Ground: FK Spartak
Referee: Bojan Nikolić (Kragujevac)
Goalscorers: Petković og 65' - Radovanović og 37'
Spartak: Mirković, Kovačević, Radovanović, Farkaš, Ćalasan, Torbica, Stojković, Bašanović, Ivanović, Milić, Mudrinski.
Substitutes: Janošević, Anđić, Kerkez, Glavčić, Krmar, Savković, Ajuru.
Crvena zvezda: Manojlović, Petković, Luković, Rendulić, Anđelković, Le Tallec, Poletanović, Babunski, Plavšić, Ruiz, Sikimić.
Substitutes: Supić, Cvetković, Ristić, Srnić, Mouche, Vieira.
Trip to the far north of Serbia has again proved a tricky one for the red-and-whites. The hosts started the match better and were determined to attack. This has resulted in an interesting game for the neutrals.
Manojlović was tested a couple of times, but the young goalkeeper was alert. On the other end, Babunski and Plavšić were making things happen for the Belgrade team. Marko Poletanović was dominant in the middle of the park, but his shooting let him down in this match. Petković and Anđelković were a constant threat with their crosses from the flanks.
The hosts wouldn't give up and went close through Torbica midway through the first half. But it was Red Star who took the lead on 37 minutes. Dušan Anđelković drilled a cross from the left and Radovanović diverted it into his own net in front of the lurking Predrag Sikimić.
Spartak nearly fought back just minutes later, but Ivanović blasted over when presented with a good chance to shoot from just six meters out.
Both teams continued to attack after the break, but the visitors found it hard to reach clear-cut goalscoring chances. Sikimić has had a chance, but his header was off target. A few more attacks came from the flanks when Plavšić and Ruiz combined with Petković and Anđelković respectively, but Mirković in the Spartak goal wasn't seriously tested.
Spartak had chances too, but Manojlović made a great save from Zvezda old boy Ognjen Mudrinski. However, the talented goalkeeper couldn't do anything to prevent the equalizer on 65 minutes when Marko Petković got himself on the scoresheet, albeit on the wrong end. The right-back failed to clear a cross and he put it to make it 1-1.
Miodrag Božović sent Srnić, Vieira and Ristić on in place of Plavšić, Babunski and Ruiz searching for another goal. Zvezda continued to push forward, but were toothless in the final third and the home team defended with relative ease until the final whistle.
The away fans will be disappointed with the result, but neither team deserved to win nor to lose here. Head Coach Miodrag Božović also reflected this sentiment in his post-match comments.
“We've had enough chances in the first half to probably secure the points, but we lacked a bit of concentration to convert them. This gave Spartak hope and they managed to score after a set piece. Neither team deserved to lose today and we have to take this point. We move onto the next game”, Božović said.