United's chairman, Martin Edwards, responded to the news by saying: "We've won the Cup nine times and Tottenham have won it on eight occasions so the two most successful teams in FA Cup history have been drawn against each other."
If random chance, through the helping hands of the former England manager Bobby Robson and the current national coach, Glenn Hoddle, had an unpleasant surprise for two of the biggest clubs in the hat, it was kinder to the three non-League teams who are sure of their places in the thick of the action come the first weekend of January.
Stevenage Borough, the GM Vauxhall Conference champions last season, were given a home tie against Birmingham City, of the First Division, and Hednesford Town were rewarded for their conquest of Blackpool in the second round with a home game against the Coca-Cola Cup giant-killers, York City. "You won't enjoy coming to our place," was the immediate promise from the Pitmen of Staffordshire.
Woking, who have put out Millwall and Cambridge United away from home in the Cup so far this term, must travel again, this time to take on Coventry City, who were humbled by Sutton United in the third round in 1989 - only two seasons after winning the Cup.
Enfield will travel to Plymouth Argyle if they overcome another Second Division side, Peterborough, in a replay.
Liverpool, beaten in the final last May by Eric Cantona's goal, will start their quest to return to Wembley with a game at Anfield against either Walsall or Burnley. That draw, coupled with the tougher assignment handed to Manchester United, persuaded bookmakers to install Liverpool as 5-1 favourites, while United were rated at 7-1.
FA Cup third-round draw
Stevenage v Birmingham City
Barnsley v Oldham Athletic
Chesterfield v Bristol City
Barnet or Wycombe Wanderers v Bradford City
Wolves v Portsmouth
Plymouth Argyle v Enfield or Peterborough
Hednesford Town v York City
Middlesbrough v Chester City
Wrexham or Scunthorpe Utd v West Ham
Luton Town v Bolton Wanderers
Sheffield Wednesday v Grimsby Town
Manchester Utd v Tottenham
Stoke City v Stockport County
Queen's Park Rangers v Huddersfield Town
Coventry City v Woking
Notts County v Aston Villa
Reading v Southampton
Crystal Palace v Leeds Utd
Everton v Swindon Town
Gillingham v Derby County
Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion
Carlisle Utd v Tranmere Rovers
Brentford v Manchester City
Charlton Athletic v Newcastle Utd
Blackburn Rovers v Port Vale
Crewe Alexandra v Wimbledon
Norwich City v Sheffield Utd
Liverpool v Walsall or Burnley
Leicester City v Southend Utd
Arsenal v Sunderland
Watford v Oxford Utd
Nottingham Forest v Ipswich Town
Ties to be played 4 or 5 JanuaryReuse content