Fergie shows contempt for Benitez

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Sir Alex Ferguson has accused Rafael Benitez of "arrogance" and showing "contempt" in his dealings with fellow Premier League managers.

The Liverpool chief has been in combative mood recently and Ferguson has hit back. First he lambasted the Spaniard for his description of Everton as a "small club" before rounding on him for the attitude he showed in dismissing Blackburn last weekend once Liverpool had scored their second goal.

"Everton are a big club, not a small one which Benitez arrogantly said," said Ferguson. "But arrogance is one thing. You cannot forgive contempt, which is what he showed (Blackburn manager) Sam Allardyce last weekend."

He added: "When Liverpool scored their second goal he signalled as if the game was finished. I do not think Sam deserved that.

"Sam has worked so hard for the LMA (League Managers' Association) and he's had a weakened team. I just thought it showed contempt.

"In my experience no Liverpool manager has ever done that. It was beyond the pale."

The tirade should enliven the Premier League title battle when it resumes next week, although Ferguson will feel justified in making the attack.

Benitez had delivered what he claimed to be "facts", about United which the Red Devils do not believe to be true.

And while Ferguson has tried to resist the temptation to respond, this time he felt he needed to make a stand against the Liverpool manager, who feels more sure of his ground after finally steering his club into championship contention despite this week's Champions League exit at the hands of Chelsea.

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