United boss Sir Ales Ferguson had warned against further defensive frailties this season but the Romanian champions quickly took advantage of indecision at the back when a swift counter attack ended with Pantelis Kapetanos opening the scoring.
Despite looking less than impressive the visitor’s enjoyed a moment a good fortune for the leveller as Van Persie found the back of the net via his shoulder.
If the home side had excelled in the first period they faded after the break and the Dutchman it was who sealed the win with a clinical finish from Wayne Rooney’s pass for his seventh goal of the campaign.
United easily held out for the win and whilst not being at their best the performance was adequate to claim the three points and third victory on the road in their last eight games on the road in Europe.
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)
Venue: Dr Constantin Radulescu Stadium
Cluj scorers: Kapetanos 14
Man Utd scorers: Van Persie 29, 49
Yellow cards: Ferdinand (MANU)