Wendel hands Bordeaux lifeline

Bordeaux gave themselves a vital UEFA Champions League lifeline on Tuesday, defeating Romanian side Cluj 2-1 thanks to a vintage effort from Brazilian star Wendel.

And with Group A leaders Chelsea going down 3-1 at a rampant Roma, the French side's win means they move into joint second with the Italians, just one point adrift of the London outfit.

It was Laurent Blanc's men who drew first blood in the sixth minute when boy-of-the-moment Yoann Gourcuff connected with a neat Yoan Gouffran cut-back to knock the ball over Eduard Stancioiu's line. But the team from Transylvania bit back three minutes later when Portuguese midlfielder Dani, a replacement for suspended Eugen Trica, rose above a leaden Bordeaux defence to head home the equaliser.

The French side were hungry to do the double over Cluj and lift themselves from the foot of the group, and some over-zealous challenges in the midfield resulted in a yellow for Wendel. Bordeaux were lucky not to go behind in the 28th minute when stand-in keeper Matthieu Valverde looked nervy at a Cluj corner, misjudging the cross to allow Yssouf Kone to get a shot in on goal.

The visitors, with three points from the opening three matches, were in the lead again with a wonder strike from Wendel seven minutes from the interval. The 26-year-old lifted a free-kick over the Cluj wall from 25 yards with all the composure of a Samba master to give Stancioiu no chance.

The French side, victors in the tie on 22 October, had to be snappy 12 minutes into the second period when Valverde pulled off a tremendous stop to deny Sixto Peralta's headed effort.

Blanc's men were happy to take the sting out of the match, playing the passing game with Gourcuff leading the attack intelligently. Valverde repaid his boss's faith in the 79th minute when he got down extra smartly to parry a viper shot from Cluj's Sebastian Dubarbier.

Bordeaux substitute Gabriel Obertan sneaked into the Cluj box with three minutes on the clock only to see his low shot palmed away by Stancioiu, and at the death Marouane Chamakh hit the post.