Thierry Henry reveals what caused the Pizza-gate incident at Old Trafford in 2004

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Football News

You either know it as the Battle of the Buffet or Pizza-gate.

It was the famous post-match incident at Old Trafford when an unnamed Arsenal player - rumoured to have been Cesc Fabregas, although never confirmed - threw pizza at Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson inside the tunnel after an ill-tempered Premier League clash in October 2004.

United, thanks to two second-half goals from Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney, ended Arsenal’s 49-game unbeaten streak.

“He was livid. His fists were clenched,” Ferguson said of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger in his 2013 autobiography, per the Mirror. “I was in control, I knew it. Anyway, 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 is.

“The corridor outside the dressing room turned into a rabble. It seemed to me that losing the game scrambled Arsene’s brain.”

Arsenal were angry for two reasons

Arsenal - their manager, players and supporters - were angry for two reasons.

First of all, they felt Wayne Rooney dived to win the penalty for United’s opening goal - and replays at the time showed they had every reason to feel perturbed.

And secondly, they were irritated by some of the United players’ tackles on Jose Antonio Reyes.

Henry: Neville's challenges on Reyes caused the fracas

Thierry Henry has revealed that Gary Neville’s full-blooded challenges on the Spaniard sparked the full-time fracas.

“There were some *weird* tackles on Reyes that day, that were just allowed [by the referee],” Henry said.

“Gary was physical - he knows it - that’s what sparked what happened in the tunnel.

“They were superior to us on the day and they really wanted to stop that run at Old Trafford. For me, it’s just *how* it happened.”

And on Rooney’s alleged simulation, Henry added: “They played better than us but Rooney dived. I don’t care what people say: he did dive and that’s how they got their penalty.

“You can clearly see on the replay that Sol Campbell put his leg back and Rooney was clever to get that penalty.

“But at the time it was a bit difficult to get stuff at Old Trafford. Very difficult.”

Scroll to 1.50 to see Henry talk about that match in 2004...

Here’s the highlights from that classic encounter at Old Trafford 12 years ago…

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Thierry Henry
Premier League
Paul Scholes
Manchester United
Ryan Giggs

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