Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is full of praise for Chelsea counterpart Rafa Benitez ahead of today's FA Cup semi.

Chelsea's unpopular interim boss has big supporters at today's Wembley opponents - Mancini and David Silva.

City boss Mancini said: "I think Rafa is a good manager, he doesn't deserve all these bad things that he has there. He has worked hard and worked well for Chelsea.

"Football is strange. But he is still one of the best managers."

City's Spanish midfield star Silva worked briefly under Benitez at Valencia before he took charge at Liverpool.

He said: "I played one friendly under him when I was 16 against Castillon nine or 10 years ago.

"Of course, I've followed his career very closely. He's a very, very good manager.

"I saw what he did when he was at Liverpool. He's a great manager. I haven't worked that closely with him but I know he's studied the game.

"He's into the tactical side of the game and is very creative. He analyses football massively."