Celtic 2-0 Cluj Review


Another great European night at Celtic Park as we blew Cluj away. I’m not sure that the scoreline did us justice but that’s a minor quibble. We dominated from start to finish on a night where everyone really stepped up as required.

The team line-up had a strong and settled look to it with no puzzling tweaks which saw some playing out of position on Saturday. In front of Forster we had Elhamed,Jullien,Ajer,Boli. A midfield trio of Broonie,CalMac and Christie were augmented in the wide positions by Forrest and Elyounoussi while Eddy went it alone up front.

Our first chance of note fell to Jullien. A short corner-which was a feature all night,and I wonder where Neil got that idea from?-was worked to CalMac,who swung in a tremendous cross to the onrushing defender. His powerful header though was beaten clear by the goalie. He stayed up for the second phase,this time his header going narrowly over.

It merely served to delay the inevitable. CalMac played an excellently weighted ball to the touchline for the lightning run of Boli. First time straight back into the box and I Wanna rose to the acclaim of the fans and bulleted his header home.

1-0 and cruising! Or so we thought,as Cluj battled their way back into the game. They got a free kick five minutes later,driven hard at Forster who could only parry it out. Cluj reacted first,but they had three players in an offside position-including the player who was first to the rebound and also the eventual scorer. Offside was the call,and a correct one.

The rest of the half was a physical battle in tough conditions. Neither team gave nor expected quarter and we went into the break a goal to the good.

The second half was much of the same. Our midfield dominated the area,but Cluj were not for giving up. Every ball had to be won,and after an hour,Elyounoussi did just that inside his own half. He sprayed it wide to Forrest who settled himself with a couple of touches. Looking up,he saw Mo bursting a lung towards the edge of the box and played it inside. To be fair,the shot was cleanly enough struck,but it was the deflection off a defender which made the difference,wrongfooting the keeper.

2-0 and we looked good for it. Cluj still had their moments,and we had the big hands of Forster to thank for the eventual clean sheet,but by this time we were comfortably in control to see the match out-something we should have done six or seven weeks ago. No mistakes this time though-and no failures either.

Of course,that last fact makes picking a man of the match a bit difficult and while I’m tempted to go for Broonie-who was immense and clearly relishes the European stage-I’m gonna stiff him for it and give it to Ryan Christie. Inside less than a year,this fella has gone from a forgotten man being shuffled out the door to a first pick every week. Last night’s display of controlled aggression and calm link-up play showed us all what we very nearly missed.

It’s the Italian mob Lazio up next in three weeks. Let’s hope we can continue our great form then,but that can wait. Last night was all about the three points available. Our performance on the pitch left us all happily singing in the rain as we sloshed our way back home.

It’s good to be a Tim!


Above article by BMCUWP. Fancy a pop at having your name in lights for the day? Send us an article for publication and we won’t let you down. Mail it to Mahe.


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,big packy
October 4, 2019 8:14 am

HI BOBBY, great article spot on, thought they all deserved man of the match but I cant decide between broony and ryan, so they will have to share it, hope you enjoyed the parkhead atmosphere,.joan says thanks for the birthday wishes.hh.

October 4, 2019 8:19 am


Loved it! I hope you spoiled your dearly-beloved…

,big packy
October 4, 2019 8:21 am

BOBBY, as always ?

Noel Skytrot
October 4, 2019 8:42 am

Cluj aren’t a good team. Watching the game last night and found their style of play all very industrial at times. Great team effort but I thought Christie covered every inch of the CP turf and Brown harassed the life out of the opposition. Top of the group, next up Lazio.

,big packy
October 4, 2019 8:59 am

HI NOEL, thought cluj played well, but we played better, they are certainly a step up from the teams we normally face in the spl,,hope you are good.hh.

October 4, 2019 9:57 am

Morning All,

Did anyone watching on TV notice near the end the guy celebrating by swiggin a half bottle of Buckie?

Hilarious but, if caught, banned for life :-))


October 4, 2019 10:19 am


Lucky sod. All I got after the game was wet through.

October 4, 2019 11:02 am

Still buzzing about last night.

Very pleased with a great start to our Europa campaign but I am under no illusions as to how tough it will be to get out of this group. All of these teams are better than anything we face in Scotland and the Nazis of SS Lazio, have better players than we do, but they will still have to prove they are a better team.

Sandman ratings are up and today’s are one of his finest, riffing on the old Romania/Dracula theme.

Before you read them- try and guess which Celtic player this apt Sandman description serves:-

“He stoats about Paradise like one of us who’s rolled up after a stag night to find the gates unlocked and a ball sat on the empty pitch.”

October 4, 2019 11:24 am

Uber, we are top of two leagues!

October 4, 2019 11:30 am

Fairhill Bhoy, On holiday? or out golfing?

October 4, 2019 12:38 pm

Good very early morning friends.
The wee one woke at two,,struggled about couldnt settle,,at four mamma kicked us out.
Could be a long Friday.
But at least we are top o the pile eh. Both actually as gentleman Jim points out.
I’m lovin the impact big Frazza is having. Him and Jules have us feeling secure at the back again.
For the first goal I thought Calmac had overhir the pass even if Boli did show a good burst of pace. Lovely pass indeed hands up and Boli seemed to be playing with a smile.
The squad does look happy and the pics of the gaffer show a more relaxed fella.
Perhaps soon JCGE will return , it is Lennys song in my mind.
I doubt many would have predicted where we are three months ago,, just goes to show.

Sftb,,I’m thinking that’s Broony description?

Hail Hail

October 4, 2019 1:23 pm

October 4, 2019 1:24 pm

Mahe, that’s for you. And play it to the wean, it will help her sleep! 🙂

Noel Skytrot
October 4, 2019 1:26 pm

Big Packy,
I’m sound mate and thanks for asking. I’ve not been on here for a few months due to personal stuff. I fully agree that Cluj are a better team than anything we face domestically, but I just thought they’re well organised and tried, but I just wasn’t impressed at all. I know they beat us in August and done Lazio in Romania so they clearly have something, but they didn’t get near us, as you say, we’re better. That weather was dreadful last night, i’ve never been so wet.I hope you and all the rest of the regulars on here are tip top.

October 4, 2019 1:34 pm

Thanks Jim,,,just had big eye rubs so bed soon.
I’ve Saturday to myself and on Sunday drive few hours up to see the lads. Few small gifts from my recent trip etc.
Hopefully it’s a nice day Saturday to get some outdoor work done while house quiet.
Hope your weekend goes well.
If I lived there Brexit would drive you nuts although here it’s all Trump impeachment ffs.
Best avoiding the news these days.
Hail Hail

,big packy
October 4, 2019 1:35 pm

HI NOEL, apart fom this stupid cold im fine, only thing is my best mate jimthetim is not talking to me because I forgot his birthday but I forgot the wifes as well so he is in good company, luv ya to bits jim.hh,

October 4, 2019 1:36 pm

Where might a fella read Sandmans ratings please?

Noel Skytrot
October 4, 2019 1:47 pm


I’m sure Jim will be in a forgiving mood and let it slide to next year. As for your fair lady, your ears must have been walloped for forgetting her birthday. Lol

,big packy
October 4, 2019 1:49 pm

NOEL, well and trully?

The Exiled Tim
October 4, 2019 1:50 pm

Managed to log on after much hair pulling.
Noel S
I disagree that they are not a good team, that’s exactly what I think they are, a good team, devoid of talented individuals but they play as a team and could have caused us problems, the reason they didn’t imo is that we were well coached and the players did the jobs that they were assigned and didn’t allow them to hurt us, a team with better players may well cause up bother, it will be down to how well our players do their jobs, they were up for it last night and they all performed as they should.

October 4, 2019 1:56 pm

Yes, last night was about the three points rather than a performance. However, we got both. I like Cluj….they are a well organised team that never gives up. Their plan last night, as previously, was to let Celtic shoot themselves in the foot(is that a pun?). Keep the score against them to zero or one goal for 75% of the game then flood the midfield and hit long diagonal balls to stretch the Celtic defence. They nearly succeeded by keeping the score to one-nil for a large part of the game, but the timing of the second goal was decisive. Now they had to implement the second part of their plan earlier than was suitable for their legs. I do not know about you but I was tense as Cluj pushed forward. The loss of one goal would have changed things. Personally, after 70 minutes I would have taken Forrest off and added a midfielder who would harry the opposition. Still, Cluj did not score and the game petered out as Cluj ran out of puff. So the victor, NL , writes the history! On a side note, Djokovic is one of those players, like Brown, you love him or hate him according to whether he is in your team or not! Could he thrive in Scotland?

Jullien was immense as was Christie. Boli was both stupid and immense with the latter outweighing the former. His chip onto Edouard’s head was sheer class. In first 15 minutes he was caught out of position as Cluj pumped the ball into where he should have been. Where was he? Sauntering back from a failed attack looking at the lights! Prepare to both love and hate this player. However, credit has to be given to his enthusiasm and his smile, which lights up any great arena.

Did Celtic dominate the game? IMHO, No. The stats show 56-44% in favour of Celtic. Hardly, complete domination. Celtic controlled much of the game but that is how Cluj set up. Let the opposition play in front of their defence but limit chances in the box. Hit on the break or draw a penalty through the efforts of Rondon and Omrani. For all our great play at halftime we were only one goal up. One slip and it would be tied! As I say the second goal was decisive.

Let us celebrate a fine victory but keep the heid with your expectations.


October 4, 2019 1:57 pm

TET at 1.50.

Spot on! It took me half a page to say that!


Noel Skytrot
October 4, 2019 2:10 pm


fair do’s, but I thought Cluj would have brought a bit more to the table, it was all a bit stop, start with them in my opinion, even though we played quite well. We’re going well in the group, so far. Long may it continue.

Noel Skytrot
October 4, 2019 2:14 pm

Has anyone read Stephen O’Donnell’s book- Tangled up in Blue?

Bada Bing
October 4, 2019 2:25 pm

Gordon, Bauer, Jozo, Bitton, Taylor, Arzani, Ntcham, Rogic, Sinclair, Bayo, Schved,Griffiths, Frimpong, Connell, didn’t play last night…..

October 4, 2019 3:05 pm

That’s a very impressive list above that would scalp a lot of teams.
O Connor and Alofabi could also be added.
We are looking good right now and long may it last.
Not even mentioned in footballscotland,,, you would think we weren’t playing last night.
Now their allegiance is clear I will avoid.
Hail Hail

October 4, 2019 3:07 pm

Great result last night and Celtic sit top of group E with 4 points from 2 games – brilliant.
Impressed with the fitness level of the team last night especially Ryan C. I think PL must be considering offering him another contract extension. Players with his engine and skill set are in demand and I fully expect interest from the EPL in the near future. I also was convinced that Mo Elyounoussi would be subbed at half time as I couldn’t see what he was adding to the team – Just proves I know heehaw as he came on to a game the 2nd period.
Boli Bolingoli still gives me ‘the fear’. His game has improved greatly and he certainly has an afterburn but his 1st touch isn’t the best and he still tends to be caught out of position defensively. Hopefully these wee issues will be improved on as his turn of speed is a great asset to have and his wee dinked cross for Eddy to score from was pin point accurate.
Calmac showed glimpses of the player we know he can be last night and here is hoping he is getting his ‘mojo’ back.
Broonie played a captains role and was brilliant but my MOTM goes to Ryan C – what a player the young guy is becoming.
Big Fraser continues to do what we know he can do – a great bit of business getting the big English man back and hopefully we’ll be able to sign him on a permanent deal as he could and should be our 1st choice keeper for the next few seasons.

Now for a bit of constructive criticism on a couple of issues. Our final ball, on a few occasions we found ourselves in a good position only for the final ball to go to the wrong player or miss the intended recipient. On one occasion Lenny jumped from his seat to voice his anger at another pass going astray. Also Big Julien needs a bit of coaching from Sutton or Henke on where to head a ball when in on goal. Twice yesterday within a couple of minutes he was in a goal scoring position with only the keeper to beat under little pressure from defenders yet he put one chance over the bar and another at a comfortable level for the keeper to save. IMHO he should have buried one. Overly critical? Yes as he had a very good game in defence and scoring goals isn’t his primary role however this being European football missed chances may well prove costly – IE exactly what happened to Sevco yesterday 🙂

Match verdict – brilliant day at the office for both Management and team – well done bhoys

October 4, 2019 3:12 pm

Must say I think Cluj are a decent side. They have already beaten Lazio and that alone proves they are no pushovers.
However I thought Celtic were superb last night, we played as a team and there wasn’t one passenger on the side, Brown,Christie,Elyounoussi, Edouard, Boli & CalMac were all credible contenders for man of the match And Forster, Elhamed, Julien,Ajer & Forrest weren’t far behind.
For me this was a throwback to the Henrik/Sutton era when Parkhead was feared by every team in Europe. It follows on a very decent performance against Rennes, and it’s given me hope that this team can restore our European reputation.
At this stage it’s still just a hope but if we can repeat this against Lazio then that hope will start to turn into belief.
It could & should have been more than 2 but that is only a small criticism, we created so many breaks but just couldn’t deliver the killer cross but this team is evolving, they are playing with a smile on their face , they get the Celtic thing and are now playing football the Glasgow Celtic way.
Unfortunately the League we play in and the surfaces we have to play on means we will be dragged into dog fights in the domestic game, that and trying to break down 10 men defenses would wear you out but that is all the more reason to cherish European games and to celebrate performances like last night.

October 4, 2019 4:03 pm

The Arsenal sound like the team to beat so far this tournament. Some big names in there ,, the last 16 will read like a Champions league draw from back in the 90s more than likely.
Big well done also to Ludogrets who have two wins in two to top their group. A surprise package it seems.
Hail Hail

October 4, 2019 5:26 pm


Hope you’re well, fella.

You mention Arsenul.

You know, it’s a stick on, young KT will be returning to CP this season in a Gunners kit.

That’s this game’s sense of humour for you.

My prediction, 3-2 to the famous Glasgow Celtic football team. Not sure what the away score will be though ?

A draw…. ??

Bada Bing
October 4, 2019 5:27 pm

News is reaching us today, via a number of sources, on the topic of Club 1872 and the Rangers share offer.

Despite trying various avenues to have the story verified, we have so far been unsuccessful. Whilst we genuinely hope it is not the case, we can only share the story in order that the matter may be cleared up. 

Over the past few months, we became increasingly worried about the manner in which Club 1872 were endlessly begging for contributions, one off financial gifts and attempting to raise funding by any means possible. We found it strange and something we might expect, not from an organisation associated with our club or it’s fans, but from our rivals. 

The obvious use of emotional blackmail was thoroughly distasteful and reeked of desperation. Today, we are being told that Club 1872, unbeknownst to members, secured funding to participate in the Rangers share issue by way of a loan agreed several weeks ago. 

If there is any truth in this story, Club 1872 has to make its members fully aware of the loan, its terms and the financial implications therein. If you are a C1872 member, you have a duty to ask the organisation why, if this is the case, you were not informed. Why were you constantly asked for more contributions when funding was already in place? Why you were duped into thinking funds to buy the shares had yet to be secured? Why you were now being asked to hand over cash from the C1872 projects account to the shares account? 

We truly hope this story can be verified as false and that the Directors of Club 1872 have not deceived its members. Many individuals are now spreading this information over social media and it’s a matter that desperately needs cleared up. The fans certainly don’t need to be the victims of any further subterfuge after the goings on of 2012. 

It would be a thoroughly despicable act should any organisation embark on such a scheme of dishonesty, double dealing, duplicity and deception. Will Club 1872 respond to these latest accusations, or will they remain quiet as they did when questioned over Chris “The Muslim Baiter” Graham’s involvement a few weeks ago? God Bless Our Team

The above lifted from one of their sites

October 4, 2019 5:37 pm


So now it’s the pesky fenians that are to blame for their financial in-thieving… ??
Stupid huns.

In other news, I hear that loveable left back (in the opposition’s half) perma-grin Boli is the nephew of Basile Boli (played for Marseilles, occasionally) . Unless I misheard this in all the excitement and it was actually “the Brasil goalie” ?

Mike in Toronto
October 4, 2019 6:08 pm

last night was a good performance, of that there is no doubt… and, Cluj are not a bad team… but last night we made them look very ordinary ….

so, how did we go from so poor (and, yes, we were poor ) in the first game, to much mproved in the second cluj game…

while it is important sometimes to focus on the positives (how much we have improved since the first Cluj game), we cant get so caught up in the euphoria, that we fail to heed the lessons …

the reality is that, in the biggest game of our season to date (one step away from the CL and may 15 – 15 million), we failed …. other results don’t make that untrue …

based on last night, the harsh reality is that we look a much better side than Cluj… which is great… but, the flip side of this is, if true, we got knocked out by a much poorer team, when it really counted ..

it is not often that you get the chance to do a side by side study like this … Cluj 1 v. Cluj 2 ….squads, teams, tactics …

some players that were poor in the first game were very good last night… does that mean that they did not do enough work in the off season to be ready to hit the ground running?

would the result in game 1 been different had Boli started at LB? Was that on NFL?

were the team not ready for the start of the season? if that is the case, was it that we didnt get players in early enough to have them bedded in (and playing the way they did last night)…. Is that on PL?

I’ll give it some thought (may even go back and watch the games again,) and may put my thoughts on here …

but, interested in people’s thoughts on what, if anything, can be learned…as Santayana said, if you dont know history, you are doomed to repeat it…

October 4, 2019 6:13 pm

Uber aye I’m grand cheers. Enjoyed a trip back to Brexit land recently. Settling back into the daily grind here which I find easier than there I must admit.
Kt ,, one day but this season would take the biscuit. In saying that the Gods have a hell of a sense of humor so that’s not to be discounted.

That Club1872 thing is corruption just waiting to take place.
Properly done it’s a winner though. Would live to see us do it right.
Hail Hail

Awe Naw
October 4, 2019 6:21 pm

I wonder if that will be the string that broke Kings back? I would imagine that any loans that the Union Bears obtain is securitized against an ever dwindling shareholding in Sevco therefore I cannot see any financiers providing loans on this basis. Maybe one of the directors agreed to become guarantor? Not King no one in the UK will touch him unless it’s a private arrangement between him and the Union Bears.

,big packy
October 4, 2019 6:21 pm

MIKE IN TORONTO, hi mike good analasis, let me know when you have watched the games again, will look forward to you putting your thoughts on here, hope you and seamus are well .hh.

Awe Naw
October 4, 2019 6:27 pm

I was going to start that debate last night but it will only end up with Lenny or Brendan getting the blame. Michael Stewart noted last night that Lenny used his first Celtic EL experience to build a CL team which the club immediately flogged. We’ve been here before

October 4, 2019 6:48 pm


If,say,Boli had been picked for the first Cluj game and played as well as he did last night,things may have been different. We might have been playing on the Tuesday or Wednesday night,for instance.

But let’s be honest-Boli was struggling at the time. Had we played him that night,we might not have seen him at all last night. It could have wrecked his career with us.

The first game was a disaster. Poor selections,poor tactics,poor game management. But also down to poor recruitment policies.

It’s gone. Last night was a huge plus. That’s what I’d prefer to dwell on at the moment.

October 4, 2019 6:49 pm


For me it’s obvious and the same problem we’ve had for years.

The signing policy.

The board have ignored the weaknesses in defence for years. It’s been blatant, that’s what makes it so frustrating and bizarre.

And we saw under BR what happens to a team where that weakness is left to fester.
Confidence goes, and you get gubbed by decent teams.

The signings this time (made too late for the CL) demonstrate more than ever the importance of strengthening when needed.

But we have only been focusing on selling. Sell sell sell.


I didnt want to be negative, but I fully expect us to be weakened again during the winter window, then again even further in the summer.

The summer signings are proving to be excellent. PL bought himself another few years at the last minute, and well he knows it

This season is going to be the one in five where we feel good. That’s the way it will be until the tory wankers are gone from CP.

The Exiled Tim
October 4, 2019 6:54 pm

Sadly the biggest problem for me was Ryan Christie’s performance last night, it will have been noted by lots of people.
Pedro will be creaming himself

October 4, 2019 6:55 pm

Packy, if you believe for one moment that Joan andI share a birthday then you take me for an idiot. You and I are are finished. unless you tell the truth.?

October 4, 2019 6:56 pm

Re playing Boli and Julien, didnt Lenny explain as well that using some modern tech of some kind, they knew that both the new signings weren’t ready fitness wise, and playing them would be a serious risk to their confidence.
So the answer is that they should have been signed and in place much sooner.
But the glorious spreadheet must have saved a few pennies….albeit it costing us £30M in CL cash a few weeks later.

Meanwhile, I see on the other channel today the usual references from the echo chamber stalwarts referring to other supporters as angrycelts.org, bed wetters, panty wetters etc etc.
Baffles me how the same 7 or 8 of these people can’t wait to tear into fellow Celtic supporters after a good result, yet will defend to the death their beloved Pedro and his tory board.
Surely there’s a name for people like this ? ?

October 4, 2019 6:57 pm

Last season Celtic played their first preseason friendly on 28/6/2017 & finished the season v Aberdeen in Cup Final on 13 th. May 2018, In between they played 6 Friendlies, 38 League Games, 4 League Cup Games, 5 Cup Games & 14 European games.
67 Games in Total, 61 Competitive.
This Season our close season again lasted 44 days & we were off again with an extra European Qualifier to play, our Friendlies were cut by 2 to cater for earlier European Games. WE have already played 10 European Games with another 4 to come, if we get out of Group and progress in domestic Cups we will exceed 61 Competitive Games this Season.
Many of our first team squad also play International Football.
Callum McGregor played in 59 of our Competitive games last year & also played 8 times for Scotland that is 67 Competitive Games in one season.

October 4, 2019 7:02 pm


Apologies- I have been out all day.

Sandman ratings are to be found on The Celtic Star site.

And, everyone I asked about that quote said Scott Brown but it’s not the right answer.

Here’s the follow-up clue-

“his best performance still remains as dandy Ruby Rhod in The Fifth Element…”

Broony does not fit that line

Bada Bing
October 4, 2019 7:07 pm

A good Bhoy on here yesterday wanted Broonie dropped last night…?

Bada Bing
October 4, 2019 7:09 pm

Awe Naw- any sums of money to do with that mob since they started up has been stolen, from the fat badge seller,to ‘Charity Games’, a gang of thieves inside and outside the Klub

October 4, 2019 7:11 pm

No I’m stumped. 5th element ref has me extra stumped.

Mit,,I would say the dozen or so games between the ties has bedded in a style of play and trust in each other plus the system.
That comes with games only and not necessarily friendlies or pre season. That needs real proper pressure games to facilitate the cohesion.
Players in situ is key ie having each player bedded in before big games arrive. That needs a DoF really. Brand new players in new positions at new club is a recipe for disaster.
We are looking good on that front now is the good news.
Hail Hail from a sunny yet pretty cool central California

The Exiled Tim
October 4, 2019 7:15 pm

Everything boils down to the need for a proper DoF

October 4, 2019 7:18 pm

TET, The new DOF should be Fan A Tic.