On this day in 2003, six Arsenal players were charged by the FA after the infamous ‘Battle of Old Trafford’ which took place on 21 September.
The game finished 0-0 but that told nothing of what happened during the 90 minutes.
Patrick Vieira was sent off for two yellows in three minutes as we entered the final 10 minutes, but the most famous part of the game was the penalty miss by Ruud van Nistlerooy right at the death and Martin Keown’s reaction to it as the Arsenal players felt the Dutchman had overreacted to get our captain sent off.
Following the game, six Arsenal players were charged while only two from United received a charge from the FA who, at that time, were quite happy to let United under Ferguson do whatever they wanted.
Look at this ‘challenge’ from Phil Neville, for instance, that did not even receive a yellow card:
Arsenal pleaded guilty to the charges against them and received the largest ever fine given to a club – £175,000.
Lauren received a four-game ban and a £40,000 fine.
Keown was suspended for three matches and received a £20,000 fine
Vieira and Parlour were given one-game bans and £20,000 and £10,000 fines respectively.
Jens Lehmann was charged but this was later dropped.
Ashley Cole was fined £10,000.
Ryan Giggs and serial accused rapist Cristiano Ronaldo, who by 2003 had already been accused at least once, pleaded not guilty but Giggs was handed a £7,500 fine after a hearing and Ronaldo a £4,000 fine.
Arsenal finished the season as Premier League champions, unbeaten.