United jumped to a two-goal lead inside the opening 11 minutes but Chelsea came roaring back to earn a replay after second-half goals from Eden Hazard and Ramires. And if was not for a brilliant 90th minute save from David De Gea from Juan Mata, Chelsea fans would be toasting a remarkable comeback.
Fergie rested Robin van Persie in favor of Javier Hernandez, who has a fantastic scoring record against Chelsea. And he proved his manager made the right move when with United’s first attack they went ahead.
Michael Carrick Scoles like ball, allowed Hernandez to run between Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta to head over Petr Cech.
Minutes later it was 2-0. Wayne Rooney’s free kick eluded David Luiz and Jonny Evans before flying past Petr Cech. Chelsea had been horrible up to this point and you wondered how many United would get.
But as they haver often done this season, United took their foot of the pedal and allowed Chelsea to get a foothold in the game. Chelsea got to half-time with the score 2-0, and you sensed that they had weathered the United storm.
Early in the second half Benitez brought on Hazard for Frank Lampard, a move that was met by a chorus of ‘You Don’t Know What Your Doing” from the visiting Chelsea fans.
But Rafa got this one right as Hazard completely changed the game and he scored Chelsea’s first with a superb curling effort into the far corner beyond De Gea.
The goal lifted Chelsea and when Rooney lost possession deep in the Chelsea’ half, United were caught out with a classic counter-attack that ended with Ramires expertly drilling home.
It was the second time this season that Chelsea have came from two goals down against United. On the first occasion, at Stamford Bridge in October, Chelsea then had two men sent off and were beaten by Hernandez. This time they managed to keep everyone on the pitch and they would have been the ones to claim victory had it not been for De Gea.
In the FA Cup’s other match, Blackburn Rovers earned an FA Cup quarter-final replay against Millwall in as poor a game of football as you will ever see.