Utd scalp not enough for Cluj

CFR Cluj claimed the notable scalp of Manchester United on Wednesday, but a 1-0 victory was not enough to see them into the last 16 of the Champions League.

Last Updated: 05/12/12 at 22:58 Post Comment

Luis Alberto: Wonder strike not enough to send Cluj through

Luis Alberto: Wonder strike not enough to send Cluj through

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

A wonder strike from Luis Alberto rocketed the Romanian champions towards the knockout stage, but victory for Galatasaray over Braga in the night's other Group H fixture meant Paulo Sergio's side were robbed of a runners-up spot behind Sir Alex Ferguson's Red Devils.

A positive result for Cluj was always on the cards in midweek, with United already assured of progression as group winners and in the enviable position of being able to make sweeping changes to their starting XI with one eye on a crucial Premier League derby date with Manchester City on Sunday.

With there nothing riding on the game for the hosts there were a number of empty seats to be seen inside the Theatre of Dreams, with one of them in the dugout - with Ferguson opting to enjoy the company of his chief executive David Gill in the stands rather than take his usual place on the bench.

The first half offered little for those in attendance to get excited about, with defensive errors offering up the only real opportunities of note.

A flurry of activity midway through the half saw a Nick Powell effort blocked, after Cluj keeper Mario Felgueiras had flapped at a Phil Jones cross, and a heavy touch from Tom Cleverley deny him a clear run on goal.

Sandwiched between those efforts, Scott Wootton put in an important last-ditch block to slam the door in Modou Sougou's face.

As the opening 45 minutes drew to a close, United really should have got their noses in front, but Wayne Rooney saw a clever chip beaten away by Felgueiras and Chris Smalling somehow nodded wide of a gaping target from three yards out - before Cleverley was forced off with an untimely knock.

The second period looked to be following a similar theme to the first until Alberto brought the game screaming to life.

Paul Scholes, on for the unfortunate Cleverley, surrendered possession in uncharacteristic fashion and was made to pay by Alberto as he picked the ball up 25 yards from goal and sent an unstoppable drive past the outstretched hand of David de Gea and in off the post.

Everything was going to plan for the men from Transylvania at that stage, with Galatasaray trailing in Portugal.

The Turkish outfit were, however, to turn their tie on its head, making events in the final 10 minutes at Old Trafford irrelevant - with United prepared to turn their attention towards more important challenges to come and Cluj left to contemplate the consolation prize of a place in the Europa League.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Wednesday, 10 December 2014
19:45
Ajax 4-0 Apoel Nicosia Report
Ath Bilbao 2-0 BATE Borisov Report
Barcelona 3-1 PSG Report
Bay Munich 3-0 CSKA Mosc Report
Chelsea 3-1 Sporting Report
FC Porto 1-1 Shak Donetsk Report
Maribor 0-1 Schalke Report
Roma 0-2 Man City Report
Tuesday, 09 December 2014
Benfica 0-0 Leverkusen Report
B Dortmund 1-1 Anderlecht Report

Footer 365

Eden Hazard: 'Chelsea need Diego Costa'

Eden Hazard admits Chelsea 'need' Diego Costa as he faces a three-match ban for a stamp on Emre Can on Tuesday night.

Copa del Rey: Luis Enrique says Neymar had to be substituted against Atletico Madrid to prevent injury

Luis Enrique says he had to substitute Neymar to prevent him from being injured in an ugly cup tie with Atletico.

Capital One Cup: Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino pleased to overcome challenging tie with Sheffield United

Mauricio Pochettino dedicated Tottenham's Capital One Cup semi-final triumph over Sheffield United to the fans.

Mail Box

But Biting Doesn't Hurt Like Stamping...

There are Liverpool fans arguing that Luis Suarez is nowhere near Diego Costa's sh*t-house league but we have plenty of love for the agitator too. Oh and Spurs...

Erm... Balotelli To QPR..?

It's an afternoon Mailbox that offers the reaction to the reaction, with a defence for Diego Costa offered, and Balotelli mooted to move to QPR. Plus a silly idea about the Mails...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company