Silvestre: 'I knew Fabregas was guilty of throwing pizza at Fergie'

‘It was a foolish moment but he was only 18 at the time!’ Mikael Silvestre reveals he knew Cesc Fabregas was guilty of throwing pizza at Sir Alex Ferguson in infamous ‘Battle of the Buffet’ years before the Spaniard admitted it

  • Man United and Arsenal players chucked food at each other after 2004 clash
  • Alex Ferguson’s side had won 2-0 to end Gunners’ unbeaten run at 49 games
  • An Arsenal player threw pizza that struck the United boss during tunnel melee
  • It was revealed to be the Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas 13 years later
  • But ex-United and Arsenal defender Mikael Silvestre knew Fabregas was guilty
  • He found out from his French international colleagues but never revealed culprit 

Mikael Silvestre has revealed he knew Cesc Fabregas was the culprit who threw pizza at Sir Alex Ferguson in the infamous ‘Battle of the Buffet’ long before he owned up to it.

The then-Manchester United manager was hit by flying food as his players clashed with their Arsenal rivals in the Old Trafford tunnel following the 2-0 United win in October 2004.

The match halted Arsenal’s unbeaten run in the Premier League at 49 matches and marked a high water mark of acrimony in the intense rivalry between the two clubs.

Mikael Silvestre (right) knew Cesc Fabregas (left) was the guilty party who threw pizza at Sir Alex Ferguson during the ‘Battle of the Buffet’ long before he owned up to it

Silvestre and United team-mates confront Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann during the intense Premier League encounter in October 2004, which United won 2-0

Spanish midfielder Fabregas finally confessed in an episode of A League of Their Own in October 2017, confirming years of speculation, but Silvestre, who joined Arsenal from United in 2008, was already well aware.

The former France defender found out Fabregas was the guilty party from his international colleagues and used to tease him about it in the Arsenal dressing room.

Speaking to The Athletic’s Talks of the Devils podcast, Silvestre said: ‘There was flying pizza on Sir Alex’s suit so it was a crazy end.

‘I had heard from the French guys in the national team, so I knew it was Cesc.

‘So when I joined the Arsenal team, I said ‘I know it was you, don’t lie to me!’ He was laughing about it.

Arsenal players protest to referee Mike Riley after he awarded United a penalty 

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger continues the argument after their Old Trafford defeat

‘But at the time, I can tell you, Sir Alex was not laughing and we were made as well.

‘It was a foolish moment from Cesc but you must remember he was 18 at the time, an 18-year-old throwing pizza!’

Ferguson didn’t see at the time who launched the pizza at him as players confronted one another in the narrow Old Trafford tunnel following the final whistle.

But Fabregas became the No 1 culprit after Ashley Cole revealed the player involved wasn’t English or French. Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown dropped a hint it was Fabregas seven years later.

Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates United’s win moments before being struck by the flying pizza

Matches between United and Arsenal in those days were tempestuous affairs as the two teams regularly challenged for the Premier League and other trophies

And he confessed on an episode of the Sky show in 2017, saying: ‘All of a sudden, I heard noises and I thought what’s happening? So I go out with my slice of pizza and I saw Sol Campbell, Rio Ferdinand, Martin Keown… everyone pushing each other.

‘I was like ‘I want to get in but I don’t know how to’ and I threw…peeew…just threw it. Once I saw it was hitting, like, who it was hitting, which I didn’t mean…

‘I apologise Sir Alex, I really didn’t mean to do that.’


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