Celtic travelled to Stadionul Dr. Constantin Rădulescu to take on Romanian heavyweights Cluj in the third round of the Champions League qualifiers. The Hoops secured a 1-1 draw, a result which they would be happy about as Cluj had better chances.
The away side were a bit off the pace in the first few minutes as Cluj created some good chances as they were direct in their approach. Celtic were pressed higher up the pitch, and anyone who thought that this was going to be a walkover for the Scottish heavyweights was definitely wrong. The home team opened the scoring as Mario Rondon scored on the break. Celtic equalised soon through James Forrest who finished smartly.
Cluj started the second half positively, and they came close to getting the winner on various occasions. Celtic were pinned in their half for the most parts. The goal never came in the second half, and both teams had to be satisfied with a draw. Cluj would be disappointed as they were the better side on the day.
Here is how Lennon’s men fared on the night.
Scott Bain 5.5
Got nutmegged for the first goal. His handling wasn’t the best as he spilt one shot in a dangerous area. Played well with the ball at his feet.
Kristoffer Ajer 5.5
His positioning was off in the first half as he allowed one free header. Got some crucial blocks but not the best of the night for the defender.
Jozo Simunovic 7
Covered well at the back and looked solid for the most parts. Had to go off with an injury.
Hatem Abd Elhamed 7
Assisted the opener as he found Forrest smartly with a reverse pass instead of taking an orthodox option and putting the ball near the six-yard box. Worked hard and did a top job at the back as well.
Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo 3
Was all over the place defensively as he was turned far too easily. Could have been smart and tried to play offside for Cluj’s goal. Wasn’t able to do much in attack as well. Concerning signs for Lennon if Tierney departs.
Scott Brown 6
Not the best of games for the captain as he wasn’t able to get on the ball much to influence play. Did the nitty-gritty job well.
Callum McGregor 5.5
McGregor is at his best when Celtic are in possession and Cluj dominated the game for the most parts. Did alright overall.
Ryan Christie 6.5
Made some darting runs and played with intensity and purpose. Had to do a lot of defensive work in the second half as Celtic were pinned in their half.
Lewis Morgan 4
Was poor with the ball as he was hardly able to carry the ball forward. Gave the ball away cheaply on occasions and failed to track back as well.
James Forrest 8
The best player on the pitch for Celtic. Finished smartly for the equaliser. Looked threatening with his trademark direct runs.
Odsonne Edouard 6
Took one decent attempt early on. Had to feed off scraps. Made some wrong decisions as he took a few long-range shots instead of passing the ball.
Nir Bitton 6
Took one yellow card for the team. Was a smart decision.
Olivier Ntcham 5
Provided some energy but was indecisive when he got the ball in good areas.
Christopher Jullien 6
Filled in well for Simunovic in the end.
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