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Compilation video of referee Mike Riley's 'scandalous' performance in 2004's 'Battle of the Buffet' goes viral

Compilation video of referee Mike Riley's 'scandalous' performance in 2004's 'Battle of the Buffet' goes viral

Manchester United's win over Arsenal remains one of the most controversial in Premier League history.

Manchester United's 2-0 win over Arsenal in October 2004 remains one of the most controversial in Premier League history.

United ended the Gunners' unprecedented 49-game unbeaten run in the league with a hard-fought victory at Old Trafford, in a match later dubbed the 'Battle of the Buffet' because of the chaotic post-match scenes that followed.

Mike Riley faced intense criticism for his refereeing performance, with many of his key decisions going in favour of the home side.

A compilation video of the match, posted to Twitter by fan account Gunner_Thoughts, has now gone viral ahead of Sunday's Premier League match between Arsenal and United at Old Trafford.

The video, posted with the caption "Watch. Remember. Hate.", shows the late Jose Antonio Reyes being targeted by United players throughout the match, a tactic which captain Gary Neville later admitted was deliberate.

The persistent kicking of the Spaniard was largely unpunished by Riley, with the Neville brothers - Gary and Phil - the only players receiving yellow cards.

A young Wayne Rooney was typically aggressive and in the thick of it and he produced a horrendous dive for the Ruud van Nistelrooy penalty that opened the scoring.

Riley was conned into thinking Sol Campbell had tripped up Rooney in the area when in fact there was no contact.

Rooney would later wrap up the points in the 93rd minute.

Van Nistelrooy, who wasn't on great terms with Arsenal players after previous events, also avoided a red card for a shocker of a tackle on Ashley Cole.

However, he later received a three-match ban for serious play.

Rio Ferdinand could also easily have been given his marching orders for bringing down Freddie Ljungberg when the Swede was through on goal in the first half.

United ended Arsenal's unbeaten run in the Premier League (Image: Alamy)
United ended Arsenal's unbeaten run in the Premier League (Image: Alamy)

Champions Arsenal lost their Invincibles status and former manager Arsene Wenger said Riley had "decided the game, like we know he can do at Old Trafford".

Wenger also branded Van Nistelrooy a "cheat" - comments which saw him later fined £15,000.

It also kicked off in the tunnel after full-time – with former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson alleged to have had a slice of pizza thrown at him in the fracas.

A young Cesc Fabregas was the perceived culprit and years later, appearing on Sky One show 'A League Of Their Own', the Spaniard confirmed it was indeed him.

United and Arsenal renew their rivalry on Sunday, with the Gunners looking to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League.

Mikel Arteta's side are one point clear of defending champions Manchester City at the top of the table.

United, meanwhile, are eighth but can move up to fourth with a victory.

Featured Image Credit: Premier League

Topics: Manchester United, Arsenal, Football, Premier League