King Eric lauds Red Devils
By James Pearson. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Manchester United legend Eric Cantona has praised his former side's display in their FA Cup semi-final victory over rivals Arsenal on Saturday.
The French wizard, who helped The Red Devils land the coveted club trophy in the 1996 final at Wembley, was delighted with how United strategically beat The Gunners.
Cantona often emerged victorious against the Highbury outfit during his playing days, but since retiring from football it is the North London side who have maintained the edge.
The former French international joined a number of United stars at the official opening of the Manchester United Soccer School at Disneyland Paris, including compatriot Louis Saha.
"It's been a long time since Manchester United went untroubled by The Gunners, a long, long time," said the Red Devils legend.
"Of course the clubs are a long way apart in the championship, although it is Manchester who are the champions.
"The club knew perfectly how to negotiate the two games against Arsenal. Time after time one can lose, especially against the big teams.
"But it's important to keep winning, after a good semi-final and a good game at Highbury.
"It's a true psychological war as it can also pass through to next season. It's a question of pride."
Meanwhile, United's French defender Mikael Silvestre believes the club's recent defensive displays have brought confidence back to their beleaguered back-line.
Sir Alex's defence was called into question after conceding goals at an alarming rate at the start of the year, though they have shipped in just one in their last three contests.
"It's true that we have gone through a period of self-doubt," explained Silvestre. "We've conceded a lot of goals and the defence has had fingers pointed at it.
"But in the last three matches we have rediscovered our confidence, now we have to maintain that consistency for the remainder of the campaign."