Battle of the Buffet

The "Battle of the Buffet" is a name used by the British press to refer to a Premier League match played between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford, Manchester, on 24 October 2004. The match saw a series of unprofessional fouls that were overlooked by referee Mike Riley, such as Rio Ferdinand on Freddie Ljungberg in the 19th minute and striker Ruud van Nistelrooy's studs-up challenge on Ashley Cole. Arsenal dictated much of the early play and created several openings, but as the game progressed Manchester United threatened. The home team were awarded a controversial penalty in the 73rd minute, as Wayne Rooney allegedly tumbled over Sol Campbell's outstretched leg. Van Nistelrooy converted the penalty kick and late in the game Rooney scored for 2–0. The result ended Arsenal's record-breaking 49-match unbeaten run. Many Arsenal fans were disgruntled, as they believed Rooney had dived and the penalty should not have been given.

In the tunnel after the match tempers boiled over between staff of both clubs, and amid the brawl a slice of pizza was thrown at Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Cesc Fàbregas confirmed in 2017 that he had thrown the pizza.[3] Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger was furious in his post-match briefing, criticising Riley for his performance and describing Van Nistelrooy as a cheat. His comments were investigated by the Football Association, who later fined him £15,000 for improper conduct. Van Nistelrooy was retroactively banned for three matches as his challenge on Cole was missed by Riley.

The result was pivotal in the league season and in the rivalry between the two clubs. Arsenal's form suffered as a result; having entered the match as league leaders they found themselves five points behind Chelsea in December. Manchester United struggled for consistency and finished behind Arsenal in third. Both clubs later met each other in the Football League Cup quarter finals and FA Cup Final. Ferguson, following his retirement in 2013, said that he considered the "Battle of the Buffet" to be a watershed moment for Wenger as it disoriented his management and put a strain on their relationship.

Battle of the Buffet
Manchester United v Arsenal 2004 match programme
The match programme cover, featuring defender Gabriel Heinze
Event2004–05 FA Premier League
Manchester United Arsenal
2 0
Date24 October 2004
VenueOld Trafford, Manchester
Man of the MatchRio Ferdinand (Manchester United)[1]
RefereeMike Riley (West Yorkshire)
Attendance67,862
WeatherLight rain showers, Scattered clouds
14 °C (57 °F)[2]

Background

Arsene Wenger 2009
Arsène Wenger managed Arsenal to an unbeaten league season in 2003–04.

The appointment of Arsène Wenger as manager of Arsenal in 1996 brought about a successful period for the club. In Wenger's first full season, 1997–98, Arsenal won the Premier League and FA Cup to complete a domestic double.[4] Though the club failed to win another trophy in the next three seasons, they vied for domestic honours with Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United. Arsenal won their second double in 2001–02, before Manchester United regained the league the following season.[5] In 2003–04, Arsenal won the league without a single defeat – a record of 26 wins and 12 draws.[6]

Meetings between Arsenal and Manchester United were considered the pinnacle of English football during the 2000s; journalist Paul Wilson wrote in his preview of the October 2004 match: "Their rivalry is not simply about winning trophies, it is an adornment to the wider game."[7] The matches were also popular amongst British viewers – a league game between the two in April 2003 was watched by 3.4 million viewers in Britain, making it the top-rated programme on multi-channel television for that week.[8] Sky Sports football summariser Andy Gray said of the encounters: "In some ways it's maybe not surprising that our major clashes have been with United and Arsenal. They've been the Premiership's two dominant clubs and so the pressure is greatest on them."[9]

The equivalent fixture a year earlier was a goalless draw, notable for Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy missing a last-minute penalty. A confrontation involving the striker and several Arsenal players, in particular Martin Keown, immediately occurred.[10] The ill feeling was originally sparked by an incident between Van Nistelrooy and Patrick Vieira. Having been fouled by Van Nistelrooy, Vieira aimed a kick in retaliation; although the kick did not make contact, he was still sent off for a second bookable offence.[10] Van Nistelrooy was accused by both Vieira and Wenger of feigning contact to get his opponent sent off, while Ferguson defended his player and denied he had dived.[11] In the wake of the match, four Arsenal players received bans after the incident and were given fines totalling £275,000 by the Football Association (FA).[12] Two Manchester United players were also fined for improper conduct, with a third warned about his future behaviour.[12] The 2003 match was originally labelled the "Battle of Old Trafford" by the British press.[13]

Pre-match

Arsenal entered the match as league leaders, two points in front of second-placed Chelsea. Their previous league outing was a 3–1 win against Aston Villa on 16 October 2004.[14] The victory extended Arsenal's unbeaten league run to 49 matches, which set a new English football record. On the same day, Manchester United played out a 0–0 draw against Birmingham City.[15] United sat in sixth position, 11 points behind their opponents.[16] Their inconsistency was documented by several newspapers in the build-up to the match; David Lacey wrote in The Guardian of 23 October 2004: "Manchester United, it is said, are in a period of transition but if by Christmas they have not begun to pick up, their critics will begin to wonder at what precise point does transition become decline."[17]

Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson was highly critical of Arsenal's behaviour before the match.

The significance of the fixture for the two clubs was increased by the fact that, had Arsenal avoided defeat, they would have extended their unbeaten league run to 50 matches. Wenger told reporters at his press conference that he felt no increased pressure, though added the team's midweek draw in the UEFA Champions League at Panathinaikos increased expectation.[18] He admitted his team's behaviour in the fixture last season was unacceptable, but pointed out "... the best response we gave was to win the fair play table. That meant we took responsibility for what we did and we have improved our attitude."[19] Wenger believed United's strengths lay in creativity, and did not want to set his team out to nullify, rather to "... play our game based on speed and technique."[20]

In the lead-up to the match, Ferguson criticised Arsenal's previous conduct at Old Trafford and likened their behaviour to that of a mob: "What Arsenal players did that day was the worst thing I've seen in this sport. No wonder they were so delighted at the verdicts."[21] He described the game as must win given Arsenal's points advantage, but highlighted it was still all to play for given the league leaders needed to play several top teams twice.[16] Although Ferguson praised Arsenal's unbeaten run, he disputed whether this heralded a shift of power in English football: "[We] are still the team every club wants to beat most of all – regardless of who is champions or unbeaten records. In that respect, our profile as the major club in the country is untouchable. That is obvious and will never change."[22]

Mike Riley was selected as the referee for the match; the Yorkshire-based official and England's representative referee at Euro 2004 had sent off five players in his last six games.[23] Such was the concern another brawl would take place, Greater Manchester Police officers spoke to Riley to underline the need for players to behave themselves.[24]

The most recent meeting between the two teams was in the FA Community Shield on 8 August 2004, when Arsenal won 3–1.[25] Manchester United beat Arsenal en route to winning the FA Cup the previous season and were undefeated against their league opponents in almost two years.[26]

Match

Team selection

Manchester United were predicted to line up in a 4–4–1–1 formation, with Wayne Rooney positioned just behind Van Nistelrooy. Club captain Roy Keane was doubtful as he was recuperating from a virus which prevented him from training all week.[27] Quinton Fortune and Ole Gunnar Solskjær were both ruled out with knee injuries.[27] Arsenal were expected to line up slightly different to Manchester United, with Thierry Henry and José Antonio Reyes as the two centre-forwards in a traditional 4–4–2 formation.[27] Vieira was expected to return to the starting XI; earlier in the week Wenger rated his chances of playing as "80 per cent" after he sprained his ankle against Aston Villa.[28] Gilberto Silva, Jérémie Aliadière, Gaël Clichy and Manuel Almunia were all ruled out by injury for Arsenal.[27]

When the teamsheets were released, Wenger's selection showed Dennis Bergkamp as the preferred striking partner to Henry; Reyes was positioned on the left wing which meant Robert Pires started the match on the substitutes' bench. For Manchester United, there was no place for Keane in the squad, so Ferguson brought in Phil Neville to partner Paul Scholes in central midfield.[29]

Summary

Rooney CL
Wayne Rooney won the penalty kick for Manchester United's first goal, and scored the second.

The match began as a scrappy affair, with plenty of challenges and little expansive football on show. The game's first notable chance went to Rooney, but Kolo Touré intervened and blocked his effort. Rooney then played in Giggs, whose shot was closed down by Sol Campbell. It took a while before Arsenal gained composure and played their usual passing game, and a move involving Edu and Freddie Ljungberg in the 19th minute resulted in Rio Ferdinand carelessly tackling the latter.[30] Ferdinand was not shown a card for his challenge – the first controversial decision referee Riley made during the match, which surprised Arsenal as the defender made a professional foul to prevent Ljungberg running clear on goal.[31] Bergkamp exchanged passes with Reyes to open up the United defence, but the Dutchman's shot was saved by Roy Carroll.[30] The United goalkeeper was on hand to save Henry's low shot three minutes before the break, after the striker was put through by Edu.[30] During the first half action, both Neville brothers (Gary and Phil) were booked for fouling Reyes.[32] Ashley Cole also received a yellow card for his tackle on Rooney. The Arsenal defender was on the receiving end of a challenge by Van Nistelrooy minutes after, as he attempted to shield the ball and hold on to possession.[31] Television replays showed Van Nistelrooy ran his studs down Cole's shins, but the striker was not punished by Riley despite the action being in full view of his assistant at the touchline.[31]

Arsenal continued to dominate possession once the second half got underway, but struggled to use it to their advantage.[33] Lauren's cross from the right was cleared away by the United defence and Henry moments later miscued his effort aimed at goal.[34] Moments later Ljungberg beat his marker and crossed the ball into the penalty area, only for Bergkamp to drag his shot wide.[33] United threatened once the game reached the hour mark, winning duels and earning set-pieces. Gabriel Heinze's shot from about 20 yards tested Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann in the 65th minute.[35] Five minutes later Wenger substituted Reyes off in place of Pires.[29]

The most controversial decision of the match came in the 73rd minute as it led to the opening goal.[31] Touré's clearance presented United the chance to break in numbers and Rooney, at the heart of their attack, reached the penalty area only to go down under Campbell's challenge.[30] Riley awarded United a penalty, despite Campbell seeming to withdraw from the tackle and Rooney "... already heading for the turf as the defender pulled his foot away," wrote Kevin McCarra in his match report for The Guardian.[30] Van Nistelrooy converted his penalty kick, sending Lehmann the wrong way to give United the lead.[30] Arsenal responded hastily, but looked more susceptible to United's counter-attacks. Cole's sliding tackle on Cristiano Ronaldo near the penalty area was deemed acceptable by Riley, as he waved away appeals for another penalty.[31] The defender came close to equalising minutes before the end, but for his shot to go wide. In stoppage time, United added their second goal of the match as substitutes Louis Saha and Alan Smith combined to set up Rooney, who finished a counter-attacking move with a tap-in past Lehmann.[36]

Details

Manchester United2–0Arsenal
Van Nistelrooy Goal 73' (pen.)
Rooney Goal 90'
Report
Manchester United
Arsenal
GK 13 Northern Ireland Roy Carroll
RB 2 England Gary Neville Yellow card 36'
CB 5 England Rio Ferdinand (c)
CB 27 France Mikaël Silvestre
LB 4 Argentina Gabriel Heinze
RM 7 Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo Substituted off 85'
CM 3 England Phil Neville Yellow card 38'
CM 18 England Paul Scholes
LM 11 Wales Ryan Giggs
CF 8 England Wayne Rooney
CF 10 Netherlands Ruud van Nistelrooy Substituted off 90'
Substitutes:
GK 1 United States Tim Howard
DF 6 England Wes Brown
MF 17 Republic of Ireland Liam Miller
FW 9 France Louis Saha Substituted in 90'
FW 14 England Alan Smith Substituted in 85'
Manager:
Scotland Sir Alex Ferguson
Man Utd vs Arsenal 2004-10-24
GK 1 Germany Jens Lehmann
RB 12 Cameroon Lauren
CB 23 England Sol Campbell
CB 28 Ivory Coast Kolo Touré
LB 3 England Ashley Cole Yellow card 35'
RM 8 Sweden Freddie Ljungberg
CM 4 France Patrick Vieira (c) Yellow card 75'
CM 17 Brazil Edu Yellow card 79'
LM 9 Spain José Antonio Reyes Substituted off 70'
CF 10 Netherlands Dennis Bergkamp
CF 14 France Thierry Henry
Substitutes:
GK 13 England Stuart Taylor
DF 18 France Pascal Cygan
MF 7 France Robert Pires Substituted in 70'
MF 15 Spain Cesc Fàbregas
FW 11 Netherlands Robin van Persie
Manager:
France Arsène Wenger

Man of the match

Match rules

  • 90 minutes, plus stoppage time as deemed by the referee.
  • Five substitutes named.
  • Maximum of three substitutions.

Statistics

Statistic Manchester United Arsenal
Goals scored 2 0
Possession 48.3% 51.7%
Passing success 75.6% 77.2%
Territorial advantage 41.1 58.9
Shots on target 5 1
Shots off target 5 7
Blocked shots 2 4
Fouls 20 24
Tackles 58 61
Tackling success 46.6% 49.2%
Corner kicks 3 3
Offsides 2 1
Yellow cards 2 3
Red cards 0 0
Source:[37]

Post-match

"Pizzagate"

R Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand was chosen as man of the match, a decision that angered some Arsenal players.

Campbell was seen refusing to shake Rooney's hand at the final whistle and there were no customary shirt swaps between both sets of players; it was alleged that the Arsenal players wore T-shirts emblazoned with "50 not out", though this has never been proven.[38] Tempers boiled over in the players' tunnel in front of police officers. Several Arsenal players were held back, one of whom was Henry, incensed that Ferdinand claimed the man-of-the-match award.[39] The conflict sparked into life when Wenger confronted Van Nistelrooy as he was unhappy with the striker's challenge on Cole.[1] Ferguson intervened and told Wenger to leave his players alone, but the Arsenal manager faced him and said "What do you want to do about it?"[40]

There were accusations that certain foodstuffs – usually reported as pizza, but occasionally reported as coffee, tomato soup or pea soup – had been thrown at Ferguson by an unknown Arsenal player.[41] Ferguson changed into the club tracksuit in order to carry out his television duties.[1] Speculation that the player who threw the pizza was Cesc Fàbregas[42] arose when Cole hinted that the culprit was neither English nor French.[43] In his autobiography, Ferguson said: "They say it was Cesc Fàbregas who threw the pizza at me but, to this day, I have no idea who the culprit is."[44] Fàbregas confirmed he did throw the pizza on an episode of A League of Their Own, broadcast in October 2017.[45]

Manchester United refused to publicly criticise Arsenal's behaviour, but the players and staff were said to be "shocked and disgusted."[39] Riley did not mention the tunnel fracas in his match report which was sent to the FA, but the governing body revealed their intention to shed light on the matter.[1] An investigation however was made difficult given the fact that both clubs remained quiet over "Pizzagate" and no camera footage was made available.[46]

Reaction

Wenger was highly critical of Riley's performance, claiming he "... decided the game, like we know he can do at Old Trafford."[47] The Arsenal manager claimed that Rooney told his players that he felt no contact, but the referee made the decision to give Manchester United a penalty which he called the turning point of the match.[48] Wenger used statistics to question Riley's impartiality – of the referee's last eight matches at Old Trafford, he awarded eight penalties to the home team.[48] Wenger was not surprised at United's rough treatment of Reyes – "That's what they always try against us when they're in a difficult situation" and accused Van Nistelrooy of being a cheat in his post-match television interview.[47] Vieira, like his manager, was disappointed in Riley's handling of the match, but sought positives: "We're still eight points clear of United and two points clear of Chelsea. We're in a really good position and all the other teams would want to be in our position."[49]

Ferguson described the win as an important victory, and hoped it would mark a turning point in their season.[50] Ferguson said he did not see whether Campbell brought down Rooney and sympathised with the referee as he was put under pressure: "The referee had an impossible job. It seemed like Patrick Vieira was in charge for much of the match, he was at the ref's side so much."[50] When asked if Manchester United could close the gap on Arsenal, the Manchester United manager responded, "Yes, of course we can."[48]

The match attracted fervent debate amongst journalists, pundits and football players alike. Former referee Jeff Winter defended Riley's performance and described fixtures between Manchester United and Arsenal as "impossible" to manage.[41] Premier League refereeing chief Keith Hackett added: "We know this is one of the tough encounters of the season. Mike clearly had a game plan to try not to suppress the match. He wanted it to breathe and perhaps went in with the intention of getting through the game without having to dismiss any players. In the back of his mind was trying to get through a game without having a blow-up and I think Mike did extremely well to keep a lid on things."[41]

Everton manager David Moyes and Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard analysed the match on Sky Sports, and both agreed Ferdinand was fortunate to remain on the pitch.[51] Although Moyes believed there was minimal contact between Rooney and Campbell in the lead-up to United's penalty award, he sympathised with the referee's decision as Campbell stuck his leg out. He added: "If the referee hadn't given the penalty he might have had to book Wayne. He chose to give the penalty."[51] Alan Hansen suggested Arsenal's defeat was a great result for their rivals, but felt they were strong favourites to win the league.[52] He praised Ferguson for getting his tactics right, and lauded the performances of defenders Ferdinand and Campbell.[52] On Match of the Day 2, Hansen was critical of Van Nistelrooy's tackle on Cole, calling it "nasty and cynical."[53]

Henry Winter writing for The Daily Telegraph gave a brief explanation as to why Arsenal did not perform – their striker Henry was "not at the races."[54] He was full of praise of United's determination and summarised: "Yet though Arsenal had dominated possession, United had offered the more impressive individuals."[54] Matt Dickinson of The Times described the victory as huge for "Ferguson and his faltering squad," regardless of the scoreline or indeed if Arsenal had played the better football in patches.[48] The Guardian correspondent Kevin McCarra felt aggrieved in the manner Arsenal had ended their unbeaten run, but pointed out they were fortunate no action was taken when Cole fouled Ronaldo. He closed his piece with an illustration of how impressive Arsenal's run was: "In those prior 49 games they had never even been behind in the closing 20 minutes."[30]

Two days after the match Van Nistelrooy was charged with serious foul play after his challenge on Cole went unnoticed by the referee. He pleaded guilty to the offence and received a three-match ban for his conduct during the match.[55] Wenger was found guilty of an improper conduct charge and later fined £15,000 by the FA for his post-match comments about Van Nistelrooy.[56] Ferguson accused Henry of "serious foul play" on Heinze, but the striker escaped an FA investigation and probable three-match ban as the manager's complaint was not submitted on time.[57]

Aftermath and legacy

Roy Keane cropped
Roy Keane was involved in a fracas in the Highbury tunnel with Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira.

Arsenal struggled to regain the same level of consistency shown earlier in the season; in the space of a month they fell five points behind leaders Chelsea,[58] who went on to win the league.[59] Manchester United remained inconsistent; they lost to Portsmouth in their next game[60] and ended the season in third place behind Arsenal, despite looking likely to finish runners-up.[61]

In the League Cup, the clubs met in the quarter-final stage at Old Trafford in December and even though both sides fielded weakened teams, the match was not short of drama.[62] David Bellion gave Manchester United the lead in just 19 seconds but it was not until the start of the second half that tempers began to flare.[62] A fracas between Robin van Persie and Kieran Richardson, following a late tackle on Richardson by Van Persie, resulted in clashes from both sets of players, which concluded with both protagonists getting booked by match official Mark Halsey. The game finished 1–0.[62]

In January 2005, both managers were embroiled in a new row over the events of "Pizzagate". Ferguson said Wenger never apologised to his players for calling them cheats, or for his team's behaviour, adding: "It's a disgrace, but I don't expect Wenger to ever apologise, he's that type of person."[63] Wenger responded by claiming Ferguson was guilty of "bringing the game into disrepute" and telling reporters he would "never answer any questions any more about this man."[64] Under pressure from the police, the Sports Minister Richard Caborn and Premier League chairman Richard Scudamore, both managers later agreed to tone down their words.[65]

Manchester United captain Roy Keane infamously confronted Vieira in the players tunnel before the return fixture later in the season, which United won 4–2 at Highbury.[66] This came about by an incident during the pre-game warm up when Vieira had allegedly pushed Gary Neville after confronting the player about the challenges Pires suffered at Old Trafford earlier in the season.[66] Once Keane found out back in the United dressing room, he unleashed a verbal tirade on Vieira including telling the Arsenal skipper "I'll see you out there".[66] The match that followed was another ill-spirited affair with both sides guilty of harsh challenges, which also saw Mikaël Silvestre sent off after a clash with Ljungberg. United went on to win the game, coming from behind twice before holding onto the lead, despite being reduced to 10 men for the last third of the match.[67]

49 Unbeaten banner
Arsenal fans parading a banner commemorating the 49-game unbeaten run, in 2014.

The teams then faced each other once more in the FA Cup Final at the end of the season. The match was largely uneventful as it finished 0–0 after normal and extra time thus taking it to a penalty shoot-out, the first in Cup Final history.[68] Scholes missed his penalty for Manchester United, and Vieira converted the decisive kick to win the cup for Arsenal. Reyes became the second player to be sent off in the Cup Final, after his second yellow card in the 120th minute.[68]

The "Battle of the Buffet" is regarded as a historic moment in the rivalry between Manchester United and Arsenal. Ferguson in his autobiography reflected it as the point where his relationship with Wenger started to break down, and it was not until United's Champions League semi-final victory over Arsenal in 2009 that they were on talking terms.[69] He added: "It seemed to me that losing the game scrambled Arsène's brain."[70] When asked to recollect his version of events of "Pizzagate", Wenger admitted his team's conduct was aggressive and said: "I think on that day, [Riley] had not his best day and that brought a lot of frustration on."[71]

The emergence of Chelsea and transitions undergone by the two clubs during the mid-2000s meant the rivalry became insignificant.[72] Manchester United continued to compete for honours under Ferguson, winning 14 over the next 9 years,[73] while Wenger at Arsenal endured a nine-year trophy drought.[74] This was paralleled by Wenger making the decision to displace experienced first-teamers in favour of youth and encourage a more fluid, less direct style of football.[75]

See also

References

General

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2004–05 Manchester United F.C. season

The 2004–05 season was Manchester United's 13th season in the Premier League, and their 30th consecutive season in the top division of English football.The season finished trophyless (only their fourth trophyless season in 17 seasons) for United, who finished third in the Premier League with 77 points. The title went to Chelsea, who finished the season with a record 95 points and lost just one game all season, with the previous season's champions Arsenal finishing runners-up.

Their Champions League campaign ended in the Second Round at Milan, while they were eliminated from the League Cup by Chelsea in the semi-finals. The last chance of silverware was blown by a Paul Scholes penalty miss against Arsenal in a shoot-out after a goalless draw in the 2005 FA Cup Final.

On a more positive note for the club, newly signed 19-year-old striker and leading club goalscorer Wayne Rooney was voted PFA Young Player of the Year.

United also ended Arsenal's record-breaking 49-game unbeaten league run with a 2–0 home win in late October.

Arsène Wenger

Arsène Charles Ernest Wenger (French pronunciation: ​[aʁsɛn vɛŋɡɛʁ]; born 22 October 1949) is a French football manager and former player. He was the manager of Arsenal from 1996 to 2018, where he was the longest-serving and most successful in the club's history. His contribution to English football through changes to scouting, players' training and diet regimens revitalised Arsenal and aided the globalisation of the sport in the 21st century.

Born in Strasbourg and raised in Duttlenheim to an entrepreneurial family, Wenger was introduced to football by his father, the manager of the local village team. After a modest playing career, in which he made appearances for several amateur clubs, Wenger obtained a manager's diploma in 1981. Following an unsuccessful period at Nancy which culminated in his dismissal in 1987, Wenger joined AS Monaco; the club won the league championship in 1988. In 1991, Wenger guided Monaco to victory in the Coupe de France, but their failure to regain the league title in later seasons led to his departure from the club by mutual consent in 1994. He briefly coached J.League side Nagoya Grampus Eight and won the Emperor's Cup and Japanese Super Cup during his stay in Japan.

Wenger was named manager of Arsenal in 1996 and two years later led the club to a Premier League and FA Cup double. The club won another league and cup double in 2002 and retained the FA Cup a year later. In 2004, Wenger managed Arsenal to an undefeated league season, a feat last accomplished by Preston North End, 115 years previously. Arsenal later eclipsed Nottingham Forest's record of 42 league matches unbeaten and went seven more matches before losing in October 2004. The club made their first appearance in a Champions League final in 2006, though they lost to Barcelona. After a period of almost nine years without a trophy, which coincided with the club relocating to the Emirates Stadium, Wenger guided Arsenal to further FA Cup success in 2014, 2015 and 2017, before stepping down as manager a year later.

The nickname "Le Professeur" (French: usually translated as "The Teacher") is used by fans and the British media to reflect Wenger's studious demeanour. His approach to the game emphasises an attacking mentality, with the aim that football ought to be entertaining on the pitch. Wenger's Arsenal teams have been criticised for their indiscipline; his players received 100 red cards between September 1996 and February 2014, though the team has won awards for sporting fair play. At Monaco, Wenger earned a reputation for spotting young talent, and he has remained focused on developing a youth system.

Battle of Nuremberg (2006 FIFA World Cup)

The Battle of Nuremberg (Portuguese: Batalha de Nuremberga, Dutch: Slag van Neurenberg; also known as Massacre of Nuremberg) is the nickname of a football match played in the Round of 16 of the 2006 FIFA World Cup between Portugal and the Netherlands at the Frankenstadion in Nuremberg on 25 June 2006. Russian referee Valentin Ivanov issued a FIFA World Cup record four red cards and 16 yellow cards, setting a new record for cards shown at any FIFA-administered international tournament.

Battle of Old Trafford

The "Battle of Old Trafford" was a Premier League match played on Sunday, 21 September 2003 between Manchester United and Arsenal. The name was later applied to the same fixture during the following season. The final result, a 0–0 draw, turned out to be significant for Arsenal as they went on to finish the league season without a single defeat, something that had only been achieved once before in English football, by Preston North End in 1888–89.The highlights of the match included the sending-off of Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira for a second bookable offence, for an incident that also brought about a booking for Manchester United centre-forward Ruud van Nistelrooy, and the decision by referee Steve Bennett to award Manchester United a penalty kick in the last minute of the match. Players from both teams were charged by the Football Association (FA) for their reactions at the end of the game, five Arsenal players and two Manchester United players were forced to pay fines.

Cesc Fàbregas

Francesc "Cesc" Fàbregas Soler (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈsɛsk ˈfaβɾəɣəs], Spanish: [ˈfaβɾeɣas]; born 4 May 1987) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Ligue 1 club Monaco and the Spain national team.

Fàbregas came through La Masia, Barcelona's youth academy, leaving at 16 when he was signed by Premier League club Arsenal in September 2003. Following injuries to key midfielders in the early part of the 2004–05 season, he went on establish himself in the team. He broke several of the club's records in the process, earning a reputation as one of the best players in his position, and won the FA Cup in 2005. After a protracted transfer saga, Fàbregas left London on 15 August 2011 to return to Barcelona in a deal worth up to £35 million. During his three-year spell at the Camp Nou, Fàbregas played alongside Xavi and Andrés Iniesta and won a La Liga title, the Copa del Rey, the FIFA Club World Cup, the UEFA Super Cup and two Spanish Super Cups. He returned to London in June 2014 to Arsenal's cross-town rivals Chelsea for a fee of £30 million, and in his first year there he helped to secure League Cup and Premier League triumphs.

Internationally, Fàbregas made his debut for the Spanish national team in March 2006. He represented his country in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2008, 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, 2010 World Cup, Euro 2012, 2013 Confederations Cup, the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016. He was a key figure in Spain's European Championship victories in 2008 and 2012 and their 2010 World Cup triumph in which he supplied the pass for Andrés Iniesta's winning goal in the final. On 12 October 2015, Fàbregas earned his 100th cap for Spain.

Daan Utsav

Daan Utsav was formerly known as The Joy of Giving Week. The Joy of Giving Week (JGW) is a "festival of philanthropy" that aims to become a part of the Indian ethos, with the Week being celebrated every year covering Gandhi Jayanti by engaging people through "acts of giving" - money, time, resources and skills - spanning the corporate, NGO and government sectors, schools, colleges and the general public. Originally called "India Giving Week", the name "Joy of Giving Week" emerged from a set of choices provided by the ad agency, Euro RSCG India, which provided PR, creative and media services for the ‘Joy of Giving Week’.

This initiative was supported by many NGO's and Corporates. Corporate participate with this venture to fulfill their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) function.

List of "-gate" scandals

This is a list of scandals or controversies whose names include a "-gate" suffix, by analogy with the Watergate scandal, as well as other incidents to which the suffix has (often facetiously) been applied. This list also includes controversies that are widely referred to with a "-gate" suffix, but may be referred to by another more common name (such as the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal). Use of the "-gate" suffix has spread beyond U.S. English to many other countries and languages.

Manchester United F.C.–Arsenal F.C. brawl

Manchester United F.C.–Arsenal F.C. brawl may refer to:

Manchester United F.C.–Arsenal F.C. brawl (1990)

Battle of Old Trafford, 2003

Battle of the Buffet, 2004

Manchester United F.C.–Arsenal F.C. brawl (1990)

On 20 October 1990, Manchester United Football Club faced Arsenal Football Club in a Football League First Division fixture at Old Trafford, during the 1990–91 season. Arsenal won by a single goal, but the game was best remembered for a brawl between both teams. The Football Association (FA) took the unprecedented step of deducting league points from the two clubs.

The only goal of the match came moments before half-time, scored by Arsenal midfielder Anders Limpar. In the second half, Limpar was involved in a contest for the ball with Manchester United defender Denis Irwin; Limpar's teammate Nigel Winterburn made a tackle on Irwin that precipitated a melee between both sets of players. All but one of the twenty-two players on the field were involved; it lasted no more than 20 seconds and referee Keith Hackett booked only Limpar and Winterburn for their actions.

Manchester United and Arsenal took immediate action by fining a number of their players; Arsenal also punished their manager, George Graham. A month after the game, the FA fined both clubs £50,000 for bringing the game into disrepute. Arsenal were docked two points, one more than Manchester United as they were involved in a similar brawl against Norwich City in 1989. This did not impact on Arsenal's title challenge, however, as they went on to become league champions with just one defeat.

As of 2017, it is the only instance in English league football history in which any team has been docked points due to player misconduct. The match is considered to have instigated the rivalry between the two clubs, who competed with each other for silverware regularly through the 1990s and 2000s.

Mike Riley (referee)

Michael Riley (born 17 December 1964) is an ex-professional football referee from Leeds in West Yorkshire, who has refereed matches in the Football League, FA Premier League and for FIFA. Riley currently serves as the general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited.

Sol Campbell

Sulzeer Jeremiah Campbell (born 18 September 1974) is an English professional football manager and former player who is the manager of League Two club Macclesfield Town. A centre back, he had a 20-year career playing in the Premier League and an 11-year international career with the England national team.

Born in east London to Jamaican parents, Campbell began his career with Tottenham Hotspur in December 1992. He spent nine years at Spurs, scoring 10 goals in 255 appearances, and captaining the team to victory in the 1999 Football League Cup Final against Leicester City. In 2001, he joined Tottenham's North London rivals Arsenal on a free transfer, and as a result has remained a deeply unpopular figure amongst Spurs supporters. In his five years and 195 appearances at Arsenal, he won two Premier League winners medals and two FA Cup winners medals, encompassing the 2001–02 league and FA Cup double, and being part of the team that became known as The Invincibles for their undefeated 2003–04 Premier League campaign. He scored Arsenal's only goal in their 2–1 defeat to Barcelona in the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final. In August 2006, he joined Portsmouth on a free transfer. His three years with the club included captaining them to victory in the 2008 FA Cup Final. At the end of the 2008–09 season, he made the surprise move of dropping down three levels of the English football pyramid to join League Two side Notts County on a free transfer. He left the club by mutual consent in September 2009, having played just one match for the club. The next year, he made a brief return to Arsenal before ending his career with Newcastle United.

Having already won caps for the England under-21s and England B team, Campbell gained his first of 73 full caps for England aged 21. In May 1998, Campbell became what was then England's second-youngest captain, after Bobby Moore, aged 23 years 248 days. In 2006, he became the only player to have represented England in six consecutive major tournaments, playing in the 1996, 2000 and 2004 UEFA European Championships; and the 1998, 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups. He was named in the Teams of the Tournament for the 2002 World Cup and at Euro 2004. Other honours in the game include being in the PFA Team of the Year three times, in 1999, 2003 and 2004.

In February 2015, Campbell announced his intention to run for the Conservative Party nomination for Mayor of London in the 2016 election. He was not selected as the Conservative candidate.

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