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Anthony Martial struck seven minutes from time to force a replay in their sixth round tie with West Ham at Old Trafford.
The Hammers thought they had done enough to progress to the semi-finals after Dmitri Payet's superb 30-yard free-kick had given them a deserved lead midway through the second half.
However, Louis Van Gaal's side dug deep and the equaliser courtesy of the Frenchman was reward for sustained pressure on their opponent's defence.
The east Londoners then could have won the game at the death but David de Gea produced a terrific fingertip save to deny Michail Antonio's precise strike.
The hosts failed to register a shot on target until the 57th minute but showed admirable drive to fight back after West Ham took the lead, finally breaking down a stubborn defence.
The hosts avoided another devastating result that would
have brought another round of fierce speculation surrounding the future of their manager when Ander Herrera
clipped over a cross to the far post, Martial finished coolly on the stretch. Television replays suggested substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger may have impeded West Ham keeper Darren Randoplh as he desperately tried to scramble across goal to make the save.
On the balance of play a draw was probably the fair outcome, with Utd dominating possession but West Ham having the clearest chances, Emmanuel Emmineke going close twice in the first period.
Payet's free-kick will live long in the memory although having been booked earlier he may have been lucky to still still be on the pitch having been adjudged by referee Martin Atkinson to have gone down too easily under a penalty box challenge from Marcos Rojo. Replays suggested it should probably have been a penalty but having decided otherwise, Atkinson's decision not to book Payet was strange; justice was served in a roundabout way.
The sides will now have to do it again at Upton Park to see who will join Crystal Palace, Everton and Watford in the last four.
In the Premier League Tottenham Hotspur closed the gap on leaders Leicester to just two points after two Harry Kane goals in three minutes either side of half-time secured them a 2-0 win over Aston Villa at Villa Park.
The England international raced onto Dele Alli's quickly taken free-kick before driving a fine effort past Brad Guzan in the final minute of the first period.
The visitors extended their lead three minutes after the break when Kane poked home Alli's low cross.
Villa produced another insipid performance in which they had just two shots on target as they rarely looked like fighting their way back into the game.
For Spurs the three points was a welcome tonic after the disappointing defeat at Borussia Dortmund on Thursday, while Remi Garde's Villa side remain nine points from safety and look all-but relegated.