Top 30 Premier League moments: No. 15 – Man United vs. Arsenal’s Battle of the Buffet, ‘Pizzagate’

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To celebrate the 30th season of the Premier League, we are counting down and ranking our top 30 moments in Premier League history and a stormy Manchester United vs Arsenal clash (on and off the pitch) takes center stage this time.

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That’s right, yours truly, Joe Prince-Wright, has selected the top 30 moments in PL history.

This is not only a huge honor, but also a huge headache. How on earth do you condense 30 seasons of magic into 30 individual moments!?

Well, we did it.


How will our Premier League top 30 moments work?

Before each matchweek from now until the end of the 2021-22 season we will unveil the latest moment, as we count down the top moments in PL history from 30 to 1.

From incredible goals to late title drama and emotional sendoffs to legendary players dazzling awe-inspired crowds, we’re going to celebrate and rank the best moments this wonderful league has produced.

Click on the video above to see number 15, as below we focus on the fiery scenes which have been dubbed ‘Pizzagate’ and ‘Battle of the Buffet’ as all hell broke loose after Manchester United ended Arsenal’s incredible run of 49 games unbeaten.


Premier League Top 30 moments: Number 15 – Manchester United vs Arsenal clash on and off the pitch in ‘Pizzagate’

Manchester United ended Arsenal’s unbeaten run in the Premier League in October 2004, as the ‘Invincibles’ finally lost after 49 games and they went down with a fight. And erm, slices of pizza flying around. Seriously.

The Gunners lost to a very dubious penalty kick away at Old Trafford, as Wayne Rooney went down under very little (if any) contact from Sol Campbell. Ruud van Nistelrooy stepped up and scored the penalty kick, then Rooney scored in stoppage time to rub further salt into Arsenal’s wounds and end their incredible run.

Arsene Wenger and his players were not happy at all to see their historic unbeaten run ended that way and tempers flared in the Old Trafford tunnel after the game, as the now mythical ‘Battle of the Buffet’ took place.

Cesc Fabregas allegedly threw a slice of pizza at Sir Alex Ferguson, as soups, sandwiches, pizza slices and everything else in-between were reportedly used in a battle between the two teams. It is said to have started after Wenger confronted Van Nistelrooy over a tackle (which did get him a retrospective ban) and Ferguson intervened as police officers watched the two teams brawl in the tunnel with Thierry Henry and several stars on both sides heavily involved.

This food fight has become the stuff of legend and it summed up the animosity between these two great teams who were at the peak of their powers and battling for every trophy going for close to 10 years. Sir Alex Ferguson has since stated that this incident impacted his relationship with Wenger, and may have led to a decline in Arsenal’s results in the ensuing years. Who knew a slice of pizza had that much power!?


Top 30 list

30: Dennis Bergkamp’s brilliant hat trick
29: Newcastle’s amazing comeback from 4-0 down
28: Heung-min Son’s stunning solo goal
27: Thierry Henry’s incredible volley v. Man United
26: Late drama in epic Manchester derby
25: Olivier Giroud scores sensational scorpion kick goal
24: Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira clash in tunnel
23: West Brom’s epic ‘Great Escape’ from relegation
22: Paolo Di Canio’s stunning scissor volley
21: Blackburn Rovers win title on final day
20: Cristiano Ronaldo scores stunning free kick
19: Kevin Keegan’s infamous rant
18: Chelsea win first-ever PL title, first league title in 50 years
17: David Beckham scores amazing goal from halfway line
16: Heart-wrenching Steven Gerrard slip costs Liverpool title
15: Manchester United, Arsenal clash in ‘Battle of the Buffet’