Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has denied that Rafa Benitez’s infamous ‘facts’ rant derailed their title challenge in 2008/09.
The Spaniard gave a press conference (full transcript here) on January 9 when Liverpool were seven points clear of third-placed United, though Sir Alex Ferguson’s side had two games in hand.
Liverpool then drew their next three league games while United won their next nine games; by the end of January, United were five points ahead and would never relinquish their lead.
Carragher refutes any suggestion that Benitez lost Liverpool the title, telling Sky Sports: “I think it was actually started by Rafa, I don’t think it was something Ferguson had done.
“Rafa, on the Friday, mentioned to me he was going to say something in his press conference before it happened – so it was pre-meditated. It wasn’t a reaction to something.
“I didn’t know what he was going to say. Still to this day people always say it affected us, but I don’t think it did because we only lost two games in the whole season. It wasn’t like we completely went off the rails.
“I just don’t know why he did it. The only thing I’m thinking of, if I’m being totally honest, is we were going for the league and it was Rafa sort of calling it on.”