Eight of the most memorable off-field clashes: Milk, pizza, squirted water…

Quick Reads

Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have all been involved in off-field bust-ups over the years – and they’ve massively entertained nearly all of us. 

We’d love to say we find this kind of thing appalling…but we’d be lying. We’ve already established that 21 is the optimum number of participants in a mass brawl on the pitch, and though we obviously don’t condone things being thrown at managers after a game – obviously – it’s hard not to chuckle at the thought of it.

And reports of an altercation in the changing rooms following City’s defeat of United in the Manchester derby on Sunday got us thinking. The day we get a permanent camera in the tunnel will be a great day for all concerned…


We don’t know too much about this one yet, but reports that Manchester City coach Mikel Arteta was left with blood pouring down his face seem to make things quite serious.

However we are more intrigued about reports that several came away drenched in milk – none moreso than Jose Mourinho.

Who threw the milk? How much milk? Where did the milk come from? Was it semi-skimmed or full fat?


A famous 2004 contest between Manchester United and Arsenal was given the nickname ‘The Battle of the Buffet’ as a match filled with unpunished crunching tackles was followed by a brawl in the tunnel.

In the post-match fracas, an Arsenal player launched a slice of pizza at Sir Alex Ferguson – finally confirmed as Cesc Fabregas when he appeared on A League of Their Own earlier this year.

As Ashley Cole so eloquently described in his autobiography: “This slice of pizza came flying over my head and hit Fergie straight in the mush. All mouths gawped to see this pizza slip off this famous, puce face and roll down his nice black suit.”

Roy Keane vs Patrick Vieira

Perhaps the most famous of the lot.

In 2005, a year after pizza gate, the game hadn’t even begun when the two captains squared up.

Cameras caught most of the incident, with Keane proclaiming he would “see you out there”. Ahh, we miss these two.

Kevin Mirallas vs Jack Wilshere

In a 0-0 draw with Everton back in 2013, Arsenal players were getting frustrated and angered by the visitors’ tough-tackling style.

As the players walked off at half-time, a mini-brawl broke out between Wilshere and Mirallas, with videos later showing the Belgian squirting Arsenal’s number 10 in the face with a water bottle.

It was a good shot, to be fair.

Chelsea vs Spurs

At the end of the heated match which handed Leicester City the title, Chelsea and Tottenham players clashed, with Fabregas involved yet again.

This particular scuffle sees Danny Rose come flying in and launch Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink down the steps into the sunk dugouts at Stamford Bridge.

Must. Not. Laugh.

Jose Mourinho’s eye gouge

In what has to be one of the most bizarre – and definitely the least defensible – clashes on the list, Mourinho walks through a brawl during El Clasico in 2011 just to gouge Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova’s eye.

Fabregas’ name crops up once more, as the coming together started when he was taken down by a wild Marcelo challenge.

Gennaro Gattuso vs Joe Jordan

Jordan somehow ended up riling Gattuso in the famous 1-0 win for Spurs at San Siro in 2011, but the Italian surely picked on the wrong man.

Jordan was as tough as they come as a player and certainly isn’t a stranger to a touchline scuffle, having confronted Chelsea coach Ray Wilkins and Blackburn manager Paul Ince within the space of a week in 2008.

Alan Pardew vs David Meyler

“And Pardew lays the butt on him!”

Simply the sheer audacity of this makes it brilliant. God knows why Alan Pardew chose to get involved with this, but he did. And was duly handed a Premier League record seven-game ban for his actions.

Frankly, we think he should have been banned longer for this.


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