Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Champions League: Van Persie double gives Manchester United victory

Manchester United's Robin van Persie (C) celebrates his goal against CFR Cluj during their Champions League Group H soccer match in Cluj-Napoca.


Manchester United striker Robin van Persie continued his hot scoring streak as his double secured a 2-1 victory over CFR Cluj in Champions League Group H on Tuesday.

United had to come from behind after Pantelis Kapetanos fired the Romanian champions into a 14th minute lead.

Van Persie equalized 15 minutes later when he met Wayne Rooney's free kick and the ball looped off his shoulder and over keeper Mario Felgueiras.

Story continues below advertisement

There was nothing fortunate about his second goal four minutes after the break, the Dutch international showing a deft touch to flick another Rooney cross past Felgueiras.

United, who failed to get out of their group last season, are well-placed to advance this time with two wins from two.

The Premier League side had kept clean sheets in seven of their last nine away games in the competition but manager Alex Ferguson voiced defensive concerns after his side conceded three in losing to Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Saturday.

His worries appeared valid when Cluj, who beat Braga in their opening game, took the lead.

A crossfield pass found Modou Sougou on the right and he easily brushed aside Patrice Evra and crossed for Greek international Kapetanos to net.

The lively Sougou went off injured midway through the first half and United, without experienced midfielders Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick and Paul Scholes but fielding the attacking trio of Rooney, Van Persie and Javier Hernandez, gained momentum.

Van Persie levelled and then saw Felgueiras block another shot before Rooney glanced a header wide.

Story continues below advertisement

United's second goal appeared to knock the stuffing out of Cluj but Spanish keeper David de Gea came to his side's rescue at the end when he beat away Rafael Bastos's header.

Van Persie has scored seven times for United since joining from Arsenal just before the start of the season.

Report an error
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this resolved by the end of January 2018. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to