Benitez: 'United tired? That is a joke'

Benitez: 'United tired? That is a joke'
© PA Photos
Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez claims that suggestions that Manchester United were suffering from tiredness in their 2-2 draw in the FA Cup on Sunday are 'a joke'.

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has bristled at suggestions that his side were able to take advantage of a tired Manchester United in Sunday's 2-2 draw in the FA Cup.

United were dumped out of the Champions League by Real Madrid on Tuesday evening, but Benitez refused to accept that his opponents could cite tiredness for allowing the Blues to force a replay after being two goals to the good within the first 11 minutes.

Asked by reporters if he felt Sir Alex Ferguson's side suffered from fatigue in the latter stages of the game, Benitez responded emphatically, claiming that Thursday's Europa League defeat to Steaua Bucuresti will have affected his own team more.

"Sorry, I thought you were joking," said Benitez. "No. They played on Tuesday [at home] and we played on Thursday in Romania, I don't think [tiredness] was an issue [for United].

"They had everything in their favour, they are playing at home, they played on Tuesday, we are coming from Romania and had to travel again so we did a great game and I'm really pleased with my players."

Benitez also claimed that Ferguson refused to shake hands with the former Liverpool boss before the game.

Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez on the touchline during the FA Cup quarter final clash with Manchester United on March 10, 2013
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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