After ending Arsenal’s unbeaten run earlier in the season, Manchester United went on to thrash the Gunners 4-2 at Highbury. In the run up to the game, several of their players were talking to the press about getting revenge for the result at Old Trafford.
“The problem in this game was that Arsenal had got carried away by the press in the run-up, saying that we had bullied them at Old Trafford,” he said. “They felt that I’d been aggressive against Jose Antonio Reyes. The reality was that Arsenal took it too personally and Patrick Vieira got wound up before the match had started. The problem in the tunnel before the game was that Patrick had already said something to me and then he said something to Roy Keane, causing the confrontation. These incidents – the pizza-throwing and the tunnel bust-up – created the myth and legend that went with those Manchester United-Arsenal games of that period of time. To be honest, Arsenal lost that night because of their emotional state. They were too wound up and too hyped up, while we remained quite cold about it all. I always remember that when they went 2-1 up through Dennis Bergkamp, they celebrated by running past me and screaming at me. I thought: ‘There’s an awful long way to go yet.’ Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in the second half and even though we had Mikael Silvestre sent off, John O’Shea scored our fourth late on.”