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'Battle of the Buffet': Manchester United 2-0 Arsenal - Who played in that match and where are they now?

04:32 BST 23/04/2022
Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United vs Arsenal, 2004/05
Manchester United and Arsenal locked horns in this classic encounter on October 24, 2004, at the Old Trafford...

Manchester United vs Arsenal was one of the fiercest rivalries in England in the early 21st century. The two teams were in rampant form and featured some of the best players in the league. They were undoubtedly the two best teams in the league for several years and there have been numerous memorable encounters between the two.

In one such Premier League game held on October 24, 2004, Manchester United hosted Arsenal at Old Trafford. Arsenal were on a 49-match unbeaten streak and were almost unstoppable at that time. They had just won the Premier League title unbeaten in the previous campaign (2003-04).

But the Red Devils won the tie 2-0 with Wayne Rooney scoring a brace which included a penalty strike that he had earned after Sol Campbell fouled him inside the box. The Gunners and their fans were not too happy with the result firstly because their unbeaten streak was over and secondly, they alleged that Rooney deliberately dived and the penalty that gave United the lead was mistakenly awarded.

The players of the two teams were involved in a scuffle inside the tunnel after full time and apparently, a pizza was thrown at then Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson. While it caused a lot of furore, later on, it came to be known that it was a young Cesc Fabregas who had mistakenly thrown the food which hit the legendary coach. The incident came to be known as 'Pizzagate' or 'Battle of the Buffet'.

  • #1 Manchester United XI

  • Roy Carroll Manchester United

    #2 Roy Carroll - Goalkeeper

    The Northern Irish goalkeeper joined Manchester United from Wigan Athletic in 2001 and played at the club until 2005. Roy Carroll later played for clubs like West Ham United, Ranger and Olympiacos. In January 2021, Carroll joined Northern Ireland club Dungannon Swifts where he still plies his trade.

  • Gary Neville Manchester United

    #3 Gary Neville - Right Back

    A one-club player, Gary Neville played at Manchester United from 1992 till 2011. After retirement, Neville worked as an assistant coach in the England national team from 2011 to 2016. In December 2015, he was appointed as the manager of La Liga side Valencia but he was sacked from the job in March 2016. He currently works as a football pundit.

  • Rio Ferdinand Manchester United Premier League 2014

    #4 Rio Ferdinand - Centre Back

    One of the finest English central defenders of all time, Rio Ferdinand joined Manchester United in 2002 from their rivals Leeds United for a record transfer fee of £30 million at that time.

    Ferdinand went on to play for 12 years at the club after which he joined Queens Park Rangers for a year in 2014 and retired from professional football in 2015.

    He's working currently as a TV pundit among numerous other roles.

  • Mikael Silvestre Manchester United 2003

    #5 Mikael Silvestre - Centre Back

    The French defender joined Manchester United in 1999 from Inter Milan and played at the club for nine seasons. After that, he played at Arsenal, Werder Bremen, Portland Timbers and finally retired from football after playing in the inaugural edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) in 2014.

    After retirement, he joined Ligue 1 club Rennes as their director of football but left the job in December 2016 by mutual consent.

    Silvestre is currently a Director of Football with Sports Invest UK. He also has a distillery business named Rhum St. Barth. 

  • gabriel heinze manchester united

    #6 Gabriel Heinze - Left Back

    The Argentine full-back joined Manchester United from PSG in 2004 and played at the club for three seasons before joining Real Madrid. After leaving Real Madrid, Gabriel Heinze played for Marseille and AS Roma before retiring at Newell's Old Boys in 2014.

    After retirement, Heinze turned to coaching and was most recently in charge of MLS outfit Atlanta United, from which he was sacked in July 2021.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United Norwich Premier League 2021-22

    #7 Cristiano Ronaldo - Right Wing

    The Portuguese superstar spent six seasons at Manchester United from 2003 to 2009. In 292 matches for the Red Devils, Ronaldo scored 118 goals. He won a host of trophies at United, including three Premier Leagues, one FA Cup and a Champions League title.

    He left United to join Real Madrid in 2009 where he spent nine seasons before moving to Juventus. After three seasons at Turin, Ronaldo came back to Old Trafford in 2021.

  • Phil Neville Manchester United 2003

    #8 Phil Neville - Central Midfield

    The Manchester United academy product and a part of the famous Class of 92, Neville made his debut for the club in 1994 and played until 2005. The next eight seasons he spent at Everton before retiring from professional football in 2013.

    After retirement, the defender worked as an assistant manager with the England U21 side and at Valencia. In 2015 he was the caretaker manager of Salford City along with Paul Scholes. Neville was also a 10 per cent stakeholder at the club. In 2018 he became the head coach of the England Women's national team. In January 2021, he joined MLS side Inter Miami as their new manager.

  • Paul Scholes Manchester United 2009

    #9 Paul Scholes - Central Midfield

    A Manchester United academy graduate and a club legend, Paul Scholes, like Ryan Giggs, played at Manchester United throughout his life. After his retirement in 2013, Scholes along with the members of the Class of 92, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Phil Neville and Gary Neville bought Salford City in 2014. In September they sold a 50 per cent stake to Singaporean businessman Peter Lim.

    In 2015, Scholes along with Phil Neville became caretaker managers of Salford City. In 2017, he joined PVF Football Academy as their technical advisor.

    The English became the manager of Oldham Athletic in February 2019 but left his role within a month. In October 2020, he took over as the interim manager of Salford but left in November after the appointment of Richie Vellen as the club's new coach.

  • Ryan Giggs Manchester United 26051999

    #10 Ryan Giggs - Left Wing

    A one-club man and a legend at Manchester United, Giggs played for the club for 24 years. Ryan Giggs is the most-capped Manchester United player of all time with 936 caps under his belt.

    Giggs was appointed as the player-cum-interim manager of Manchester United in the final four matches of the 2013-14 season after David Moyes was sacked. It was also his final season as a professional footballer.

    After retirement, he immediately became the assistant manager under Louis van Gaal and remained in that position for the next two seasons. In 2018, Giggs was appointed as the manager of the Wales national team on a four-year contract. However, due to an ongoing alleged assault case against him, Giggs has not been discharging his duties as Wales manager since April 2021.

    He is also the co-owner of League Two side Salford City. 

  • Ruud van Nistelrooy Manchester United Premier League

    #11 Ruud van Nistelrooy - Forward

    The legendary Dutch forward joined the Red Devils from PSV in 2001 and played there for five seasons before leaving for Real Madrid in 2006. In the final two seasons of his professional career, Ruud van Nistelrooy played at Hamburg and Malaga respectively before hanging up his boots in 2012.

    Nistelrooy was the assistant coach of the Netherlands national team between 2014 to 2016. He then joined the PSV U19 side as their head coach in 2018 but then returned to the national team as an assistant coach in 2019. Most recently he was seen on the Dutch bench at the Euro 2020 as Frank de Boer's assistant.

  • Wayne Rooney Manchester United

    #12 Wayne Rooney - Forward

    A Manchester United legend and former captain, Wayne Rooney joined the Red Devils in 2004 from Everton and played at the club for 13 years. In 2017, he returned to his former club Everton for a season before moving to MLS side DC United where he spent a season.

    In August 2019, Rooney returned to England to join Championship side Derby County as player-manager and in January 2021, he retired from professional football and became a full-time manager at the club.

  • Ryan Giggs and Louis Saha playing for Manchester United

    #13 Louis Saha - Substitute

    The French forward joined Manchester United from Fulham in 2004 and spent four seasons at the club. He later played for Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, Sunderland and Lazio before retiring from professional football in 2013. Post-retirement, Saha created a private network for pro athletes and entertainers called AxisStars. He also features as TV pundit and commentates on football.

  • Alan Smith Manchester United

    #14 Alan Smith - Substitute

    The English midfielder joined Manchester United from Leeds United in 2004 and spent three seasons at the club. After leaving the Red Devils, Smith played for Newcastle United, MK Dons and Notts County before announcing his retirement in 2018. During his last season at Notts County, he had briefly worked as a caretaker manager cum player. As of 2020, he works as a head coach at Florida-based XL Soccer World Academy.

  • #15 Arsenal XI

  • Jens Lehmann Arsenal Premier League

    #16 Jens Lehmann - Goalkeeper

    The German goalkeeper played at Arsenal in two stints, (2003-2008 and 2011). Other than Arsenal, he played for clubs like Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan. He retired from professional football in 2011.

    After retirement, he joined Arsenal as their goalkeeper coach in 2017 and stayed at the club for a year. In 2019 he joined Augsburg as their assistant coach an in 2020 he came a part of the advisory board of Hertha Berlin. In May 2021, he was removed from his role.

  • Lauren Arsenal 2004

    #17 Lauren - Right Back

    The Cameroonian full-back played at Arsenal from 2000 to 2007. He then moved to Portsmouth in 2007 where he spent the next two seasons. In 2010, he announced his retirement from professional football after spending a season at Cordoba.

    Lauren is currently an Arsenal ambassador for the African continent.

  • Sol Campbell Arsenal

    #18 Sol Campbell - Centre Back

    The English defender joined Arsenal in 2001 from rivals Tottenham Hotspur and spent five seasons at the club. He later played for Portsmouth and Notts County FC before returning to Arsenal for the second half of the 2009/10 season. He last played at Newcastle United before retiring from professional football in 2011.

    In 2017, Sol Campbell joined the Trinidad and Tobago national team as an assistant coach to Dennis Lawrence.  A year later he took over as the coach of Macclesfield Town. In October 2019, Campbell joined League One side Southen United where he worked as their head coach until June 2020.

  • Kolo Toure Arsenal Premier League

    #19 Kolo Toure - Centre Back

    Toure played at Arsenal from 2002 to 2009. He later moved to Manchester City, Liverpool and Celtic. He retired from professional football in 2017. Immediately after retiring from football, Toure joined the coaching staff in Ivory Coast's U23 side.

    In September 2017, he joined Brendan Rodgers' coaching staff at Celtic and after Rodgers joined Leicester City in 2019, Toure followed him and joined the Premier League side's coaching staff.

  • Ashley Cole Arsenal

    #20 Ashley Cole - Left Back

    After graduating from Arsenal's youth system, Ashley Cole was promoted to the senior side in 1999. He remained at the club till 2006 after which he joined Chelsea where he spent the next eight seasons. 

    He also played for AS Roma and La Galaxy and in 2019 after spending six months with Derby County, Cole announced his retirement from professional football. In July 2021, the former England international was appointed as the assistant coach of Lee Carsley in the England U21 side. 

  • Freddie Ljungberg Arsenal 2004

    #21 Freddie Ljungberg -Right Wing

    The Swedish midfielder donned the Arsenal shirt for nine seasons between 1998 and 2007. Ljungberg later played for MLS side Chicago Fire and Scottish giants Celtic/ Like his former teammate Robert Pires, the midfielder retired after playing in the inaugural season of the ISL for Mumbai City FC.

    In his coaching career, Ljungberg worked with the Arsenal U15 and the U23 team as their head coach. He also worked at Wolfsburg as an assistant coach. In December 2019, he took over as the interim head coach of the Arsenal senior team after Unai Emery left the club. He worked as the club's head coach until Mikel Arteta's appointment in 2020. With Arteta taking over, Ljungberg rejoined his duty as the club's first team coach.

    However, he left the club at the end of the 2019-20 season. 

  • Patrick Vieira Arsenal

    #22 Patrick Vieira -Central Midfield

    The legendary French midfielder played at Arsenal for nine seasons between 1996 to 2005. He later played for Juventus, Inter Milan and finally retired at Manchester City.

    He was appointed as the manager of MLS side New York City FC where he worked for two seasons before taking over Ligue 1 side Nice as their head coach. In 2021, Patrick Vieira was unveiled as Crystal Palace's new manager.

  • Edu Arsenal

    #23 Edu - Central Midfield

    Brazilian midfielder Eduardo Gaspar joined Arsenal in 2001 and played at the club for four years after which he played for Valencia and Corinthians. He retired from professional football in 2010.

    After retirement, he worked as the Director of Football (DOF) at Corinthians. He was also a part of Carlos Queiroz's coaching staff of the Iran national team at the 2014 World Cup. Since 2019, he is working as the technical director of the Arsenal senior team.

  • Jose Antonio Reyes Arsenal

    #24 Jose Antonio Reyes - Left Wing

    The late Spanish midfielder played at Arsenal for three seasons from 2004 to 2007. Other than the Premier League giants, he played for top European sides like Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla.

    In January 2019, he returned to Spain, after spending four months in China playing for Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard F.C, and joined Diego Capel at Extremadura UD. In June 2019, Reyes died in a car accident.

  • Dennis Bergkamp Arsenal Tottenham Premier League 24111996

    #25 Dennis Bergkamp - Forward

    One of the greatest stars to have played for Arsenal, Dennis Bergkamp played at Arsenal for 11 years. Earlier he had played for Inter Milan and Ajax. In 2006 he retired from professional football.

    Bergkamp worked as the assistant manager at Ajax from 2011 to 2017. Recently, he was coaching on a part-time voluntary basis at Dutch side Almere City.

  • Thierry Henry Arsenal

    #26 Thierry Henry - Forward

    A France and Arsenal legend, Thierry Henry had two stints with the Gunners, from 1999 to 2007 and a loan spell in 2012. He retired from professional football in 2014 after spending four seasons with MLS side New York Redbulls.

    After retirement, Henry joined the Belgium national team as an assistant coach in 2016 and worked for two years. In 2018, he joined AS Monaco as their head coach and after a season he took over as the head coach of Montreal Impact. In 2021 he rejoined the Belgian national. Henry was Roberto Martinez's assistant at the Euro 2020.

  • Robert Pires Arsenal 22032001

    #27 Robert Pires - Substitute

    The French winger and Arsenal legend played at the North London club for six seasons from 2000 to 2006. He later played for Villarreal and Aston Villa. Pires retired from professional football after playing for FC Goa in the inaugural Indian Super League (ISL) season.