‘Celtic should NOT have to qualify for Champions League group stage’ – CFR Cluj manager Dan Petrescu blasts UEFA after Hoops exit

14 Aug

The man who ended Celtic’s Champions League dream believes the eight-in-a-row Scottish champions ‘deserve’ to sail straight through to the group stages.

CFR Cluj manager Dan Petrescu joined talkSPORT the morning after his side’s stunning 4-3 victory at Celtic Park.

And he vented his annoyance at UEFA over the number of games teams are forced to play just to qualify for Europe’s elite competition, despite being crowned champions of their country last season.

CFR Cluj boss Dan Petrescu celebrates as his team beat Celtic in their Champions League third qualifying round tie in Glasgow

Speaking on Wednesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, Petrescu – the former Chelsea defender – hailed his team’s ‘unbelievable achievement’ in Parkhead, but concedes they are unlikely to go any further in the Champions League.

Having already played three tough qualifiers, he believes their final match against Slavia Prague may be a step too far.

Petrescu led Cluj to the Romanian title last season – their third in a row – and he believes that should be enough for his team, and Scottish champions Celtic, to go directly to the group stage.

He said: “For my club it’s unbelievable because we won against Astana – a better club with more money – then we beat Macabi Tel Avivf rom Israel – a better club with a better budget – and now we’ve beat Celtic.

“But now to qualify for the group stage we have to win against Slavia Prague and in my opinion it’s too much.

“To play four rounds before you arrive in the group stages, I don’t understand the rules. For UEFA, I don’t understand why Celtic should also play the preliminary rounds.

“We’ve won the league the last three years in Romania and we work so hard to win the league but the next season you can still go out [of the Champions League] straight away, I don’t understand.

“I think Romania and Scotland deserve their champions to go directly to the group stage.”

Listen back to Dan Petrescu on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast IN FULL above

UEFA Super Cup: ‘I hope Chelsea win, but Liverpool are better’ – Former Blues defender Dan Petrescu fears another defeat could pile pressure on Frank Lampard

14 Aug

Former Chelsea defender Dan Petrescu fears defeat to Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup could pile pressure on Frank Lampard after just two games in charge.

The rookie manager’s Blues side suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat in their Premier League opener against Manchester United on Sunday.

Frank Lampard suffered a nightmare start to his Chelsea reign against Manchester United

And they will now face high-flying Liverpool just three days later in Istanbul – the stage of the Reds’ famous 2005 Champions League triumph.

LISTEN LIVE: Full talkSPORT commentary of Liverpool vs Chelsea in UEFA Super Cup

It’s tough start to the new season for Chelsea and Lampard, as they face a team that was not only crowned European champions but also finished just one point behind Premier League winners Manchester City.

And Petrescu – now manager of Romanian club CFR Cluj, who knocked Celtic out of Champions League qualifying on Tuesday – admits the Blues will be up against it in Turkey.

“I hope Chelsea win, but I’m afraid Liverpool are better,” he said on Wednesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.

Frank Lampard and assistant Jody Morris prepare their Chelsea team for Wednesday’s Super Cup clash against Liverpool

“Frank is my friend and Jody Morris is also, we played together.

“I hope they do well.

“The fans love them, but they need results as quickly as possible because in football, without results, it’s possible you will leave.”