Cluj 1 Man United 2: Ferguson hoping for Rooney-Van Persie partnership
Cluj 1 Man United 2: Sir Alex Ferguson heaps praise on Red Devils duo Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie after win in Romania
Sir Alex Ferguson is hoping Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie will develop a clinical strike partnership after the duo combined for both of Manchester United’s goals in their win at Cluj.
The Romanian side took a 14th-minute lead when Modou Sougou beat Patrice Evra for pace and crossed for Pantelis Kapetanos, who confidently finished past David De Gea.
United endured a frustrating first half as Cluj dropped deep, but the visitors finally made the breakthrough after Van Persie managed to inadvertently guide Rooney’s free-kick past Mário Felgueiras.
In the 49th minute, the England striker’s superb diagonal pass was perfectly timed to drift into Van Persie’s path – and the Netherlands international produced a deft finish to net the winner.
“The pass and the finish were both equally as good. It’s a fantastic finish but I thought Rooney had hit his pass too far but Robin’s done well to get to the ball,” said Ferguson.
“It’s difficult to say [if it’s the start of a partnership]. I hope so. There are combinations with quite a few of the players in these positions and the strength of our squad is in the attacking positions.”
The United manager also reserved praise for Cluj, who pressed for an equaliser in the second half, with De Gea forced to make two top saves to deny Kapetanous and Rafael Bastos.
“Cluj kept going at the end. They were good crossers of the ball and kept us under the pressure all the time,” added Ferguson.
“I’m relatively pleased with the concentration and possession, and apart from the goal, I felt we defended very well and David made a good save towards the end.
“I’ve got to be pleased. Coming away from home in Europe is never easy, and as I said before the game, they’ve got a good home record here.”