Manchester: Holders Chelsea inflicted more pain on Manchester United when they came from two goals down to draw 2-2 in a fluctuating FA Cup quarter final at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The hosts, knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid on Tuesday after a controversial red card for Nani, took a fifth-minute lead through Javier Hernandez and soon doubled it with a Wayne Rooney free kick.
Just when United had started to smell a Wembley date, Blues pulled one back on 59 minutes through substitute Eden Hazard before Ramires levelled nine minutes later.
The day’s other quarter final will also be replayed after Championship (second division) Millwall and Blackburn Rovers played out a 0-0 draw. Manchester City and Wigan Athletic booked their places in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Still smarting from their cruel Champions League exit, United sought to quickly soothe the pain.
They struck twice within the first 11 minutes, Hernandez opening the scoring when midfielder Michael Carrick’s long ball over the top found his head and he nodded the ball neatly over stranded ’keeper Petr Cech.
The Mexican poacher has now scored in six of his last seven games against Chelsea, who have been the most successful team in the FA Cup in recent years having won it four times in the last six seasons.
Ferguson’s men doubled their lead six minutes later after winger Nani was fouled by Victor Moses to win a free kick just outside the area on the left.
Rooney, who faced media speculation over his future when he was dropped to the bench for the Real Madrid game, stepped up to swing the ball over the top of everyone and into the far corner.
Meanwhile, Rooney will be offered a new contract before his deal ends in 2015, Ferguson was quoted as saying by British media on Sunday.
“There is no issue with the contract. When it has to be renegotiated, it will be,” Ferguson said ahead of United’s FA Cup quarter final at home to Chelsea.