Cesc Fabregas threw pizza at Sir Alex Ferguson like a frisbee

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Arsenal legend Martin Keown has finally revealed who managed to hit Sir Alex Ferguson in the face with a slice of pizza in the tunnel at Old Trafford exactly 10 years ago tomorrow, although he still couldn't bring himself to grass on the culprit by name.

The Gunners had their record-breaking unbeaten streak brought to an end after 49 matches with a controversial 2-0 defeat to Man United on October 24, 2004, but it was the post-match 'Battle of the Buffet' and the bitter rivalry between the two Premier League giants that's lived far longer in the memory than any individual result.

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Keown had his fair shaw of infamous scrapes with United during 13 years as an Arsenal player, but retired the year before a titanic tussle which still draws the ire of both Ferguson and Arsene Wenger to this day.

When asked by the Daily Mail who managed to to stain the veteran United coach's brow with mix of tomato and mozzarella the ex-England centre-back attempted to be diplomatic, although he couldn't help but implicate Cesc Fabregas in the process.

Cesc identified as the pizza fiend

"As I said on the radio a few years ago, from what I understand it was a Spanish fella with great technique.

"Even when it came to the pizza he had great technique. He threw it like a Frisbee."

That intense food-fight in the tunnel was sparked by a Arsenal's fury over a string of decisions in one of the most contentious matches in Premier League history.

United emerged victorious thanks largely to a penalty awarded by Mike Riley late on after a tussle between Sol Campbell and Wayne Rooney, with the official decided there'd been sufficient contact to warrant a spot kick.

Arsenal protested that call bitterly and Wenger was equally furious that the goalscorer Ruud van Nistelrooy had not been punished for an early challenge on Ashley Cole, with the Dutchman later receiving a retrospective three-match ban for that tackle.

Bitter rivalry, the like of which may never be seen again

Keown was one of the key protagonists in another scuffle at the Theatre of Dreams, 12 months before that bread-based tunnel battle, and believes that the explosion of emotion after the full-time whistle shows how much both sets of players were desperate to prove their superiority.

He said: "I think “the Battle of the Buffet” was indicative of where these games between United and Arsenal were heading.

"It had never spilled off the pitch before but that was the extent of the rivalry. I think the players saw the managers going at each other and then it all kicked off.

"For years United and Arsenal were the two dominant teams in the Premier League, and there was that tension between Ferguson and Wenger. But I don’t think Arsene ever hated him, and he didn’t obsess about United."

Wenger and Ferguson's feud has thankfully softened in recent years, but at that point a decade ago the pair very nearly came to blows and were quite possibly never angrier in the whole of their esteemed managerial careers.

Fabregas is the man who has managed until row to avoid direct attention for what happened on that fateful Sunday, but perhaps its time the current Chelsea star to give us his version of events while Arsenal & Man United fans are taking a welcome walk down memory lane.

Manchester United
Premier League
Francesc Fabregas

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