Man United 0 Cluj 1: We were beaten by a wonder-goal – Sir Alex Ferguson
Man United 0 Cluj 1: Sir Alex Ferguson says the Red Devils were unfortunate to be beaten by a wonder goal at Old Trafford
Sir Alex Ferguson felt Manchester United were unfortunate to lose to a “wonder-goal” after Cluj became the first Romanian side to win at Old Trafford.
United, who were 4-3 winners at Reading on Saturday, continued to struggle defensively as confusion between Ryan Giggs and Chris Smalling allowed Rafael Bastos to test David De Gea.
Wayne Rooney, who started the final Group H tie despite the Red Devils having already booked their place in the last 16, came close when his chipped shot had Mario Felgueiras scrambling.
Cluj finally made the breakthrough in the 56th minute when Luis Alberto produced a stunning longe-range effort which beat De Gea and condemned United to successive European losses.
“It was a wonder-goal that beat us,” said Ferguson.
“We didn’t deserve that, we created some good chances but when you lose a goal like that you can have no complaints.
“We had a young side out and I felt we did very well at times. The pitch was a bit dead from the frost but I am satisfied we put a good performance in.”
He added: “We have won the group but we know the likes of Shakhtar, Milan, Porto, all the big names, are in there.
“We qualified comfortably but the real tournament starts at the end of February. The knockout stages are fantastic.”
Ferguson also revealed Tom Cleverley is a doubt for Sunday’s Manchester derby after picking up a knock on Wednesday night.
“Tom Cleverley has a calf injury, so we will have to see what he is like,” he added.
“Was it important to rest players ahead of Sunday? Yes absolutely. No doubt about that.”