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CFR's Old Trafford celebrations fall flat

Published: Wednesday 5 December 2012, 23.00CET
Manchester United FC 0-1 CFR 1907 Cluj
Luís Alberto struck a fine goal as CFR became the first Romanian team to win at Old Trafford, but events in Portugal meant it was not enough.
by Simon Hart
from Old Trafford

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Match statistics

Man. UnitedCFR Cluj

Goals scored0
1
on target11
 
4
off target13
 
5
Corners6
 
7
Offsides4
 
2
Fouls committed8
 
12
Yellow cards1
 
2
Red Cards0
 
0
Possession (%)60
 
40

Standings

Last updated: 19/01/2013 04:24 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 5 December 2012, 23.00CET

CFR's Old Trafford celebrations fall flat

Manchester United FC 0-1 CFR 1907 Cluj
Luís Alberto struck a fine goal as CFR became the first Romanian team to win at Old Trafford, but events in Portugal meant it was not enough.

It was a case of so near yet so far for CFR 1907 Cluj as they became the first Romanian side to win at Old Trafford but still fell short in their quest to claim a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

Paulo Sérgio's men began a chilly night needing to better Galatasaray AŞ's result at SC Braga and with Luís Alberto's spectacular 56th-minute goal and some fine goalkeeping from Mário Felgueiras, they had their target in sight. Then came Galatasaray's late clincher in Portugal, the Turkish club edging CFR out courtesy of their superior head-to-head record with the teams tied on ten points.

With United already guaranteed top spot and fielding a youthful lineup with one eye on Sunday's Manchester derby, this was all about CFR's attempt to become Romania's first UEFA Champions League group stage survivors. Instead they can look forward to UEFA Europa League football in February – the first time they have prolonged their European campaign beyond Christmas.

The early exchanges showed why Sir Alex Ferguson has been critical of his side's defensive efforts this term. Chris Smalling sliced a clearance straight to Rafael Bastos, but his deflected effort was kept out by the feet of David de Gea. Scott Wootton erred next, giving the ball to Gabriel Mureşan. Some neat interplay involving Mureşan, Rafael Bastos and Modou Sougou put the Senegal striker in the clear on the right of United's area but Wootton made amends with a fine block.

Making his first UEFA Champions League start, the 21-year-old Wootton was one of nine players aged 24 or younger in United's first XI, the only exceptions being Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs, the latter making his first appearance since turning 39 last week.

Old Trafford was subdued but United had their chances. Danny Welbeck robbed Ionuţ Rada and Tom Cleverley ran through only for Felgueiras to save at his feet. Felgueiras foiled Javier Hernández next before getting a hand to Welbeck's glanced header. It was United's best spell and ended with Smalling putting a free header wide.

At half-time CFR were above Galatasaray in the standings and their hopes rose even higher with Luís Alberto's stunning strike. The Brazilian had never scored a goal in UEFA competition yet broke his duck in fine style. Following substitute Paul Scholes's wayward pass, he surged forward and swerved a shot in off the right post from 25 metres. A memorable goal but, sadly for CFR and their small but noisy cluster of fans, not quite enough.

Last updated: 05/03/13 9.10CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000347/match=2009574/postmatch/report/index.html#cfrs+united+spoiled

Lineups

man. united

Man. United

cfr cluj

CFR Cluj

1
De GeaDavid de Gea (GK)
1
Mário FelgueirasMário Felgueiras (GK)
Yellow Card90+3
4
JonesPhil Jones
3
Ivo PintoIvo Pinto
10
RooneyWayne Rooney
6
MureşanGabriel Mureşan
11
GiggsRyan Giggs (C)
Substitution86
13
PiccoloFelice Piccolo
12
SmallingChris Smalling
16
Rafael BastosRafael Bastos
Substitution78
14
HernándezJavier Hernández
20
CadúCadú (C)
Yellow Card49
19
WelbeckDanny Welbeck
24
RadaIonuţ Rada
23
CleverleyTom Cleverley
Substitution45
25
Luís AlbertoLuís Alberto
Goal56
25
PowellNick Powell
Substitution73
30
Rui PedroRui Pedro
Substitution71
28
BüttnerAlexander Büttner
45
CamoraCamora
31
WoottonScott Wootton
99
SougouModou Sougou
Substitution90+2

Substitutes

13
LindegaardAnders Lindegaard (GK)
44
StăncioiuEduard Stăncioiu (GK)
2
RafaelRafael
8
SepsiLászló Sepsi
18
YoungAshley Young
9
KapetanosPantelis Kapetanos
Substitution90+2
22
ScholesPaul Scholes
Substitution45
Yellow Card90
12
MafteiVasile Maftei
Substitution78
24
D. FletcherDarren Fletcher
Substitution86
19
BjelanovićSaša Bjelanović
27
MachedaFederico Macheda
Substitution73
23
GodemècheNicolas Godemèche
36
VermijlMarnick Vermijl
31
AguirregarayMatías Aguirregaray
Substitution71

Coach

Sir Alex Ferguson (SCO) Paulo Sérgio (POR)

Referee

Daniele Orsato (ITA)

Assistant referees

Mauro Tonolini (ITA), Massimiliano Grilli (ITA)

Fourth official

Lorenzo Manganelli (ITA)

Additional assistant referees

Andrea De Marco (ITA), Mauro Bergonzi (ITA)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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