Celtic’s Europa League rivals CFR Cluj suffered yet another setback as they lost 2-1 to Poli Iasi.
The result comes just days after reports of the Cluj staff and players not being paid bonuses that they were promised by the club. Dan Petrescu hit out at the club for not paying them what they were due, and stated that no team in Romanian football is financially stable (Daily Record).
And, just a day after those reports emerged, Cluj suffered a shock defeat to sixth-placed Poli Iasi. Valentine Costache gave the Romanian champions the lead on 10 minutes. However, Juan Pablo Passaglia equalised on half-time before Adria Gallego netted the winner with less than 15 minutes remaining.
It’s another setback for Cluj, who are currently Celtic’s main challengers for top spot in their Europa League group. So far, Cluj have managed to rack up six points from their three games, with Celtic a point better off.
Considering the crisis that seems to have overshadowed the feel-good results of recent times, it could be that Cluj are set to take a dark turn with regards to their form.
Cluj should be out of any rut by the time we turn up
When Celtic rock up in Romania on matchday six of their Europa League campaign, any crisis involving Petrescu’s men should be over. Celtic don’t travel to Cluj until December 12th. That’s still a while away yet.
Next up for Cluj in Europe is a home clash against Rennes. It will be intriguing to see whether they can follow up their stunning success in France with another positive result at home. For us, we would ideally want a Rennes victory in Romania to keep us top heading into matchday five.
But Cluj aren’t in a great place at the moment. Cluj have now actually won only three of their last eight games in all competitions. Their form isn’t one that you would link to a successful European side.
But they’ll fancy bouncing back in style against Academia Clinceni on Saturday. Academia are second-bottom in Romania, and therefore shouldn’t pose too much trouble for Petrescu’s men. They could view it as a chance to seriously get back on track with a few goals.
On a sidenote, Cluj were also trolled by a cheeky Iasi move off the pitch too. The Romanian side had all of their ballboys wearing Celtic strips to tease their visitors. It’s fair to say that it worked. Have a look at the tweet below:
Trolling level 100 was reached in Romania. All the ball boys at Poli Iasi – CFR wore Celtic Glasgow shirts to remind CFR's players of their defeat at Celtic Park 3 weeks ago. The mind games worked, as CFR lost 2-1. pic.twitter.com/pgIVFCmUay
— Emanuel Roşu (@Emishor) October 28, 2019