Fergie scared of Reds - Rafa
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez
Liverpool - Rafael Benitez has launched another attack on Sir Alex Ferguson after claiming on Tuesday that the Manchester United manager is running scared of Liverpool.
As the race for the Premier League and Champions League enters a crucial phase, Liverpool manager Benitez accused his rival here on Tuesday of "talking too much" before adding: "I just think he is a little bit scared."
It is the second time this season that Benitez has had a dig at Ferguson, whose United side now have a one-point lead at the top of the Premier League over the Merseysiders.
Back in January, Benitez accused the United manager of playing mind games, saying Ferguson "complained about everything".
Now, on the eve of Liverpool's Champions League quarter-final first leg tie against English rivals Chelsea at Anfield, Benitez has had another go at the veteran Scottish boss.
"He likes to talk too much about the others teams," said Benitez. "I don't play mind games. I just think he is a little bit scared."
Ferguson did his best to up the ante ahead of this tie by saying, after United's dramatic 3-2 win over Aston Villa last weekend, that whoever won the Champions League clash between Liverpool and Chelsea, who are four points off the top of the English table, would be the champions' closest challengers for their Premier League title.
"If we continue in this competition (Champions League) he might think we are tired," Benitez told reporters at Anfield.
"But if we are not in this competition he knows we will be a threat and if Chelsea is not in the competition, Chelsea will be a threat.
"He will lose anyway," the Spaniard added.
"If we continue in the Champions League maybe he will think we will lose some ground in the Premier League. We are pushing them and we will try and push them until the end of the season."
Benitez continued: "He (Ferguson) was talking about us again. I want to clarify that it doesn't matter if we lose or Chelsea lose.
"At the end of the day the team that goes out of the Champions League now will focus on the Premier League and will maybe make it more difficult for United."
Benitez's outburst overshadowed the build-up to Liverpool's European clash with Chelsea, the team who knocked them out at the semi-final stage last season.
Liverpool have breathed new life into their Premier League challenge after a fine run of form, and Benitez is confident his players have enough quality to avenge last season's Champions League defeat.
The five-times European champions have beaten Chelsea twice this season in the Premier League and Benitez said: "We have enough confidence to beat anyone."