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Benitez reignites Ferguson rift

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Ferguson will want us to beat Chelsea - Benitez

Rafael Benitez claims Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is scared of his Liverpool side as the pressure of the Premier League title race mounts.

United have a one-point lead with a game in hand over their rivals.

Liverpool face Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday, with Ferguson claiming the loser will be United's main title contender.

But Benitez responded: "It is not mind games, I think it maybe is that he is a little bit scared (of us)."

Benitez had previously taken a swipe at Ferguson in January, accusing the 67-year-old of escaping punishment for verbally attacking referees.

And the Spaniard reignited the polemics once again by claiming Ferguson "talks too much about other teams".

Benitez said: "Sir Alex will be supporting Liverpool in this tie because he knows we are the bigger threat now.

We are pushing them and we will push them until the end

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez

"If we continue in the Champions League maybe he will think we are tired. If we are not in this competition then he knows that we will be a (bigger) threat in the Premier League.

"If Chelsea are not in the competition, then he knows they will then be a threat also in the league. But he will lose anyway, whoever goes out, because they will still be a big threat to United.

"You have to prepare well for every single Premier League game, it is tough (to be in the Champions League as well). So he will clearly be supporting us tomorrow and next week.

"I would like to be worried about both competitions, it means we will continue to be successful."

Manchester United maintained their one-point lead at the top of the table following a dramatic last-minute winner from 17-year-old substitute Federico Macheda in the 3-2 home win over Aston Villa.

606: DEBATE
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But while Benitez admitted United have the advantage, he believed his side can turn the deficit around as the season reaches its climax.

"We knew there would be situations like this, with us one point ahead, or one point behind. And everyone knows five minutes (of injury time) at Old Trafford is a very long time.

"I watched the game, but once United scored their second you felt they would win the game.

"He (Ferguson) is in the driving seat now and in a better position, but there is still a long way to go and we have confidence. We are pushing them and we will push them until the end."



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see also
Pressure is on Man Utd - Benitez
04 Apr 09 |  Premier League
FA to review Benitez complaints
10 Jan 09 |  Liverpool
Rafael Benitez statement
09 Jan 09 |  Liverpool
Benitez lays into rival Ferguson
09 Jan 09 |  Premier League



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