climbed top of their group and went some way to avenging their shock exit to Cluj by convincingly beating the ns in Glasgow.

The Scottish champions were dumped out of the third qualifying round in August by Dan Petrescu’s side, but Neil Lennon’s men coasted to victory to follow up their draw in Rennes.

Odsonne Edouard started off in the first half before netted his first goal for the club after the break.

There was no real danger of a repeat of the shock that halted two months ago, despite Kevin Boli rightly having his effort for the visitors ruled out for offside with the game at 1-0.

Rennes’ 2-1 defeat in Rome now means Neil Lennon’s side go into the double header against Serie A giants Lazio, starting off in Glasgow in three weeks’ time, in a strong position with a one-point lead.

turn dominance in to goals

Petrescu took unwell in Glasgow on the eve of the game and ducked out of his pre-match media commitments. wanted to make sure they did little to aid his recovery, and left him truly sick to his stomach with the way they set about this match.

Few in the stadium were surprised when Boli Bolingoli crossed delightfully on to the head of Edouard to send into a rapturous rendition of their favourite Stone Roses hit I wanna to be adored, with the lyrics slightly adapted to I wanna be Edouard.

It left Cluj facing the music for failing to withstand the torrent. And I don’t just mean the incessant rain that made the surface extra skiddy. When the n champions came to town in mid August, a flat start from made life very comfortable for the visitors. Not the case at all this time around.

As the heavens opened, poured forward straight away, threatening to flood their opponents in a deluge of chances. Twice they could have scored earlier via the towering figure of defender Christopher Jullien but the Frenchman’s first header was well saved and the second was wayward, sailing over the bar. was played in but his delivery across goal had no takers.

There is no VAR in the but the officials were still quick to cut Boli’s celebrations short by a flag for offside. The correct call, TV replays would later show. Try telling that to the Cluj players, who howled their protests at the German referee Daniel Siebert.

Europa League Group E table

Not as loudly as the fans derided Mario Rondon for a blatant dive as half time approached, as he tried to con the ref into awarding a penalty. The home fans’ standing section, housing the Green Brigade, displayed a banner before kick off which exclaimed ‘Aint nothing wrong with getting knocked down, it’s staying down that’s wrong’. It was a body-blow for the club being sent packing from the on their own patch by Cluj in August. They were determined, despite the black clouds overhead, that lightning wouldn’t strike twice.

What they craved was a second goal to turn their dominance into a more tangible advantage. Forrest almost provided it just after halftime but shot wide. But just when Cluj thought they had weathered the storm, Mohamed Elyanoussi picked the right night to score his first goal for . On loan from , he started and finished a flowing move, albeit his shot spun past the keeper on the greasy surface after taking a huge deflection off a defender. Not an hour played, and the Scottish champions two goals to the good.

At the other end, they needed Fraser Forster to stay alert, and he did, tipping Billel Omrani’s dangerous shot across his goal away from danger. Up the other end sprinted, with skipping through the raindrops to bring another tidy save from the Cluj keeper. Incessant rain; non-stop action as Cluj tried to claw a way back while threatened on the counter; vociferous backing from the royally-entertained fans; Parkhead was surely built for nights like this as strolled to the top of group E ahead of a double-header with Italians Lazio.

And they could have enjoyed their night even more. was a whisker away from touching in a fine Elyanoussi cross while Odsonne Edourd fired just over in the last few minutes as he sought a second, and a third for his team.

What a difference a few weeks make. Down and out of the after scoring three times against Cluj but conceding one more, this looks and feels like a different . Their aim is an football in the New Year. Two matches into the group, they’ve made promising progress down that road already.

Man of the match – Boli Bolingoli

There were several contenders in a shirt. Edouard was excellent up front, ably assisted by wide men Forrest and Elyanoussi. Brown, Christie and McGregor rarely put a foot wrong in midfield. But I’m going further back in the team for my man of the match.

Last time Cluj were in town, Boli Bolingoli was dropped after a very shaky start to his career and midfielder Calum McGregor took his place against the ns. How he’s grown into life in Scotland since. His pace down the left hand side caused Cluj problems all night; he provided a fine assist for the first goal, placing the ball delightfully onto Edouard’s forehead; and wasn’t afraid to try his own luck either.

An outrageous effort with the outside of his left boot flew just over before he made the visiting keeper Arlauskis work properly shortly thereafter with a powerful long range shot. His performance wasn’t a total bed of roses; he still has a mistake in him and made a few tonight but for his energy, enthusiasm, willingness to work – added to the undoubted quality he possesses in the opponent’s half – I’ll give the Belgian fullback the man of the match award.

Line-ups

  • 67Forster
  • 33Elhamed
  • 2JullienBooked at 46mins
  • 35Ajer
  • 23Bolingoli-Mbombo
  • 8Brown
  • 42McGregorBooked at 25mins
  • 49ForrestSubstituted forHayesat 86′minutes
  • 17ChristieSubstituted forNtchamat 90′minutes
  • 27Elyounoussi
  • 22EdouardBooked at 88mins

Substitutes

  • 1Gordon
  • 6Bitton
  • 11Sinclair
  • 13Bauer
  • 15Hayes
  • 18Rogic
  • 21Ntcham

CFR Cluj

  • 87Arlauskis
  • 16Susic
  • 3Burca
  • 21Boli
  • 45Malino Paulino
  • 6Coimbra AurélioSubstituted forCulioat 57′minutes
  • 37Bordeianu
  • 8DjokovicBooked at 51minsSubstituted forGolofcaat 81′minutes
  • 9Omrani
  • 99RondónBooked at 42minsSubstituted forPaunat 70′minutes
  • 10Deac

Substitutes

  • 1Fernández Collado
  • 7Paun
  • 19Culio
  • 23Golofca
  • 28Hoban
  • 77Peteleu
  • 92Cestor
Referee:
Daniel Siebert

Match Stats

Home TeamAway TeamCFR Cluj
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home17
Away8
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home7
Away3
Fouls
Home7
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, 2, CFR Cluj 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, 2, CFR Cluj 0.

Attempt missed. Juan Emmanuel Culio (CFR Cluj) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Foul by Mateo Susic (CFR Cluj).

Booking

Odsonne Edouard () is shown the yellow card.

Offside, . Scott Brown tries a through ball, but Odsonne Edouard is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Odsonne Edouard () left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by .

Attempt missed. Abdel Billel Omrani (CFR Cluj) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ciprian Deac with a cross following a set piece situation.

Foul by Scott Brown ().

Catalin Golofca (CFR Cluj) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Corner, CFR Cluj. Conceded by Hatem Elhamed.

Substitution

Substitution, CFR Cluj. Catalin Golofca replaces Damjan Djokovic.

Attempt missed. () left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo.

Callum McGregor () wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Damjan Djokovic (CFR Cluj).

Offside, CFR Cluj. Alexandru Paun tries a through ball, but Ciprian Deac is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Alexandru Paun (CFR Cluj) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ciprian Deac.

Offside, . Hatem Elhamed tries a through ball, but Christopher Jullien is caught offside.

Corner, . Conceded by Kevin Boli.

Foul by Mihai Bordeianu (CFR Cluj).

Substitution

Substitution, CFR Cluj. Alexandru Paun replaces Mario Rondón.

Offside, CFR Cluj. Abdel Billel Omrani tries a through ball, but Juan Emmanuel Culio is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Camora (CFR Cluj) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Odsonne Edouard ().

Andrei Burca (CFR Cluj) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Ciprian Deac (CFR Cluj) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Camora.

Foul by Mateo Susic (CFR Cluj).

Foul by Odsonne Edouard ().

Abdel Billel Omrani (CFR Cluj) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, CFR Cluj. Juan Emmanuel Culio replaces Luís Aurélio.

Attempt blocked. Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo () right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

goal