CFR Cluj vs. Manchester United: Final score 1-2, Red Devils barely hang on

Julian Finney - Getty Images

Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and David de Gea were impeccable as Manchester United barely fought off an impressive and feisty Cluj side.

Manchester United switched up their tactics from the weekend and found a place for Wayne Rooney in their side for their Champions League encounter with CFR Cluj on Tuesday, It was a bit of a struggle, but Rooney was ultimately the side's best player as they held on for a 2-1 win.

United accounted for their lack of numbers and athleticism in midfield that caused their defeat at the hands of Tottenham by making a drastic change. Alex Ferguson fielded a team without wide players and benched his slow and aging midfielders in favor of Anderson, Tom Cleverley and Darren Fletcher. He also introduced Rooney as a No. 10, playing behind Robin van Persie and Javier Hernández in a 4-3-1-2 formation. The team selection would pay off eventually, but Cluj struck first.

Modou Sougou set up Pantelis Kapetanos for the opening goal with a low cross on a quick move, giving the hosts a surprise lead. United would strike back 12 minutes later on a set piece, with Rooney finding the head of Robin van Persie for the equalizer.

From the start of the second half until the very end of the match, United were the better side. Rooney and van Persie combined again for the winner early in the half, with Rooney providing a perfect diagonal ball. Van Persie made the perfect run and got himself in position to hit a creative first-time finish to the far post, giving United a deserved lead.

The Red Devils controlled the rest of the half until stoppage time, when Cluj threw caution to the wind and nearly scored an equalizer. David de Gea had to make a fantastic save on a point-blank header to preserve United's victory, which was deserved by hardly convincing.

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