Roy Keane plays down comparisons between Bruno Fernandes and Eric Cantona 9 months ago

Roy Keane plays down comparisons between Bruno Fernandes and Eric Cantona

"Fernandes didn’t really do much tonight. The top players turn up on the big occasions..."

Roy Keane has played down the comparisons between Bruno Fernandes and Eric Cantona after Manchester United were beaten by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-finals on Wednesday.

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United have vastly improved since Fernandes' arrival from Sporting Lisbon a year ago and can replace Liverpool at the Premier League summit if they avoid defeat in their game in hand at Burnley next week.

Some have likened United's progress with Fernandes in the team to the arrival of Cantona from Leeds in 1992 - a signing that was widely seen as the catalyst for the success that followed.

But Fernandes' endured a difficult night against City, who clinched their place in the final with a 2-0 win at Old Trafford. Speaking after full-time, Keane told Sky Sports that Fernandes needs to produce in the really big games - just as Cantona used to - if such comparisons are to be justified.

"It’s not easy winning football trophies. Fernandes has had great praise, over the last few months, people have been comparing him to Cantona," Keane said.

"But Fernandes didn’t really do much tonight. The top players turn up on the big occasions and that’s what the Cantonas used to do and get their hands on the trophies."

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United's defeat to City is their fourth semi-final loss since Solskjaer took charge of the team. Keane admitted that winning a semi - as well as a few extra additions to their squad - would be crucial to United's development.

"They probably need one or two more players to come into the squad, no doubt, and the mentality - they need probably the confidence of winning a semi-final to get them over the line and then you need momentum, but they didn’t have it tonight."