by Darren Walsh
Problems straight away for Adrian Chiles and the boys; the sprinklers are turned on and gives them a drenching. The home crowd especially enjoy Chiles getting a soaking; they must have been viewers of Daybreak.
No messing around by Ferguson in selecting the line-up, with Rooney, van Persie, and Hernandez in the team.
Rio Ferdinand starts the game much like how he played against Tottenham; gives the ball away and concedes a corner.
Judging from the crowd shots, there seems to be a section of the stadium where you can only get in if you’re shirtless.
Clive Tyldsley seems surprised that Cluj are playing like the away team. A team with much smaller resources and little European experience playing conservatively against a giant of the world game? Who could have expected those tactics?
When Cluj get a chance to attack, they’re really going for it down their right hand side, and that’s how they score. Once again United are 1-0 down early.
Finally Patrice Evra gets a break; his tormenter Sougou has gone off with injury.
Equaliser from van Persie after an inswinging free kick by Rooney that the Dutchman goes to head, but it hits his shoulder instead. Loops over the keeper and goes in. The defensive marking by Cluj would see most of them thrown off a Sunday League team.
Looks like only a matter of time until a second United goal, but van Persie misses a chance that Andy Townsend thinks he should score since he’s in such good form. Andy mustn’t have been watching on Saturday when he missed an identical chance.
Jonny Evans takes a kick to the orbs, but the guy who did it goes down with injury, had to have been playacting. Either that or Evans is some type of cyborg.
Great start to the second half for United; van Persie reaches a ball over the top from Rooney and redirects it with a first time touch to take it past the keeper. As an indicator of how good he is, that goal shows it a lot more than his first.
Just when I think that Cluj won’t have the ability to come back, they almost score in the exact same way as their first. This time it’s hit high over the bar though.
Cluj sure are winning a lot of headers from corners, and another one leads to a De Gea save that he tips over the bar.
Tyldsley talks in too high a pitch when United have the ball on the edge of the Cluj area, and if the move breaks down his voice has to move down way too many octaves. He sounds like a kid who was expecting a go-kart on Christmas morning but instead finds a lump of coal under the tree. Waiting until the ball is actually in the area until showing such excitement would help a lot.
He has also just mentioned that Tom Cleverly had an early start to the season and played in the Olympics for “the national team”.
Townsend seems to think that the game is still in the balance, but I think that Cluj are out of gas now.
Only three minutes injury time. It’s an insult to the game, there really should be someone other than the referee in charge of that….
One last chance for Cluj that De Gea turns around the post. Based on his form so far this season he really should be the regular net minder ahead of Lindegaard.
Oh it’s all gone wrong post-match. We’re meant to see a van Persie interview but don’t have any sound. Instead we hear someone, probably a director, sniffling a lot and telling people to go ahead with something.
Gabriel Clarke is really pushing the notion in the interviews that Rooney and van Persie are developing a kind of telepathy, but the men themselves and Ferguson have all given the thought short shrift.
Chiles tries to crowbar in a Transylvania pun at the end that is pretty forced, almost as if there had to be a mention of it tonight instead of just letting it go.
Anyway, despite another poor start to a game, United are in a commanding position in the group. Another win and they’ll be on the edge of qualifying.