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Rafael Benitez says Alex Ferguson ignored pre-match handshake

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10 Mar 2013 22:12:18

Rafael Benitez says Alex Ferguson ignored pre-match handshake

Rafael Benitez says Alex Ferguson ignored pre-match handshake By Phil McNulty BBC Sport's chief football writer at Old Trafford Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benitez says Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson ignored their handshake before Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final. The pair have had an increasingly fraught relationship since the Spaniard's time at Liverpool and the tension surfaced again at Old Trafford. The Spaniard said: "I was waiting for him at the beginning so you should ask him. I have education. I was ready. "I know a lot of people were watching and I knew what to do." FA Cup semi-final draw Millwall or Blackburn v Wigan Athletic Manchester City or Chelsea v Manchester United The ties will take place on the weekend of 13 and 14 April. He added: "It's up to him. I was in the way waiting. If you are brave enough, ask him." A growing animosity between Ferguson and Benitez, formerly on friendly terms, came to a head in January 2009 when the then Liverpool manager famously claimed the Scot received preferential treatment from the football authorities. "Everyone can see that I'm talking about facts," the Liverpool manager told journalists. "I'm just saying things that everybody can see." Most recently, Ferguson described the former Valencia and Inter Milan boss as a "lucky manager" after he landed the post at Stamford Bridge. The pair again failed to shake hands at the final whistle on Sunday after Chelsea staged a stirring comeback from 2-0 down, goals from substitute Eden Hazard and Ramires in the second half setting up a replay at Stamford Bridge for the right to face Manchester City in the semi-final. Early goals from Javier Hernandez and the recalled Wayne Rooney had put United in command. Benitez explained: "I was with my players celebrating." Chelsea ended the game as the dominant force and Benitez said: "We have analysed the game and we deserved to win. "We had some good counter-attacks even when we were two goals down in the first half and in the second half we were on top of them with some good football, great team spirit and working hard with passion and commitment." Benitez changed the course of the game early in the second half when he replaced Frank Lampard and Victor Moses with Hazard and Jon Obi Mikel. He said: "I am a professional. We had been to Romania in the Europa League on Thursday and I knew we had players who would be tired and we had to manage the squad. "We started with fresh legs but we knew we would have to make substitutions and Hazard is a player with quality who can change."


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