Cambridge United Net Old Trafford Replay
League Two Cambridge United earned a FA Cup fourth-round replay at Old Trafford after Louis van Gaal and his Manchester United side endured an uncomfortable evening at the R Costings Abbey Stadium.
Cambridge, the lowest ranked team remaining in the competition, were rewarded for their endeavour with a return in Manchester which will provide a significant boost to their finances.
At times it was difficult to tell which side had won the competition a record 11 times as the U's, who twice won at Wembley last season, refused to be cowed by their more illustrious opponents.
Richard Money's men had Van Gaal squirming in the visiting dugout, particularly when packing the six-yard box at corners.
Cambridge were deservedly level at half-time and indebted to Chris Dunn for staying so entering the final 30 minutes when the goalkeeper saved from Radamel Falcao.
It took United until the 64th minute to score at Yeovil in the third round and, despite occupying Cambridge territory for the majority of the second half, they could not find an opening at Cambridge.
Dunn saved from substitute Robin van Persie and Angel di Maria in stoppage time as the hosts celebrated a memorable result.
Cambridge drew with United 1-1 in their previous meeting at the Abbey Stadium - as part of a 4-1 aggregate League Cup loss in 1991 - and held on once again.
United are still in with a chance of a first FA Cup win since 2004.
Louis van Gaal complained that all elements of the occasion were stacked against his Manchester United side after they were held 0-0 at Cambridge.
``Every aspect of the match is against us,'' the Dutchman said.
``We have to come here, the pitch is not so good, but that can influence also that you play in another playing style.
``The opponents are always giving a lot more than normally. And defending is always easier than attacking.
``Then you have seen the referee (Chris Foy). It's always the same. Everywhere I have coached these games - and I have coached them also with other clubs - it's always the same.''
Van Gaal refused to expand on his appraisal of Foy, but was critical of his side's first-half showing, believing they played Cambridge's game, rather than their own.
He added: ``We played in the same playing style as the opponent and that we don't have to do.''
Van Gaal said before the game that a 4-4-2 formation gives him a ``twitchy ass'' but he selected four at the back due to it resulting in more chances.
``I know the statistics of our former performances. You could see we create more chances (playing 4-4-2),'' Van Gaal added.
``(But) it is not only the system. It is also the performance of the system.
``It is not so easy to change the system or something. That is not the solution. That I know.''
Van Gaal rested Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata but did not rue the decision with hindsight.
``I'm not regretting that,'' he said.
Josh Coulson might have scored following pinball in the United box in the first half, while Chris Dunn saved from substitute Robin van Persie and Angel di Maria in quick succession to earn a replay in Manchester which will provide a major financial boost for the U's.
Asked if he thought Cambridge, promoted to League Two last season after nine years outside the Football League, can go to Old Trafford and win, head coach Richard Money said: ``No. I don't, but you never know.
``We've said in the dressing room 'You're going to Old Trafford. Who cares what happens? Just go and enjoy it, soak it in. Whatever happens, happens'.
``This club has been in the doldrums for 10 years, out of the Football League, and suddenly here we are taking everybody back to Old Trafford. It's incredible.''
Money said earlier in the week that his players would have to pay for a new shirt if they swapped with their opponents.
``Not one player asked me (if they could swap),'' Money added.
``We might buy them one now, though.''
Cambridge's 0-0 draw on Friday with Manchester United pulled in a high of 7.1 million viewers.
The FA Cup fourth-round tie was screened on BBC1, with the League Two side holding the three-time European champions to a draw and earning a replay.
A tweet from @TVRatingsUK said viewing figures had averaged out at 5.82 million, a 25.3 per cent share of the audience.