The Red Devils left the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar out of yesterday's semi-final and fielded a team full of youngsters, but one which nevertheless held their own during a goalless 120 minutes.
In the end, though, it was the experience of Howard which came through in the shoot-out, saving from Dimitar Berbatov and United captain Rio Ferdinand.
Spot king: Tim Howard saves a penalty from Dimitar Berbatov
Howard, now 30, arrived at Old Trafford in 2003 and took the number one jersey from Fabien Barthez, going on to win the FA Cup against Millwall the following season.
However, the American then lost his place in the team following some inconsistent displays, and eventually joined Everton, initially on loan in May 2006, after the arrival of veteran Dutchman Edwin van der Sar.
Fever pitch: Wembley not fit for my stars to play on, blasts fuming FergieVIDEO SPECIAL: Don't worry Berbatov, here are five penalties that were even worse than the United flop's FA Cup missMan Utd 0 Everton 0: Jagielka wins penalty lottery after Riley ignores tripMANCHESTER UNITED FC