CFR Cluj vs. Manchester United  1 - 2

Article

Ferguson highlights attacking strengths

3 October 2012 03:54

Sir Alex Ferguson has praised Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie after they helped Manchester United record a comeback 2-1 win at Cluj.

Ferguson saw his team narrowly overcome the Romanian outfit in the Champions League on Tuesday, after Pantelis Kapetanos put the hosts ahead with an early goal.

United regained their composure, with Rooney assisting Van Persie twice to ensure United left Transylvania with all three points.

And while the English Premier League giants may be suffering with defensive and midfield injuries, Ferguson is reassured by their potent forward line.

"The strength of the squad is in the attacking positions," he told ITV.

"The pass and the finish (for the second goal), both were equally as good. It's a fantastic finish but what a nice ball Wayne has dropped - I thought it was too far, but Robin has done well to get to it."

Ferguson was receptive to suggestions Van Persie and Rooney could form an inseparable partnership, but also pointed out the advantages of having several striking options available.

"It's difficult to say (if this is a partnership)," he said.

"I hope so. I think there's combinations between a few of our players."

Ferguson also complemented Cluj on their attitude throughout the match, and insisted despite a somewhat shaky early performance, any victory away in Europe is always a good result.

"If you see the way they kept going until the end, they put a lot of telling crosses into the box which kept us under pressure, kept us on edge," he said.

"I've got to be pleased with the possession, the concentration was really good tonight.

"Apart from the goal, we've defended really well tonight, (goalkeeper) David (de Gea) made a good save towards the end, so I've got to be pleased. Coming away from home in Europe is never easy, and they've a good home record here."

Article

UEFA Champions League Group H preview: Cluj await United test

1 October 2012 14:04

Manchester United travel to Romania to play Cluj in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, as Braga face an intimidating trip to Galatasaray.

United will be looking to bounce back from a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Saturday, their first home loss against Spurs for 23 years.

Goals from Jan Vertonghen, Gareth Bale and Clint Dempsey sealed the hosts' fate at Old Trafford, with Nani and Shinji Kagawa netting in vain.

United manager Alex Ferguson is battling a defensive injury crisis early in the 2012/13 campaign - Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are all sidelined, leaving Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans as the club's only fit centre-backs.

The outlook is healthier further forward, with Wayne Rooney returning to Premier League action against Tottenham.

The England international will compete with star signing Robin Van Persie, as well as Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez, for a place in the forward line.

Attacking midfielder Ashley Young is out with a knee injury, while an ankle knock could keep Nani on the sidelines.

Cluj, United's hosts at the Stadionul Dr Constantin Radulescu, are level with the English club on three points in Group H courtesy of an impressive 2-0 win away to Braga on matchday one.

It is the second season in succession United have travelled to Romania in the Champions League after they were drawn against debutants Otelul Galati in the 2011/12 competition.

The other match in Group H sees Turkish powerhouse Galatasaray host Portuguese club Braga, with both teams seeking their first points in the pool.

Galatasaray were unfortunate to come away from Old Trafford empty-handed last month, as Michael Carrick's early goal consigned them to a 1-0 defeat despite the Super Lig side enjoying numerous chances.

Braga, meanwhile, have become a familiar face on the European scene, last appearing in the Champions League group stage in 2010/11.

They fell at the first hurdle on that occasion, and went on to lose to compatriots Porto in the final of the Europa League.

They are third in the Liga Sagres after five matches played, just one point behind joint leaders Benfica and Porto.

But after losing at home to Cluj, coach Jose Peseiro has it all to do if his team are to progress beyond the group stage.

Liga I table

# Team MP D P
2 6 +11 15
3 6 +9 13
4 6 +9 13
5 6 +6 12
6 6 +5 11

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
12 3 -4 3
13 3 -1 2
14 3 -1 2
15 3 -2 2
16 3 -2 2