Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez has dismissed Sir Alex Ferguson’s justification of fatigue being the reason behind their FA Cup 2-2 draw with the Blues at Old Trafford on Sunday night.
The league leaders, who were dumped out of the Champions League round of 16 last week by Real Madrid, led 2-0 at half-time, courtesy of early goals from Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney.
A peach of a goal from Eden Hazard in a Chelsea-dominated second half brought the visitors back in the contest, before Ramires slotted home the equaliser 22 minutes from time to earn a replay at Stamford Bridge for his side.
Benitez’s men could easily had booked their place in the last four yesterday night, but a flurry of saves from United goalkeeper David de Gea, which included a spectacular save of a Juan Mata shot from close range, ensured that the game ended in a stalemate.
Ferguson attributed his side’s mediocre performance in the second half to his squad’s tiredness – an excuse Benitez was not willing to buy.
The former Liverpool boss, who has had a strained relationship with the veteran Scott since his days at Anfield, accused Ferguson of coming up with lame excuses to take the credit off Chelsea.
Benitez found Ferguson justification funny, claiming that the hosts had everything to their advantage.
He said: I thought you were joking. They played on Tuesday, we played in Romania on Thursday. They were playing at home. They had everything in their favour
The Spaniard also alleged that his United counterpart did not show up in the dressing room tunnel to shake hands with him, even though he had waited for him for a long time.
He said: “I was waiting. I have some education. I know a lot of people are watching, so I know what you have to do."
Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-1 last season to claim the FA Cup, and will be fancying their chances of getting the better of United at home for a semi-final berth.
Elsewhere, Millwall and Blackburn Rovers played out a 0-0 draw in another quarter-final. A replay at Ewood Park will decide who goes through.
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