Fergie taunted the new Chelsea boss by branding him “lucky” to get the chance to enhance his CV without doing any work.
Benitez hit back, storming: “I prefer to talk about my team and my players — but if some people push you then you have to push back.
“People try to win in different ways. I like to respect people but sometimes I can’t because they push you.
“Some managers in the middle of the table can be friendly with each other.
“But when you are playing to win trophies there can be only one winner so I have to defend my club.
“I cannot wait while they push and push. So maybe I must push back.”