Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has hit back at his Liverpool counterpart Rafael Benitez, calling the Spaniard's criticism of him "ridiculous."
Benitez said Ferguson was the only manager in the English Premier League who was allowed to criticise referees without being punished.
Responding to comments from the Scot that Liverpool would not be able to handle the pressure of leading the league as the season goes on, Benitez also slammed Ferguson's recent claims that the fixture list was weighted against United.
But after seeing his side make a statement of their title intentions by beating Chelsea 3-0 on Sunday to close within five points of Liverpool with two games in hand, Ferguson hit back.
"I think you have to cut through the venom (of what Benitez said)," Ferguson said.
"Hopefully he'll reflect and understand that what he was saying is ridiculous.
"I think he was an angry man, for some reason or other."
Benitez produced a list of incidents that he said were facts surrounding Ferguson's conduct towards referees, but Ferguson said he was wrong.
"They're not (facts) because I think it's well documented, but I'm not going to get into that. At this moment in time I think we should concentrate on chasing the leaders, which are Liverpool."