Ferguson accuses Benitez of being arrogant

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson reignited his war of words with Premier League title rival Rafa Benitez today by labelling the Liverpool manager "arrogant".

Ferguson lambasted the Benitez for his description of Everton as a "small club" and for the attitude he showed in dismissing Blackburn Rovers last weekend once Liverpool had scored their second goal during a 4-0 win at Anfield.

"He called Everton a small club which points to his arrogance," Ferguson told reporters as his team prepared to meet Liverpool's Merseyside rivals in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday.

"They are a big club and David Moyes, the manager, is doing a great job.

"But arrogance is one thing. You cannot forgive contempt, which is what he showed (Blackburn manager) Sam Allardyce last weekend.

"When Liverpool scored their second goal he signalled as if the game was finished. I do not think Sam deserved that.

"It's beyond the pale. I don't think any other Liverpool manager would have done that."

Ferguson and Benitez have been embroiled in a series of spats since the Spaniard accused the long-serving Old Trafford manager of being a whinger.

The United manager responded by taunting Benitez, saying the pressure of the title race was getting to him.

Champions United are one point ahead of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League. However, United are favourites to retain their title as they have a game in hand over their nearest rivals. Liverpool have six matches left.