Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has instructed his defenders to be on their guard after highlighting the growing counter-attacking influence in the Champions League.

United take on Romanian champions Cluj this evening knowing their opponents are likely to sit deep and attack quickly. It is a tactic that worked for Cluj in Braga a fortnight ago when they secured an historic away win even though their hosts enjoyed an overwhelming majority of possession.

And in an era Barcelona have dominated by retaining the ball for long periods, it seems the alternate theory is to let them have it, and Ferguson said: "Counter-attacking has become a very important part of European football. It is Cluj's main strength, as they showed against Braga."

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