Ferguson and Benitez feud continues with handshake row
Chelsea boss suggests that Ferguson lacks 'education' for snubbing him before FA Cup clash
MATCHES between the big guns of English football are no longer allowed to pass off without some off-field drama, and Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final between Manchester United and Chelsea was no exception as the feud between managers Alex Ferguson and Rafa Benitez continued.
The pair did not greet each ahead of kick-off and when the final whistle blew Benitez ignored his opposite number and strode off down the touchline to join his players in celebrating the unlikely 2-2 draw, accusing Ferguson of lacking 'education' for refusing to acknowledge him.
The Man United boss, having seen his side throw away a two-goal lead, once again avoided the post-match press conference, leaving it to Benitez to explain what had happened before the game.
"It's his decision," he said. "I was ready and waiting [to shake hands]. I have some education. I was waiting. I have education because I know that a lot of people are watching so I know what you have to do." He added that reporters should ask Ferguson what occurred "if you are brave enough".
The pair first fell out during Benitez's time at Liverpool, sparked by the Spaniard's 2009 'fact' rant in which he insinuated that Ferguson influenced referees.
According to the Daily Mail, the Scot "dislikes Benitez intensely". He described him as a "lucky" manager when he was given the Chelsea job and even his comment last week that he wouldn't "kick anyone when they're lying down" appeared to be barbed.
"The frosty relations between the managers showed no sign of thawing," noted the Daily Telegraph, and the BBC echoed that sentiment. "The pair have had an increasingly fraught relationship... and the tension surfaced again at Old Trafford," it commented.
It was Benitez who emerged from the latest row looking happiest. His second-half substitutions helped turn the match on its head, with Chelsea almost winning the game in the final minutes.