Spurs lost 2-1 to West Ham at the Boleyn Ground while Arsenal battled past Wigan by a scoreline of 4–2 – but there was more to the unexpected defeat than meets the eye.
The likes of Edgar Davids, Robbie Keane and Michael Carrick among others were forced to take to the field just hours after a dodgy hotel lasagne left many feeling nauseous.
The experienced Jol said after the match: "I have never experienced anything like this in football before."
And explained when asked which of his players were left ill: "I can sum up the players who were not sick. There was Paul Robinson, Stephen Kelly, Anthony Gardner and Jermain Defoe and the rest were sick."
Although the incident has been seen as jovial by many neutrals, the damage was lasting at Tottenham, and it took the club another four years and £300m in transfer fees to reach Europe's premier competition.
Spurs had come just 90 minutes from beating the recent Invincibles to the top four, despite their playing squad being led by Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Robert Pires.
Defoe told FourFourTwo in 2017: "I thought, 'Something has definitely gone on here – one of the West Ham lads has done something to the food.'"
The day before the match, the squad had tucked into a buffet laid on by their hotel, and with lasagne the dish of choice for many – it didn't take long for players to fall ill.
With several struggling throughout the night, it became apparent that a bout of food poisoning had hit on the eve of their biggest game of the season.
While Daniel Levy was unable to convince the Premier League to postpone the fixture, it is likely that they would've been fined or had a points deduction if the game had to be abandoned.
Jermaine Jenas told Yahoo in 2016 of the events that led to their defeat: "The silly thing is that for a game against West Ham we would have normally just stayed at home because it was a local derby.
"But because it was such a crucial game the club put us in a hotel because they wanted us to be together."
Before adding: "While the gaffer Martin Jol was giving his team talk before the game, players were being sick in the toilets.
"Once the game started players were literally running off the pitch. It was carnage."
While Pires gave Arsenal the lead against Wigan in what was the final game at Highbury, Carl Fletcher found a way past Paul Robinson as West Ham gained an advantage against their London rivals.
Paul Scharner and David Thompson then put Wigan ahead, with Jermain Defoe bagging an equaliser to give Spurs some hope despite their stomach problems.
However, Henry levelled for the Gunners before going on to complete a hat-trick as Yossi Benayoun but West Ham back in front to condemn Spurs to fifth place.
The events are still shrouded in mystery 15 years on, but Jose Mourinho will be looking to further banish the distant memories by claiming at top four spot come May.
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