Full-time - 90'
0 - 0
18:45 +00:00, October 1, 2008
Stadionul Dr. Constantin Radulescu
Referee: Florian Meyer
Full time, and well done Cluj!! In truth they restricted Chelsea to few chances, and probably had the best one themselves when Trica hit the post. Chelsea also have to live with an injury to Didier Drogba that could well result in a long lay-off. Thanks for your company. Until next time.
Last chance goes to Chelsea after a huge punt downfield from Cech. He runs on to Cadu's header but hits his half volley two yards wide.
Lampard swings in the free kick and that will be a Chelsea corner. Oh, hang on, its a goal kick. Poor decision that.
Two minutes added and Dani is carded after tripping Belletti.
Kone, who looks pretty ungainly, does well to win a corner and the crowd go nuts. Twenty seconds left...
Change for Cluj, Didi is on for Trica, the man who hit the post.
Bridge swings in the ball, Anelka is alone at the back post but tries to bring the ball down instead of hitting it first time and the chance is lost.
Cech saves from Pereira! The left back burst into the box and unloaded a shot from 12 yards out that the keeper does well to turn behind. Belletti at fault there.
Cluj have a good chance to break but stand static instead of pushing on, then Lampard's ball is poor as he looks for Anelka over the top.
What a ball from Lampard! A first time looping pass over the top for Belletti, who took it down well but screwed his shot wide from a tricky angle. Sublime vision and execution from Lamps though.
Di Santo clips a ball into Ballack but he is crowded out, as has been the case all game, and Cluj clear. They are scrapping for their lives at the back.
Trica's shot clipped the outside of the post in fact! Cech was static. What a story that would have been!
Cluj's best chance! Alex gets in a mess, Kone battles hard and then Trica flashes a shot marginally wide from the edge of the area with Cech beaten! So nearly 1-0!!
Anelka has been carded for legitimately trying to get on the end of a Lampard flick on. His boot was up but then he had the chance to score so he's entitled to go for it in my opinion.
Sorry to have to inform you Chelsea fans but the news on Drogba is not good. There's talk of ligament damage and a possible fracture too. If so, that's a long time out.
Liverpool 3-0 PSV. Steven Gerrard with his 100th goal for the club, a bullet free-kick.
Crikey, Di Santo nearly scored with his first touch after trying to get involved straight away at the throw in. his header goes just wide with the keeper stranded.
Chelsea change, Malouda off and Franco Di Santo on to make his Champions League debut.
Werder have equalised against Inter through Pizarro.
Lampard finds a bit of space and launches one towards the top corner, Stanicoiu is across to catch.
Malouda curls an inswinger in, and though it flicks off a Chelsea head it hits De Sousa and falls kindly for Muresan to clear.
Now Pereira gets booked after hammering the ball into Mikel after Chelsea had been awarded a free kick. Silly boy.
Lampard tries to slip a ball through for Malouda, but Pereira clears. Throw in.
Its all got very scrappy. Belletti lucky to get away with a blatant handball there.
Terry goes up for the header but Stanicoiu claims.
Lampard is trying to get a grip on the game but failing. He spreads it wide for Bridge and he wins a corner.
Now Cluj break downfield and earn a little breather. We need a goal, I've decided.
A good spell of pressure for Chelsea but no chances to show for it.
Anelka has gone up top and Lampard, Ballack and Malouda will all try and get up in support.
So another reshuffle for Chelsea, and another injury for Drogba. It looked like a twist of the knee or ankle. Could be another lengthy lay-off perhaps.
Looks like Drogba is going to have to come off. Belletti will be his replacement. A gracious round of applause from the Cluj fans as Drogba leaves on a stretcher.
Super ball from Alex, a cracking cross from Malouda and De Sousa gets to the ball before Drogba can connect. He's down too, the striker. Looks a little more serious than his usual antics though.
The game has gone a bit flat since the break. Chelsea definitely looking more potent with Anelka joining Drogba up top though.
Now Drogba flicks a header wide after a decent ball in from Bridge. Hint of an elbow from Cadu there too.
Chelsea's best chance. Lampard gives it wide to Anelka, who dinks in a little chip that the midfielder tries to convert but Muresan stayed with Lamps and helps it behind for a corner.
An excellent tackle from Cadu chops down Anelka as he galloped towards the penalty area. Should have offloaded that earlier the Incredible Sulk.
Then Kone wins a free kick off Terry and Culio whacks it in but Cech is equal to it.
Bosingwa gets past Pereira but his cross is too near Stanicoiu.
We're off and a change to tell you about, Kalou is off and Anelka is on.
Well, that is half time and Cluj having a good go at it. Sitting very deep when they don't have the ball and lacking composure when they head forward but Chelsea can't break them down at all. Stay tuned...
Lampard swings in a free kick and De Sousa nods the ball out of his keeper's hands. Throw in on the right for Chelsea.
Now John Terry is taking it upon himself to push forward, such is the lack of openings up front.
Lampard takes it square, as Drogba had peeled away, but the striker couldn't make a decent connection on the ball. A chance, especially by his standards.
Chelsea win a free kick this time, on the right flank, as Drogba is wrestled to the deck by De Sousa.
Alex has been carded for a challenge on Kone. A little bit harsh perhaps, unless he gave the ref some backchat.
Cluj are sitting so deep when Chelsea have the ball they are almost level with their 18-yard box. It means there is zero space for Chelsea to work in, and they are getting a little frustrated by the looks of it.
A poor ball from Mikel flies over Bridge's head and the Blues (or yellows in this case) look a bit rattled here.
Chance! Pereira has flashed in a shot from the left channel and though Cech seemed like he was comfortable, from this angle it looked mighty close!
Robbie Keane has got his first Liverpool goal, they lead PSV 2-0 now. Myself and soccernet colleague Dom Raynor both agreed before kick-off Keane would get off the mark tonight. So there.
Well, that was poor. Cluj took it short and though Cadu's cross found Trica, his volley didn't trouble Cech at all. They'd have been better off crossing I reckon.
Now Tony wins a free-kick off Malouda in a decent area. Its about 30 yards out, level with the angle of the penalty area.
Another nice break from Culio, he picks out Kone but the striker had strayed offside, again.
Excellent tackle from Bosingwa as Pereira looked to get into the area after a neat ball from Kone. A good spell for the home side, which means Chelsea are bound to score within five minutes....
Fancy footwork from Kalou but Malouda is offside when he receives the flick.
The roof nearly comes off as Trica tries to connect on the volley with Culio's cross but shanks it wide. If Cluj do score the eruption of noise will be frightening.
Another hilarious Cluj dive as Kone goes over like he's been cut down with an AK47 after Lampard's challenge. Should have been a booking for simulation that.
Stancioiu is out again as Bosingwa's overcooks his through ball.
Then Mikel wangs in a low shot at the other end which Stancioiu gets right behind.
Dubarbier embarks on the most ambitious dribble in football history, trying to take on and beat eight Chelsea defenders who had all assembled in the penalty area. Guess what? He failed.
Drogba shows his first flash of class as he works a shooting chance for himself before blazing it well over the bar.
Tony slides in quickly on Drogba as Chelsea looked to break. Great name for a right back that. Tony.
Good closing down from Chelsea; they very nearly harried Muresan into a mistake there. As it is, Ballack gives away the foul.
Ballack riles the crowd by shouting at Pereira for play-acting, and replays show it clearly was a callous dive. Ballack didn't even get within a foot of the left back. Naughty naughty.
Pereira chances a risky pass back to his keeper as Drogba was lurking. Stancioiu manages to get there first though.
Kone gets up well to clear at the near post and Cluj, who are defending hilariously deep when Chelsea have the ball, can regroup.
Lampard pings one looking for Drogba but Dubarbier gets a flick on it. Corner.
Inter are one up against Werder, Maicon with the goal.
Trica has a pop this time, but his effort was always looping over Cech's net and old headgear himself watches it fly over the bar.
Another decent passage of play from Cluj but Dani strayed offside as Trica searched for a killer pass. A bright start from the home side...
Now the ref penalises Culio for a trip on Bosingwa, but the right-back slipped all by himself.
What a surprise, Didier Drogba is down inside ten minutes. Astonishing, who'd have thunk it? He gets a minimal brush in the face from Cadu and goes down like he'd been on the end of a Mike Tyson right-hander. Oh look, he's up again.
A nice Chelsea move sees Lampard and Kalou involved, but Ballack just couldn't get on the end of the link up.
Kone muscles Alex off the ball and fires in a shot that flies well wide. The crowd got very excited about that one...
First goal of the night in the Champions League is at Anfield; Dirk Kuyt has given Liverpool an early lead against PSV.
Trica tries to get down the left but falls over the ball. Impressive.
A huge roar goes up as a hopeful ball over the top from Muresan nearly reaches Kone, Cech is out to tidy up though.
Some decent noise coming from the faithful home support...
Of course, the most famous titbit of information about Cluj Napoca, is that its the home town of The Cheeky Girls, a pop abomination, who now reside in London and churn out rubbish dud after rubbish dud. Search for them on t'interweb if you don't believe me and prepare to be astonished. Or appalled.
Things have obviously changed since then, with two new stands having gone up and Cluj securing the league and cup double last year - the first time the national champions had come from outside the capital Bucharest. I wonder if the toothless guy who starts all the chanting with a megaphone is still there?
I was sitting in a restaurant in Cluj minding my own business in the summer of 2005 when a swarm of footy fans went past singing and shouting. My pal and I decided to follow them, ended up at a ramshackle ground 15 minutes out of town and watched Cluj beat another Romanian team 2-0. There can't have been more than 5,000 people there, and you always felt it was on the verge of kicking off. Cracking fun it were.
Of course, it was a low-key Champions League debut for Cluj and their sugar daddy. Just a stunning 2-1 win over As Roma in the Stade Olimpico, no less. Emmanuel Culio was the hero, bagging both goals. Chelsea beware....
And Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, Bridge, Mikel, Kalou, Ballack, Lampard, Malouda and Drogba. Subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Di Santo, Ferreira, Belletti, Anelka and Stoch.
Right enough historical and anecdotal musings, here is the CFR Cluj-Napoca line-up: Stancioiu, Tony, Souza, Cadu, Pereira, Culio, Muresan, Dani, Dubarbier, Yssouf Kone and Trica. Subs from: Nuno Claro, Panin, Hugo Alcantara, Deac, Emmanuel Kone, Didi and Ruiz.
Only five years ago Cluj were playing in the third division in Romania but their steady rise has been on the back of a fella known as the Romanian Abramovich, Árpád Pászkány, who has splashed out on a new stadium and new players since he took over in 2002. Now he has Champions League footy in Cluj. That's a swift rise to fame eh?
As you can imagine, the tele and radio stations have gone Dracula nuts given the whiff of Translyvania in their nostrils, but actually Vlad the Impaler (or Vlad Tepes as he is sometimes known) was born in Sighişoara, a good 150km away. Bit of history for you there. Cluj itself, is a cracking little town though, I can say that confidently, having travelled through there three years ago.
Good evening one and all and welcome to live coverage of CFR Cluj against Chelsea in Group A of the Champions League from deepest darkest Transylvania with me, Chris Murphy.
Franco Di Santo
John Mikel Obi
Franco Di Santo