FOOTBALL NEWS

05/12/2012 23:42, Report by Adam Bostock
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Vote: Man of the Match

Many of the positives in Wednesday's surprise defeat to CFR Cluj were provided by the younger players on display at Old Trafford.

As Sir Alex Ferguson said in his post-match press conference, Manchester United "brought young players back in" for a valuable lesson in the Champions League. Despite the result, four of them fared well enough to feature on our shortlist for ManUtd.com's Man of the Match.

Alexander Büttner seemed to revel in only his sixth start for the Reds, showing eagerness to get on the ball and determination to drive at the Romanians whenever possible. The left-back tried his luck with a free-kick early in the second half and was unfortunate not to find the dream finish.

Phil Jones took a leaf out of Rafael's book by offering as much going forward as he had to in defence. As an attacking right-back, he helped to put pressure on Cluj in the second half - pressure they impressively withstood.

Nick Powell instigated many of United's best attacks early on and almost claimed an assist when his shot bounced up for Smalling to head onto the roof of the net. The young midfielder showed resilience and courage to carry on after taking a blow to the ribs in the first period.

Scott Wootton made a solid first start in the Champions League, looking scarcely less experienced than his central defensive partner Chris Smalling. A highlight of his night was the last-ditch sliding challenge to deflect Modou Sougou's shot into the side netting.

Have your say - vote for Man of the Match at www.manutd.com/polls.

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