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Played
October 2, 2012 7:45 PM BST
Stadionul Dr. Constantin Rădulescu — Cluj-Napoca
Referee:‬ Alberto Undiano‎
Attendance:‬ 16259‎
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: CFR Cluj 1-2 Manchester United

Robin van Persie struck twice to earn Sir Alex Ferguson's side all three points after Kapetanos' opener, as Wayne Rooney turned provider in his first start alongside the Dutchman

By Joe Wright

  • Mário Felgueiras
    7
    6
    2.50

    Mário Felgueiras

    Was helpless as Van Persie's headed effort looped over him for United's equaliser. Came off his line quickly to close down the Dutchman for his second but was beaten by a clever finish.

  • Ivo Pinto
    7
    2
    2.50

    Ivo Pinto

    Tasked with marshalling Evra's runs forward for much of the night, rather than trying to make many attacking inroads himself. Allowed the visitors too much time on the left in the second half as Van Persie pulled wide to offer an outlet.

  • Laszlo Sepsi
    8
    3
    2.50

    Laszlo Sepsi

    Allowed Van Persie a criminal amount of space to turn home United's equaliser, but generally coped well as the visitors struggled to break through in the first half. Couldn't stop Rooney's clever pass from reaching the Dutchman for his second of the night.

  • Cadu
    6
    3
    3.00

    Cadu

    Along with Spesi, he could have done more to deny Van Persie the space for United's opener, but was otherwise positionally shrewd in his first-half display. Saw a strong header denied by a superb De Gea save.

  • Ionut Rada
    6
    4
    2.50

    Ionut Rada

    Much like Pinto, spent most of the match on the defensive despite United's lack of threat from the wings. Failed to deal with Van Persie's run for the Dutchman's second goal.

  • M. Aguirregaray
    9
    12
    2.00

    M. Aguirregaray Flop of the Match

    Part of a midfield which was overrun by United for the duration of the match, he was too often profligate with the ball when trying to launch a counter-attack, handing the initiative back to the visitors by turning over the ball. Perhaps fortunate to escape a booking after a number of late tackles. Replaced by Nicoara late on.

  • Camora
    5
    5
    2.50

    Camora

    Rather faded into the turf in Romania as Cluj struggled to create any hint of an attacking threat from open play in the second half.

  • Gabriel Muresan
    5
    6
    2.50

    Gabriel Muresan

    Hit a dreadful effort from distance on three separate occasions in the first half, which most likely infuriated his manager. Provided more of an obstacle than Aguierregaray on the defensive side but could not retain possession against United's energetic midfield.

  • Rafael Bastos
    7
    6
    2.50

    Rafael Bastos

    Looked lively on the ball but was often guilty of taking too much time to decide what to do, ultimately handing possession back to United. Denied by a brilliant save from De Gea in the dying seconds.

  • Pantelis Kapetanos
    10
    5
    3.50

    Pantelis Kapetanos

    Took his early goal well, sliding the ball under De Gea from Sougou's cut-back for what was his only real opportunity in front of goal. Replaced by Bjelanovic on the hour mark.

  • M. Sougou
    11
    7
    3.00

    M. Sougou

    Burst clear of Patrice Evra before cuttng back for Kapetanos to give his side a shock lead early on. Had to be replaced with just a quarter of the game gone after taking a knock to the head after jumping with Evra.

Substitutions

  • Viorel Nicoară
    5
    4
    2.50

    Viorel Nicoară

    Replaced Aguirregaray for the closing minutes but failed to make much more of an impact.

  • Luís Alberto
    4
    5
    2.50

    Luís Alberto

    Replaced the injured Sougou early on, and failed to trouble Evra in the same was as his team-mate. Ineffective going forward and was unable to keep the ball for long enough to relieve the pressure on the defence.

  • Sasa Bjelanovic
    7
    4
    2.00

    Sasa Bjelanovic

    Replaced the goalscorer Kapetanos in the second half, but was barely allowed a touch on the ball as Cluj struggled to carve out any significant attacking threat.

  • David de Gea
    125
    12
    3.50

    David de Gea

    Could do little to stop Kapetanos' strike from close range early on. Reacted well to tip Cadu's header over the bar to preserve United's lead early in the second half, and pulled off a fantastic last-gasp save to deny Bastos at the near post.

  • Rafael
    95
    10
    3.00

    Rafael

    As ever, a willing runner forward, adding width to United's narrow midfield. Had to be alert at times against the unpredictable Bastos, but marshalled him well. Made a crucial block as Cluj rallied late on.

  • Patrice Evra
    44
    70
    2.50

    Patrice Evra

    Was caught napping as Sougou surged away from him in the build-up to Kapetanos' goal, and would have been quietly pleased to see him withdrawn early on. Committed in defence and a useful outlet in attack as United looked to find space down the flanks.

  • Rio Ferdinand
    71
    32
    3.00

    Rio Ferdinand

    Could have done more to cover the run of Kapetanos for the opening goal of the game. On the rare occasions Cluj threatened with an attack down the middle, his reading of the game was as astute as ever.

  • Jonny Evans
    51
    54
    3.00

    Jonny Evans

    Caught off balance for Kapetanos' goal, allowing the striker the space he needed to fire home. He was also guilty of allowing Cadu a free header, which De Gea did well to turn over the bar. He did, however, make one or two timely interceptions to deny Cluj counter-attacks in the second half.

  • Anderson
    86
    22
    3.00

    Anderson

    Industrious in the first half, though he was unable to find a way through a packed Cluj central defensive unit. Used the ball efficiently as United bossed the second half but was not as effective going forward as Cleverley.

  • Tom Cleverley
    100
    16
    3.00

    Tom Cleverley

    Found Van Persie with a clever pass in the first half as United struggled to make inroads on an organised defence. Linked up well with Rooney at the heart of United's attack, pulling the Cluj defensive line around the pitch.

  • Darren Fletcher
    83
    17
    3.00

    Darren Fletcher

    Deployed in the same role he fulfilled so well against Newcastle last week, screening the back four as Cleverley and Anderson roamed forwards. Kept the possession ticking over without ever being unduly troubled by a deep-lying Cluj midfield.

  • Wayne Rooney
    147
    21
    4.00

    Wayne Rooney Top of the Match

    Played in a free role between the midfield trio and front two of Van Persie and Chicharito, and grew into the game after being frustrated by the close attentions of the Cluj midfield. Set up Van Persie's two goals with a superb free-kick and a measured chip over the top, and almost provided Chicharito a killer third.

  • Javier Hernández
    71
    47
    2.50

    Javier Hernández

    The target man of the side as Rooney was deployed deep and Van Persie peeled away to the wings to find space. Made plenty of lively runs but was rarely offered the service his type of play requires to have a significant impact. Replaced by Welbeck late on.

  • Robin van Persie
    138
    12
    3.50

    Robin van Persie

    His first goal may have been on the lucky side as the ball came off his shoulder before looping over the line, but his second was simply superb, as he watched Rooney's pass drop over his shoulder before touching the ball past Felgueiras into the bottom corner.

Substitutions

  • Scott Wootton
    67
    13
    3.00

    Scott Wootton

    Replaced Jonny Evans for his Champions League debut and did not look out of place in the side.

  • Danny Welbeck
    48
    20

    Danny Welbeck

    Came on for Chicharito for the closing minutes as United looked to close out the game.

Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
14 1
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
Paris St. Germain (PSG)
10 1
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
8 2
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atlético Madrid
7 0
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
6 2