Rafa Benitez bemused by Fergie handshake snub
The two sides eventually drew 2-2 at Old Trafford, with the Blues battling back from a two goal half-time deficit.
Although their comeback was the story of the afternoon, Benitez said that Fergie walked directly past him ahead of kick-off when he was waiting to shake hands with the Scot:
“I was waiting at the beginning. It’s up to him, I was in the way waiting.” He is quoted by Sky Sports.
“Ask him (why) if you are brave enough to ask him. It was his decision. I was ready and waiting. I have some education because I know a lot of people are watching so I know what I have to do.”
The pair have a rivalry stretching back to Benitez’s time as Liverpool manager, when the two sides clashed during the 2008/09 season.
After the match the Spaniard repeated the gesture of his opposite number, instead choosing to celebrate with his players.
Goals from Eden Hazard and Ramires cancelled out Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney’s first-half strikes to take the tie to a replay.
They almost completed a stunning turnaround on the day, but David de Gea produced a fine save to deny Juan Mata late on.
Benitez felt that his team did enough to book their spot in the semi-finals, insisting that United had a clear advantage ahead of kick-off:
“We analysed the game and we deserved to win,
“The first half we made two mistakes and conceded two goals but in the second half we were on top of them and had a lot of chances.
“They had everything in their favour: they are playing at home, they played on Tuesday, we are coming from Romania (defeat to Steaua Bucharest in the Europa League) and had to travel again so we did a great game and I’m really pleased with my players.”