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Lehmann My view of the Battle of the Buffet

Sir Alex Ferguson

In October 2004, Manchester United ended our hopes of making it to 50 games unbeaten on a controversial afternoon at Old Trafford.

Tensions spilt over into the tunnel at Old Trafford after the final whistle, resulting in reports that Sir Alex Ferguson was struck by a slice of pizza. 
 
Speaking exclusively to our 'In Lockdown' podcast, Jens Lehmann gave his account of the match and post-match fireworks in the tunnel. 

 
"It was so obvious that Wayne Rooney went for a dive," he said. "It was a little bit disappointing for myself. I wanted to go to the corner where Ruud van Nistelrooy put the penalty, but Patrick [Vieira] came to me and said, 'You know where he's going.' 
 
"So I said, 'Okay, I'll go to the [other] corner' and obviously he scored. I should have gone with my first thought, then it probably would have been a draw. 
 
"The year before, it was the same [controversy]. I thought, 'Oh, every time it's the same here. It belongs to the aftermath of the game that managers stand in front of each other and try to punch each other.' The year before they were already having a fight, this year was ‘Pizzagate’. 
 
"I mean a young player came into our dressing room and was hungry. He'd probably taken too much pizza and instead of eating it, he had thrown it on to Alex Ferguson's... where was it? Chin? Forehead? I think it was half neck, half shoulder. 
 
"I wasn't really involved. The only thing I did… I was quite late and I saw the bunch of players in front of me, the two managers standing, confronting each other. I was spilling water from behind on to the whole crowd. It was like petrol onto a fire.
 
“I inflamed the situation a little bit but without getting involved. I saw security guys there, our players, the managers, it was just an accusation of betrayal and whatever, because of the penalty. Again, a penalty."

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🎧 Special podcast with David O'Leary out now

In Lockdown: David O'Leary

David O'Leary is in the hotseat for our latest In Lockdown podcast.

Our record appearance-maker discusses his 20 years spell at the club and goes into detail on:

  • Some of the best players he played with
  • The hunger that led to to make more than 700 appearances
  • His emotions when he realised it was all over
  • And much, much more!

For this second season of 'In Lockdown', a new episode will drop every Tuesday, featuring exclusive interviews with a host of former players.

Make sure you don't miss an episode by subscribing to 'In Lockdown' now on the following platforms:

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