Hernandez ends Southampton's Cup hopes

Southampton 1 Manchester United 2

Manchester United staged yet another second-half fightback to avoid crashing out of the FA Cup to npower League One opponents for the second successive season.

Southampton threatened to repeat their famous 1976 Wembley win over United when Richard Chaplow gave them a deserved half-time lead against the much-changed Barclays Premier League leaders.

But, as in Tuesday night's dramatic comeback at Blackpool, the introduction of the veteran Ryan Giggs helped change the game, with goals from Michael Owen and Javier Hernandez putting the visitors into the last 16.

Having admitted making a mistake by fielding a weakened side in last season's shock third-round home defeat to Leeds, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had gone strong against Liverpool earlier this month.

But he appeared to forget the lessons of the Leeds loss in picking his team today.

Buoyed by not having to face the likes of Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and facing a makeshift defence and rookie goalkeeper, Southampton sensed an upset from the off.

The former Premier League stalwarts were almost given even greater cause for optimism in the eighth minute when the ball deflected through to Dan Harding, who coolly clipped home.

Unfortunately for him, the assistant referee's flag was already up.

But that did not deter the League One high-fliers, who almost profited from slack United defending when Rickie Lambert curled too close to debutant keeper Anders Lindegaard.

Liverpool-born striker Lambert also fired two free-kicks narrowly over, while captain home captain Jose Fonte failed to get proper contact on a corner which was pouched by Lindegaard.

United, meanwhile, were looking very much like a side which had rung the changes.

Making his first start for almost four months in a withdrawn role, Owen provided an early threat, steering Fabio's inside pass narrowly wide before clattering the far post with a mishit cross.

But that was as good as it got for the visitors as the in-demand Alex Chamberlain, reportedly a target for United, began to come more and more into the game.

The 17-year-old was involved in what should have been an opener a minute before the break when Guly nodded over Danny Butterfield's cross from six yards.

But Chaplow spared his team-mate's blushes moments before half-time when he broke into the United box and slammed the ball into the roof of the net at Lindegaard's near post.

If United fans were expecting the cavalry to arrive for the second half, they were initially disappointed as Wes Brown replaced Fabio in a defensive reshuffle.

With no sign of an equaliser in the opening 13 minutes, Ferguson sent on Giggs and Nani for Anderson and Darron Gibson, controversially ignoring Rooney and the on-fire Berbatov.

However, the double-substitution was quickly vindicated, Jonny Evans nodding Giggs' free-kick too close to Bartosz Bialkowski and Owen flicking Nani's low cross over the bar.

The equaliser soon followed in the 65th minute, with Gabriel Obertan's drilled cross deflecting right into the path of Owen, who nodded home his first goal since September.

Southampton came roaring back and marauding left-back Harding lashed a cross-cum-shot inches wide.

Saints sent on Ryan Dickson for Lee Barnard for the final 18 minutes before Nani fired a low half-volley straight at Bialkowski.

But the keeper was helpless as United completed their latest comeback 14 minutes from time, Fonte's slip allowing Javier Hernandez to receive Giggs' through ball and ghost an improvised finish into the net.

Southampton threw on Dany N'Guessan for Guly before Lindegaard flapped at a Harding cross and Chaplow left the field to a standing ovation, with Oscar Gobern coming on.

If the changes were meant to give Southampton a second wind, they failed to have the desired effect as United comfortably saw out time.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower