Date: 9th January 2007 at 5:23pm
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Patrice Evra’s been a United player for a year now but he was introduced to FA Cup football only two days ago when the Reds confronted Villa in the third round of the competition. The French left-back is impressed with the Cup.

Evra did nt participate when United got knocked out of the Cup at Anfield last season so his only experience of an English knock-out competition comes from the League Cup where he appeared as a subtstitute in the final. To be honest, I did not remember this fact: my memories of that afternoon are dominated by the face of Wayne Rooney after scoring a double and the face of Ruud who was just about devastated to be left out completely.

But before I get carried away and start to enter into lengthy reminiscenses, I’ll get back Evra’s comments.

‘Sunday’s game against Aston Villa was beautiful because it was exactly what the FA Cup is all about and what you expect from it,’ the former Monaco man said.

‘Now I want to win this trophy. In France you have the League Cup and I won that with Monaco. I have also won the Carling Cup with United.

‘But the FA Cup is the most important and most popular of the lot. Every team in England plays in this competition and that’s what makes it so special.

‘I hope to win it. It is very important to me.’

United found it difficult against Villa, having to rely on a last-minute goal from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to progress, with the considerable help of goalkeeper Kiraly. However, our Patrice was always confident the Reds would find a way past the keeper.

‘It wasn’t an easy game against Villa and it was a late win,’ he said, stating the obvious. ‘But I never thought it was over. I wasn’t thinking about a replay.

‘You have a chance until the referee says the game is over and when you have Ole Solskjaer on the field you are always likely to score.’

Now that’s the kind of thinking I love. It’s not difficult: wait until the final whistle before you start to think about the consequences of a result and trust a striker like Solskjaer whose credentials as a scorer of last-gasp goals are well documented. This combination resulted in considerable success in 1999.