- Gaz Metan Medias – Gloria Bistrita 3-1 (Llullaku 31, Bawab 45, 60 pen / Antonache 34)
- Concordia Chiajna – CS Severin 1-1 (Ispir 18 pen / Fl. Costea 58 pen)
- Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt – Pandurii 0-1 (Matulevicius 28)
- CSMS Iasi – Rapid 0-1 (Cretu 4 og)
- Otelul Galati – Petrolul Ploiesti 0-1 (Bokila 80)
- Dinamo – FC Brasov 2-1 (Alexe 18, 33 pen / Paun 60)
- Astra Giurgiu – Viitorul Constanta 2-0 (Budescu 28, Fatai 71)
- U Cluj – Steaua 0-1 (Rusescu 34)
- FC Vaslui – CFR Cluj 0-0
- Gloria Bistrita – Gaz Metan Medias 1-1 (Predescu 51 / D. Roman 80)
- Pandurii Targu Jiu – Ceahlaul 3-1 (Radut 40, 50, Maxim 45 / Margina 59)
- CS Severin – Concordia Chiajna 0-1 (Ad. Popa 90)
- Petrolul Ploiesti – Otelul Galati 2-1 (Boudjemaa 19, 82 / Inkango 89)
- CFR Cluj – FC Vaslui 3-0 (Cadu 16 pen, Bastos 69, 83)
- Viitorul Constanta – Astra Ploiesti 0-0
- Steaua – Universitatea Cluj 5-1 (Rocha 16, 60, Rusescu 62, Tanase 71 pen, 84 / V. Dinu 81)
- Rapid – CSMS Iasi 1-0 (Goga 16)
- FC Brasov – Dinamo 2-2 (Batin 16, Buga 59 / D. Grigore 39, C. Matei 72)
Steaua was lucky in tonight’s derby, because if Rusescu wouldn’t have invented a long range shot to cancel Marius Niculae’s 13th goal of the season (last January, with 13 goals in half of seson, Bogdan Stancu was moving to Galatasaray for 6 mil. E!) Ilie Stan’s men would have struggled to get back into the game. They usually have trouble scoring and Dinamo was surprisingly solid at the back this year, mainly due to the good form of Cosmin Moti, who was once an AS Roma target, and the addition of Srdjan Luchin at right back. But at 1-1, with Pablo Brandan and Alexandru “Gattuso” Bourceanu pressing hard in central midfield, Steaua managed to increase the distance between Dinamo’s line, leaving Danciulescu and Niculae isolated upfront.
Liviu Ciobotariu wasn’t inspired either, taking off Marius Alexe at half time and adding a striker on the left side proving suicidal for that flank, while Ilie Stan was going to be rewarded for understanding that Steaua needed a win, not a draw, and keeping an offensive setup until the very end.
It was a poor game, actually, as derbies often are in this country, Steaua failing to create a decent counter in almost half an hour, until Mihai Costea killed the match, but the result will definitely do the competition a lot of good. Dinamo has CFR and Rapid very close, with Steaua and Vaslui hoping to get back into the title race with a good run of results, so we could be in for a very interesting winter period as well. It’s been a while since we’ve had Dinamo, Rapid and Steaua in such good positions, but do not take anything for granted just yet – their owners/shareholders have the rare gift of screwing things up when they start to look good, reminding everybody that this is definitely not their “fault”…
- Rapid and Universitatea Craiova’s comfortable wins saved a round dominated by tight games and Italian results. Rapid dismantled the newly promoted from Branesti and, after the 5-0 Cup win from last Tuesday, continued to score at will, taking advantage of some eye-catching passing game that allows Sumudica’s men to create lots of scoring chances, especially when they play at home. Playing away from home looks easier for Piturca’s players, who took advantage of another very defensive approach from Targu Mures. The home team was coming from a wonderful 2-1 away win in Cluj, against CFR, but fielding again five defenders wasn’t the best idea from Ioan Ovidiu Sabau…
- Astra Ploiesti recorded the first win of the season against Selymes’ ex-team, taking advantage of an error comitted by Patrascu, a midfielder with several years spent in Il Calcio, whose experience was expected to make a difference for Sportul. Obviously, to Sportul’s advantage…
- The hot derby between Universitatea and CFR was won, as expected, by U’s fans, who travelled in numbers to Alba Iulia and offered an excellent show, hoping for a win after Niculescu’s sixth goal of the season, delivered from free-kick, as usual. Traore brought an equalizer and the two teams looked satisfied with the draw, a results which was on jeopardy only in the last 20 minutes, when Roberto De Zerbi came from the bench with appetite for football and a set of tricks that almost embarrassed the home team’s defense. Read more…
The round kicked-off with a surprise just for those who thought that everything’s fine at the champion club. Sportul exploited the visitiors’ arrogance and lack of determination, putting three past Nuno Claro, but could not end Mandorlini’s contract, well defended by a clause of 800.000 Euros. Bad news for the numerous players who thought that this was the way to get rid of their coach, starting with Lacina Traore, who finished an embarrassing display with a criminal attack that killed any hope of a fightback conducted by the once out-of-favor Sixto Peralta. Read more…
- Gaz Metan Medias topping the standings is something even I wasn’t expecting, although I predicted a good season from this well organized team. The Brazilian Eric de Oliveira scored his 7th goal in 4 matches (a wonderful free kick) and left the field with 20 minutes to go, losing the chance to try and make it four consecutive braces in this outstanding start of season!
Another small team tipped to do well, Otelul Galati, added an important win against the newly promoted FCM Targu Mures, and Dorinel Munteanu’s keeper, Grahovac, is the only one in the league with four clean sheets. Impressive!
- Things are going very bad for Unirea Urziceni, though, who’s yet to score a goal this season, and worrying for CFR Cluj, held to a draw at home by a team that will struggle to avoid relegation this season. Good debut from the Brazilian Rafael Bastos, though, who could play an important part this season, as the missing playmaker. The problem is that Mandorlini keeps on looking for the best tactical setup & formation, which is unacceptable, in my opinion, after almost a year in charge. Read more…