Owen sparked United's comeback with a headed equaliser
By Ian Hughes
Manchester United needed to draw on all their resources as they came from behind to beat Southampton and progress to the last 16 of the FA Cup.
Michael Owen hit a post with a cross before League One Saints shocked the Premier league leaders when Richard Chaplow crashed home a fierce drive.
The lead was cancelled out when Owen nodded in from close range.
And Javier Hernandez finished clinically after being put in by Ryan Giggs to complete United's comeback.
But the home side can look back with pride on a performance that boasted good football and a lot of heart.
Looking far from overawed throughout, they frequently took the game to the visitors, but it was Saints' lack of a cutting edge and United's superior finishing that proved the difference in the end.
From the start Southampton played with belief, perhaps sensing that there could be gaps in United's unfamiliar defensive line-up - none of their regular back five were even in the squad.
But the League One side's early endeavours brought only two well-struck but off-target free-kicks and a snap shot from Rickie Lambert.
With the game crying out for width, the home fans roared on winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain whenever he touched the ball, but he was unable to show why he is a £10m target for Liverpool and Arsenal.
At the other end, a disjointed United almost scored a goal that was in keeping with their scruffy performance as Owen launched a cross from the right that drifted over goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski and came back off the inside of a post.
Owen, who also fizzed a shot wide, and striker partner Javier Hernandez barely threatened in the first half as the visitors lacked inspiration in every position.
Southampton created a good opening when Danny Butterfield picked out Guilherme do Prado with a right-wing cross but the Brazilian got underneath the ball and headed off target.
Still, Saints looked the likeliest to make the breakthrough, and it came when Jonny Evans could only half-clear a long ball and Chaplow took full advantage.
The midfielder used his thigh to nudge the ball into space and then rifled a rising drive into the top corner to leave United's debutant keeper Anders Lindegaard with no chance.
The Red Devils continued to toil after the restart, forcing two corners in quick succession but unable to make the count.
The hosts maintained their discipline and shape, even threatening to grab a second goal on the break - left-back Dan Harding made a scintillating run, skipping past a few challenges before prodding a right-footed shot that did not match his build-up.
Sensing an upset, perhaps, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson sent on Nani and Giggs for the ineffective Darron Gibson and Anderson.
It almost had an immediate impact as Nani crossed from the left and Owen toe-poked over at the near post.
And within five minutes of the change United were level. Gabriel Obertan tuned his marker inside out and delivered a cross from the right that hit Hernandez and sat up perfectly for Owen to nod home.
Yet United failed to kick on dominate as might have been expected and Southampton showed great resilience to come back at them.
Lee Barnard swung at Chaplow's cutback and missed completely and then was just too far away to connect with Harding's flashing ball across the face of goal.
But then Ferguson's men caught Saints with a sucker punch as substitute Giggs intercepted a Ryan Dickson pass and played in Hernandez, who slotted in what proved to be the winner.
90:00+2:55 Unfair challenge on Ryan Giggs by Morgan Schneiderlin results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Ryan Giggs.
90:00+2:14 Foul by Danny Butterfield on Luis Nani, free kick awarded. Ryan Giggs takes the direct free kick.
90:00+2:14 Booking Danny Butterfield goes into the book.
88:22 The ball is delivered by Ryan Giggs, clearance by Jose Fonte.
87:49 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Luis Nani by Morgan Schneiderlin. Ryan Giggs takes the free kick.
85:50 A cross is delivered by Luis Nani, save made by Bartosz Bialkowski.
84:44 Unfair challenge on Javier Hernandez by Jose Fonte results in a free kick. Paul Scholes takes the indirect free kick.
83:01 Richard Chaplow has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
83:01 Substitution Richard Chaplow goes off and Oscar Gobern comes on.
Correction - 81:35 Dan Harding concedes a free kick for a foul on Gabriel Obertan. Free kick taken by Ryan Giggs.
81:35 Foul by Dan Harding on Gabriel Obertan, free kick awarded. Luis Nani takes the direct free kick.
79:54 Dan Harding sends in a cross, Wes Brown makes a clearance.
78:48 Substitution Dany N'Guessan is brought on as a substitute for Guly Do Prado.
76:10 Corner taken right-footed by Morgan Schneiderlin from the left by-line, Anders Lindegaard makes a save.
74:59 Assist by Ryan Giggs.
74:59 GOAL - Javier Hernandez:Southampton 1 - 2 Man Utd Javier Hernandez finds the back of the net with a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Southampton 1-2
73:48 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has an effort at goal from outside the area which misses left.
73:12 Luis Nani takes a shot. Bartosz Bialkowski makes a save.
72:11 Substitution Lee Barnard leaves the field to be replaced by Ryan Dickson.
70:42 The ball is sent over by Dan Harding.
70:02 Short corner taken by Dan Harding from the left by-line.
69:52 Richard Chaplow produces a cross.
67:39 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain takes a shot. Blocked by Paul Scholes.
66:05 Wes Brown challenges Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain unfairly and gives away a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Bartosz Bialkowski.
64:53 Danny Butterfield concedes a free kick for a foul on Luis Nani. Luis Nani takes the direct free kick. Assist on the goal came
from Gabriel Obertan.
64:53 GOAL - Michael Owen:Southampton 1 - 1 Man Utd Michael Owen grabs a headed goal from close range. Southampton 1-1 Man Utd.
63:15 The ball is crossed by Luis Nani, Shot from close in by Michael Owen misses to the left of the goal.
62:56 Ryan Giggs fouled by Morgan Schneiderlin, the ref awards a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Paul Scholes.
61:51 Foul by Richard Chaplow on Luis Nani, free kick awarded. Ryan Giggs produces a cross, Jonathan Evans takes a shot. Save made
by Bartosz Bialkowski.
60:36 The ball is sent over by Guly Do Prado, save made by Anders Lindegaard.
57:27 Substitution Luis Nani replaces Oliveira Anderson.
57:12 Substitution Ryan Giggs replaces Darron Gibson.
54:04 Foul by Lee Barnard on Paul Scholes, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Paul Scholes.
53:29 Javier Hernandez fouled by Richard Chaplow, the ref awards a free kick. Javier Hernandez restarts play with the free kick.
52:34 Dan Harding takes a shot. Save made by Anders Lindegaard.
46:35 Centre by Oliveira Anderson, Jonathan Evans has a headed effort at goal from close range which goes wide of the left-hand
post. Outswinging corner taken by Oliveira Anderson, Headed effort from inside the area by Jonathan Evans misses to the left
of the goal. Inswinging corner taken by Oliveira Anderson.
46:16 The ball is delivered by Michael Owen, Daniel Seaborne gets a block in. Short corner taken by Oliveira Anderson.
45:43 Paul Scholes fouled by Guly Do Prado, the ref awards a free kick. Darron Gibson takes the direct free kick.
45:01 The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.
45:01 Substitution Wes Brown joins the action as a substitute, replacing Fabio Da Silva.
45:00+1:10 The referee blows for half time.
45:00+1:01 Centre by Michael Owen.
44:10 GOAL - Richard Chaplow:Southampton 1 - 0 Man Utd Richard Chaplow gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Southampton
1-0 Man Utd.
43:14 The ball is delivered by Danny Butterfield, Guly Do Prado produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.
42:27 Dan Harding takes a shot. Comfortable save by Anders Lindegaard.
42:14 Danny Butterfield delivers the ball, Oliveira Anderson gets a block in.
40:14 Javier Hernandez is caught offside. Bartosz Bialkowski takes the indirect free kick.
36:24 Jonathan Evans concedes a free kick for a foul on Lee Barnard. Jose Fonte restarts play with the free kick.
33:41 Darron Gibson takes a shot. Save by Bartosz Bialkowski.
32:51 Effort from the edge of the area by Gabriel Obertan goes wide of the right-hand post.
32:04 Richard Chaplow challenges Fabio Da Silva unfairly and gives away a free kick. Darron Gibson restarts play with the free kick.
31:05 Danny Butterfield delivers the ball.
28:35 A cross is delivered by Danny Butterfield, clearance by Darron Gibson.
25:20 Morgan Schneiderlin fouled by Darron Gibson, the ref awards a free kick. Richard Lambert shoots direct from the free kick.
24:52 Free kick awarded for a foul by Paul Scholes on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Free kick taken by Morgan Schneiderlin.
23:09 Corner taken by Morgan Schneiderlin from the right by-line, clearance by John O'Shea.
22:34 Oliveira Anderson takes a shot. Save by Bartosz Bialkowski.
21:41 Morgan Schneiderlin takes a outswinging corner.
21:36 Dan Harding produces a cross, Jonathan Evans makes a clearance.
20:29 Shot from just outside the penalty box by Darron Gibson misses to the left of the target.
17:19 Lee Barnard fouled by Chris Smalling, the ref awards a free kick. Richard Lambert produces a shot on goal direct from the
16:48 Javier Hernandez is caught offside. Free kick taken by Jose Fonte.
15:48 Michael Owen delivers the ball.
14:18 Richard Lambert takes a shot. Comfortable save by Anders Lindegaard.
13:19 Dan Harding sends in a cross, save by Anders Lindegaard.
11:23 Richard Lambert is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Paul Scholes.
10:49 Javier Hernandez concedes a free kick for a foul on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Direct free kick taken by Morgan Schneiderlin.
10:21 Free kick awarded for a foul by Richard Lambert on Jonathan Evans. Paul Scholes takes the direct free kick.
9:44 Effort from the edge of the area by Richard Lambert goes wide of the right-hand post.
9:00 Lee Barnard takes a shot. Blocked by Chris Smalling.
7:50 Javier Hernandez is caught offside. Free kick taken by Bartosz Bialkowski.
6:57 A cross is delivered by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Dan Harding is ruled offside. Anders Lindegaard takes the free kick.
5:47 Morgan Schneiderlin delivers the ball, John O'Shea makes a clearance.
5:14 The ball is sent over by Danny Butterfield, Richard Lambert takes a shot. Blocked by Jonathan Evans. Corner from right by-line
taken by Morgan Schneiderlin.
2:51 Fabio Da Silva delivers the ball.
0:00 The game begins.
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