Premier League news

Ferguson: Wenger's fists were clenched

October 23, 2013
By ESPN staff

Sir Alex Ferguson claimed in his autobiography that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger “had his fists clenched” during the famous ‘pizzagate’ incident almost a decade ago.

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Ferguson lifted the lid on events that occurred in the tunnel after Manchester United had ended the Gunners' 49-game unbeaten run at Old Trafford in October 2004.

“He was livid. His fists were clenched,” Ferguson wrote in ‘My Autobiography’. “I was in control, I knew it.”

Ferguson said the incident began when Ruud van Nistelrooy complained about what Wenger was saying when he and the Arsenal players left the field, which led to pizza being thrown at Ferguson.

Ashley Cole had said in his 2006 autobiography that the culprit “wasn’t English or French”, leading to speculation that Cesc Fabregas had thrown the pizza, but Ferguson says he is unsure whether the midfielder was responsible.

“The next thing I knew I had pizza all over me,” he continued. “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.”

Ferguson believes Wenger -- who won only one trophy, the 2005 FA Cup, after that match -- had lost his way following the ‘Battle of the Buffet’.

“The problems started when he lost a game with one of his good Arsenal sides,” he wrote. “He found it hard to accept fault in his team and looked to blame the opponent.”

He added: “It seemed to me that losing the game scrambled Arsene’s brain.”

Tensions between the two managers eased during the final years of the Scot’s Old Trafford reign, with the turning point the 2009 Champions League semi-final, when Wenger invited Ferguson into the changing rooms to praise United for their win.

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