Manchester United sealed an FA Cup fourth round date against Spurs with an easy win against 10-man Southampton.
Danny Welbeck headed United in front in the 20th minute after John O’Shea’s header was turned on to the bar by Southampton keeper Kelvin Davis.
Southampton’s Matt Paterson then saw red for a wild lunge on Nemanja Vidic.
Nani scored from the spot after 48 minutes when referee Mike Riley harshly ruled David McGoldrick had handled, and Darron Gibson slammed home a third.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side will now face another date with their FA Cup nemesis Harry Redknapp, who ended their hopes in this competition at the quarter-final stage last year with eventual winners Portsmouth.
Spurs boss Redknapp also has FA Cup victories against United to his credit with Bournemouth and West Ham United.
For Southampton, the whole day was an education for their emerging youngsters – although they also felt they were on the wrong end of several crucial refereeing decisions.
United left Wayne Rooney on the bench and rested Cristiano Ronaldo, but their absence did little to aid Southampton’s cause as the visitors dominated.
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Saints’ keeper Davis was outstanding in the early stages, saving well from Nani and Anderson before Welbeck broke the deadlock after 20 minutes.
Davis did superbly to turn O’Shea’s header on to the bar from Nani’s corner, but Welbeck was lurking to complete the simplest of finishes.
Michael Carrick almost took advantage of a brilliant flick from Dimitar Berbatov to add a second after 27 minutes, only for Chris Perry’s recovering tackle to stop what looked a certain goal.
Southampton’s fans were angered six minutes later when Jonny Evans hauled down McGoldrick. The home fans were baying for a red card, but referee Riley ruled that there were covering defenders and was content with a booking.
There was no reprieve for Paterson two minutes later when he caught Vidic with a studs-up lunge near the half-way line. The home supporters vented their fury at Riley, but they had no serious complaint and the dismissal was deserved.
United had created a series of openings, and almost doubled their lead in the closing seconds of the half when Davis stuck out a foot to deny the promising Welbeck.
Riley was the most unpopular figure inside St Mary’s – and his stock fell even further when he awarded United a highly-debatable penalty three minutes after the break.
McGoldrick raised his arms as he defended Nani’s free-kick, but the ball appeared to strike the back of his head rather than his hand.
Southampton protested furiously, this time with reason, but Nani remained calm to send Davis the wrong way from the spot.
Ryan Smith then missed Southampton’s best chance when he screwed horribly off target after a fine run.
Carrick and substitute Rooney were off target before substitute Gibson rounded off the victory with a third nine minutes from time.
Rooney was the creator with a display of pace and power to set up Gibson for an emphatic finish.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson:
“Southampton are a very young team so you would expect us to win and we could have done it more comfortably, but 3-0 is a satisfactory score.
“Danny Welbeck did fine. He has got a good temperament and personality and he enjoys playing. He is still growing, so there are periods when he gets tired, but the potential is definitely there.”
Southampton: Davis, James, Perry, Lancashire, Skacel, Smith (Holmes 69), McGoldrick, Gillett (Schneiderlin 56), Surman, Gobern (McLaggon 56), Paterson.
Subs Not Used: Forecast, Wright-Phillips, Euell, Molyneux.
Sent Off: Paterson (37).
Booked: Skacel, James.
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, Evans, Vidic, O’Shea, Nani, Anderson, Carrick (Gibson 56), Giggs (Possebon 56), Welbeck (Rooney 63), Berbatov.
Subs Not Used: Kuszczak, Park, Rafael Da Silva, Fletcher.
Booked: Evans, O’Shea.
Goals: Welbeck 20, Nani 48 pen, Gibson 81.
Ref: Mike Riley (Yorkshire).