CFR 1907 Cluj tasted UEFA Champions League defeat for the first time when FC Girondins de Bordeaux got their challenge up and running with a narrow victory but the Romanian champions hope to turn the tables at home.
Article top media content
Having won at AS Roma and held Chelsea FC to a 0-0 draw in Romania, CFR 1907 Cluj might have expected to add to their points tally on Matchday 3 as they faced a FC Girondins de Bordeaux side who had lost their first two games while conceding seven goals. Bordeaux's 1-0 victory makes it all terribly tight in Group A with one point separating three teams.
• Despite the defeat at the Stade Chaban-Delmas, with an own goal by their captain Cadú early in the second half dividing the teams, CFR remain second in the section with four points, three behind leaders Chelsea and one ahead of both Bordeaux and Roma. They will be looking to strengthen that position as they face the French club again on home soil.
• The Romanian champions gave a good account of themselves in their previous home game, making life difficult for Chelsea, last season's UEFA Champions League runners-up. The fixture at the CFR Stadium was short on clear-cut chances though Eugen Trică passed up an excellent first-half opportunity and then hit the outside of the post after the break.
• On Matchday 1 Maurizio Trombetta's team proved that their debut appearance at Europe's top table need not be an occasion to fear as they secured a stunning 2-1 victory at Roma. After going behind, the visitors silenced the home crowd by the force of their comeback. Argentinian midfielder Juan Culio equalised on 27 minutes before volleying the winner early in the second half.
• Before this season, CFR had only a UEFA Intertoto Cup final and a UEFA Cup second qualifying round tie to their name in Europe. In the 2005 UEFA Intertoto Cup campaign they faced two French opponents. They met AS Saint-Etienne in the third round, drawing 1-1 at home and 2-2 away to go through on away goals. Then in the final they faced RC Lens and again started off with a 1-1 draw at home. This time, however, the away leg went against them, ending 3-1 to Lens.
• Bordeaux's third tilt at gaining success in Europe's premier club competition was always likely to be a tough assignment. However, they surely would have hoped for better than to be on the wrong end of a 4-0 scoreline against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and a 3-1 reverse at their own Stade Chaban-Delmas against Roma. The game in London began to go away from the Ligue 1 club in the 14th minute when Frank Lampard headed Chelsea in front. It was 2-0 by half-time, with two more goals slipping past goalkeeper Ulrich Ramé in the final ten minutes.
• Two weeks later the French team suffered in the face of Roma's determined fightback after Yoann Gourcuff's fine effort had shot the home side ahead. Henrique's 36th-minute dismissal proved disastrous for the hosts and, with two goals in seven second-half minutes, the Italian outfit turned the contest around. Substitute Júlio Baptista completed the victory with his second of the game late on.
• Their victory against CFR on Matchday 3 was all the more welcome because it was only Bordeaux's third in their last 17 fixtures in the competition. Indeed, in four of their previous eight home UEFA Champions League games they had failed to get on the scoresheet.
• Coach Laurent Blanc's club have only met opposition from Romania on two previous occasions in European competition and they were both played more than 20 years ago. They faced FC Universitatea Craiova in the 1982/83 UEFA Cup third round, losing 2-0 away and winning 1-0 at home. Two years later, FC Dinamo 1948 Bucureşti were their opponents in the second round of the European Champion Clubs' Cup, Bordeaux drawing 1-1 away and winning 1-0 at home.
• Gourcuff scored France's second goal in the 2-2 draw with Romania in the FIFA World Cup qualifying tie in Constanta on 11 October. Team-mate Alou Diarra also appeared while Gabriel Mureşan was on duty for Romania.
• Roma host Chelsea in the group's other game.