It took until the 90th minute, but in the end, a header from Milos Jojic was sufficient for Partizan to grab a 1-0 win over rivals and title challengers Red Star. Unfortunately, the majority of the Eternal Derby was dull, dull, dull.
With a win, Red Star could have overtaken Partizan in the standings and managed to keep their hopes of a title alive. As such, with a two point lead over their rivals, Partizan were able to sit back, be patient and wait for the chance to counter. And with no ability to get through the Partizan defense, Red Star looked dull and out of ideas for much of the match. It didn't help that Red Star's best player, Darko Lazovic, had to come off after just twelve minutes, tears running down his cheeks.
Red Star's best chance in the first half came from Filip Kasalica, who took a chance on a strike from 35 yards out and managed to hit the bar. When the Partizan attacks came, it was Aleksander Mitrovic and Lazar Markovic that provided the danger. Mitrovic managed to get his head on the end of quite a few crosses from Markovic -- certainly the best player on the pitch -- but kept placing the ball just wide. Just before the break, Mitrovic got one on target, but Bojan Bajkovic managed to pull off a great save.
Markovic kept showing off his skills in the second half, possibly hoping to impress Chelsea. Again and again, he did well to get through the Red Star defense, but again and again, Mitrovic couldn't manage to finish the chances.
In the end, the glory fell to Jojic, on for Predrag Luka with about 30 minutes to play. Jojic came up with a fantastic free kick from about 20 yards out. The ball hit the crossbar but, as Bajkovic attempted to rescue a point for Red Star, he managed to push the ball back into his own net.
Partizan may not have clinched the Serbian title with this derby win, but it's nearly a done deal. With just two matches remaining, Red Star would have to beat both Sloboda and Vojvodina, not the easiest of tasks, and Partizan would have to lose both their remaining matches.
Partizan: Stojkovic, Miljkovic, Pajović, Ivanov, Volkov, Smiljanic, Sasa Markovic, Sasa Ilic, Luka, Lazar Markovic, Mitrovic.
Red Star: Bajković, Vešović, Mikic, Spajić, Petkovic, Garrido, Milivojevic, Milijas, Kadu, Lazovic, Kasalica