Player Ratings: Cluj 2-0 Celtic

By David Walton

December 12, 2019

It was a much-changed Celtic in Romania as they slipped to a poor 2-0 defeat to Cluj.

The game won’t be known for much. It was ultimately a disappointing result thanks to Burca’s second-half header and Djokovic’s 70th-minute strike, but with so many changes it was difficult to expect anything more from Celtic.

Olivier Ntcham captained Celtic in Cluj (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

So what about the individual player performances we hear you ask? Here’s a look at our ratings for each and every Celt after a forgetful European night:

Craig Gordon: 6

Some positive saves from Gordon in this one to deny Omrani, Deac, and Bordeianu. Also some concerning footwork in stages that Cluj could’ve profited upon. Had no chance with either goal.

Moritz Bauer: 5

Decent enough if not spectacular. Always offered himself as an option down the right but was caught out of position for Cluj’s second goal. Not the performance he would’ve liked.

Christopher Jullien: 5

Bit of an odd night for the big man. He looked to struggle with the physical challenge of Traore and Omrani. Gave away some needless fouls and also had some careless passes go to the opposition. Will have better days, and can count himself fortunate he isn’t suspended for the first-leg of the last-32. Hooked at half-time.

It wasn’t Christopher Jullien’s best night (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Nir Bitton: 6

Composed and reliable. Proved dominant in the air in the first half and didn’t look as though he struggled as much as his partner. Strode forward when he could and did the job he was there to do. Difficult to blame him for either goal after being exposed for the second in particular.

Boli Bolingoli: 6

He can chalk this one up as a positive return to action. Looked tidy on the ball and didn’t give much away. Combined well with the likes of Scott Robertson, Olivier Ntcham, and Mikey Johnston respectively. For a first game back from injury, he looked reasonably sharp. Did lose his man for the opener and did have some loose touches.

Scott Robertson: 7

Tremendously solid debut from the academy graduate. Had played in a couple of pre-season friendlies, but today was a bit of an acid test and he came through it well. Quick on the turn with a sharp first-touch. Passing was crisp all night and never looked out of place. More opportunities will surely come for the youngster.

Scott Robertson made an impressive debut tonight (Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Olivier Ntcham: 6

Took the captaincy and put in a shift. Strides through games with ease and did well for 45 minutes tonight, Would’ve liked to get forward more, but he was dictating things for Celtic in the first half. Seemed to go missing in the second as Cluj took a grip on things.

Lewis Morgan: 5

Just didn’t inspire all night. Played in a more natural wide-right position yet still didn’t look confident. Tried to take his man on at times, but struggles when he gets crowded on the ball. Needs to start stepping up a bit more. Another game where he can’t say he took his opportunity.

Mikey Johnston was again our best performer (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Mikey Johnston: 7

Our biggest spark. His dribbling on the ball helped carry us forward into good areas at times. Came close with a fine first-half effort that flew wide. Deserved a goal for such a lively performance, but another positive sign that he’s fully recovered from his injury set-backs.

Scott Sinclair: 5

Anonymous. If Sinclair is to find a way back into the Celtic team, he has to perform better than this. Hardly got into the game, and when he did have a run at the opposition he often lost possession with his pass. Looks to have bulked up in strength, but needs to rediscover his technique.

Leigh Griffiths: 6

Flashes of quality from Griffiths as he held the ball up well on some occasions. On others, he was overpowered by Cluj’s centre-backs. His movement caused them some bother, but he still doesn’t look 100% up to speed. He’ll have hoped to have made more of an impact tonight.


Kristoffer Ajer (6): Slotted into the game with ease after coming on at half-time. Tried to step out and create space, but his attacking influence was limited. No real individual errors and always looked to take responsibility. Vakoun Bayo (3): No impact despite having 25 minutes to make an impression. Karamoko Dembele (3): On for the final 15 minutes or so and did some hard yards. A special night for him.