Sunderland advances to cup final
Jonny Evans' first half header brought the scores level in the tie and it looked like being enough until a dramatic finish in extra-time. Phil Bardsley's goal in the final minute of extra-time after a shocking mistake by David de Gea looked to have sent Sunderland through.
However, Javier Hernandez sent the game to penalties with a second goal for United in the dying seconds. Vito Mannone was the hero for Sunderland in the shoot-out as he saved Rafael's fifth penalty as Gus Poyet's side progressed 2-1 on penalties.
United started on the front foot and went close to scoring after just six minutes when Adnan Januzaj picked out Javier Hernandez with a free-kick and the Mexican's downward header was well kept out by Vito Mannone before his defenders cleared the ball to safety. Sunderland created their first noteworthy chance of the game on 19 minutes when Adam Johnson found Fabio Borini with a superb pass upfield and the on-loan Liverpool forward flashed his half-volley just over the crossbar.
The visitors were defending well and putting plenty of pressure on United in possession as they restriced them to not many goalscoring opportunties in the opening half hour. United almost made the breakthrough on 36 minutes when Darren Fletcher got on the end of Shinji Kagawa's cross and was unlucky to see it come back off the post and the rebound fell to Danny Welbeck who saw his effort superbly saved by Mannone.
A minute later United did grab the crucial opener as Welbeck flicked his shot from a corner goalwards and Evans ghosted in unmarked losing his marker John O'Shea to head home from close-range. Sunderland responded well to going behind and Wes Brown went close when he rose highest to meet Adam Johnson's corner, but Alexander Butter was on hand to head away the ball inside the six-yard box.