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

Quick Reads

Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham are among the clubs to have all been involved in off-field bust-ups over the years – and we’ve loved them all.

We’d love to say we find this kind of thing appalling…but we’d be lying. Frankly, it’s hilarious.

We’ve previously celebrated the mass brawl on the pitch, but there have also been examples of bad blood spilling over after the games, on the touchlines and even in the tunnel before kick-off. Here are some of the most memorable off-field clashes.

Milkgate

In December 2017, Mikel Arteta was left with a cut head after he was hit by a plastic drinks bottle during a fracas after Manchester City’s 2-1 win at Old Trafford.

Rather more amusingly, someone threw a milk carton at United boss Jose Mourinho which apparently ‘splattered’ a member of his coaching staff.

All because the Portuguese took offence to City’s celebrations at the end of the game.

Pizzagate

Thirteen years earlier, Manchester United were involved again, with their game against Arsenal given was 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.

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 – and again involving Manchester United and Arsenal, in 2005, a year after pizzagate.

This time the game hadn’t even begun when the two captains squared up.

Thankfully for us, cameras caught most of the incident, with Keane saying to Vieira: “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 an incredibly bad-tempered match which handed Leicester City the title, Chelsea and Tottenham players clashed en masse, 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!”

The sheer audacity of this makes this brilliant. God knows why Alan Pardew chose to get involved, 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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