Cluj v Man United: Rooney hopes Red Devils have learnt from mistakes
Cluj v Man United: Wayne Rooney is confident the Red Devils have learnt from the mistakes made in last season's Champions League
Wayne Rooney is hoping Manchester United have learnt from their disappointing Champions League group-stage exit last season as the Red Devils gear up for their trip to Cluj.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s men were parachuted down into the Europa League last term after failing to navigate their way out of their group.
United kicked off this season’s European campaign with a narrow home victory over Galatasaray – and Rooney is confident the Premier League side will not take anything for granted this year ahead of Tuesday’s clash.
“I still think it is exciting,” Rooney told United’s website. “It is a great competition to be in. You look at the teams involved and it is a great challenge for everyone. It is something I love playing in.
“We brought a lot of young players into the team [last year]. The Champions League is completely different to the Premier League. If you are not at your best you get punished, which is what happened to us last season. We have to make sure that won’t happen again this year.”
Ferguson has opted to leave out four senior players for the trip to Cluj on Tuesday. Veteran midfielders Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes are rested, while Michael Carrick and Antonio Valencia miss out through injury.
Cluj v Man United: Pre-match facts
• United’s only away success in last term’s Champions League came on Romanian soil, 2-0 at Oţelul Galaţi through two Wayne Rooney penalties. They ended the night with ten men after Nemanja Vidić’s dismissal.
• United’s only other trip to Romania was for the aforementioned Champions League third qualifying round tie against Andone’s Dinamo Bucureşti in 2004/05. Ryan Giggs scored United’s opening goal in a 2-1 first-leg win at Bucharest’s old Lia Manoliu Stadium – the site of the new National Arena.
• Cluj coach Andone has only victory over English opposition came against Everton FC in the 2005-06 Uefa Cup first round, his Dinamo team winning the first leg 5-1 in Bucharest to set up a 5-2 overall triumph.
• Ferguson visited Romania with Aberdeen in the 1981-82 Uefa Cup second round, earning a 2-2 draw – and a 5-2 aggregate win – against the club now called FC Argeş Piteşti.