pre-match press conference and, unfortunately, that unwelcome trend continued when Cluj took the lead – from their first real attack - on 14 minutes through Kapetanos. And it was all too easy for the home side.
After the ball had been brilliantly spread wide to Modou Sougou, the winger raced down the right channel before firing a low cross into the path of Kapetanos, who swept the ball past De Gea.
The Reds weren’t about to let this latest of early setbacks get them down though and the ideal response was almost immediate with Rooney seeing a shot parried by Mario Felgueiras and both Anderson and van Persie flashing efforts just wide.
You felt an equaliser was not far away, particularly given Cluj had only kept two clean sheets in their previous 12 home games, and it duly arrived, via some good fortune, on 29 minutes when a Rooney free-kick from the left wing flicked off van Persie’s shoulder and looped in over Felgueiras.
The Dutchman went close to notching a second six minutes later when a Hernandez pass put him clear, but his left-foot strike was saved by Felgueiras.
The Reds ended the half on top and began the second in the same fashion and it was the combination of Rooney and van Persie which undid Cluj once again, four minutes after the restart.
Rooney, who was starting alongside van Persie for the first time, floated a lovely ball over the top for the Dutch international who stuck out a boot and flicked the ball home on the volley past the helpless Felgueiras.