-0 Premier League victory.
However, after an incident which ended with the Manchester United manager covered in pizza and left the game labelled ‘The Battle of the Buffet’, Ferguson to this day still doesn’t know the perpetrator that felt it necessary to throw the Italian meal in his direction.
“My recollection of that fabled incident is that when Ruud van Nistelrooy came into the dressing room, he complained that Arsene Wenger had been giving him stick as he left the pitch,” Ferguson explained in his biography.
“Right away I rushed out to say to Arsene: 'You leave my players alone.' He was incensed at losing the game. That was the reason for his combative behaviour.
”The next thing I knew I had pizza all over me. They say it was Cesc Fabregas who threw the pizza at me but, to this day, I have no idea who the culprit was.”
The incident happened when Arsenal and Manchester United had been at the top of English football for a number of years, although a Jose Mourinho-led Chelsea were emerging as genuine title contenders.
Ferguson and Wenger had been locked in a rivalry for years previously, but it was the events on that day that escalated the divide between the two camps until the latter stages of the Scots career, when the two appeared to respect each other’s achievements and form a friendship unseen in the early years when they went head-to-head.
“That day created a division between us. The wound was not fully healed until the Champions League semi-final in 2009, when Arsene invited us into his room after the game and congratulated us.”
Sir Alex on...the end of his relationship with David Beckham
Sir Alex on...Beckham and that flying boot
Sir Alex on... Rock Of Gibraltar 'misunderstanding'
Sir Alex’s reign in pictures
Sir Alex on…turning down the England job twice
Sir Alex on… Rafa Benitez turning their rivalry personal
Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again
Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood
Latest in Sport
Arsene Wenger 18th anniversary at Arsenal: His WORST signings XI during his time with the Gunners
18 things Wenger has still never done at Arsenal
Arsene Wenger's worst signings XI
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Nani: On loan Sporting Lisbon winger admits he may not return to Manchester United
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month