They had seen little of the ball up to that point, but Cluj began to rally soon after which, coupled with some shakiness in the United backline, led to a couple of decent openings. After Gabriel Muresan had crossed for Kapetanos to fire over, De Gea reacted brilliantly to tip Cadu’s header, from a Rafael Bastos corner, over the bar.
At the other end, van Persie nearly grabbed his second hat-trick of the campaign on 71 minutes when Rooney, out wide on the left, fired a low cross towards his onrushing strike partner, but he was muscled out of it by a defender and unable to make contact with the ball.
United’s defensive injury curse reared its ugly head as the game ticked towards the final 10 minutes with Jonny Evans unable to continue after picking up a knock. Scott Wootton, making his Champions League debut, replaced him.
Cluj offered little threat as the game neared its conclusion, but the Reds were mighty relieved to see De Gea pull off a superb fingertip save in injury time from Rafael Bastos, who flew in at the near post to meet Ivo Pinto's cross and send a diving header goalwards. Thankfully, that proved to be Cluj's final flourish as United held out for a vital three points and took another important step towards booking a spot in the latter stages of the competition.