A match between these two big rivals. This time the match directly decided which team will win the league and has a chance to play next season in the CL. But where is the referee in this story? Referees are usually guilty for the team that loses, and that tradition wasn't broken in this match.
Behind the scene
Like every time when the two biggest Serbian clubs play, there is a very important match played behind the scene. Zvezda played the final of the Serbian Cup on Wednesday, so they wanted to delay the match for one day, bur the Serbian football federation didn't care for that demand. Not surprising according to the Zvezda board: the president of the Football Federation is an ex-president of Partizan, so Partizan these days have a lot of influence in the domestic federation. Something Zvezda had a few years ago. A few days before the match both clubs published an announcement in which they urged their fans and all other participants to fair-play but after the match they forgot that immediately and now both clubs made an announcement in which they accused each other unfair behavior. The president of the FA now lives with 24/7 bodyguards because of death threads.
For a referee this match is like a European final, maybe even heavier in mental preparation for the match.
First I was surprised that Jovanetic was appointed for this match, I expected Mazic, who is the first Serbian referee in Europe. But Mazic is not on that level in Serbia so the "honour" went to Jovanetic.
He had two different halves. In the first he managed to keep the peace with his authority. The first yellow was shown in the very first minute to Krstajic for pushing. He is an ex-Schalke player who would never have behaved like that in Germany. In the second half Jovanetic had more difficult calls, maybe his valuation of fouls was more like some English referees who allow a more physical contact and since players in this region like a referees who whistles for every little contact, (sometimes in a match there are more than 50 fouls). In the 65th minute there was situation in the Partizan box about the whole of Serbia talked today: for Zvezda fans it was a penalty, for Partizani it was simulation. As a neutral I thought that is was not a penalty though there was some contact between Krstajic and Kleo. But since Jovanetic didn't award free kicks for fouls for that kind of contact, it was a right decision. Some situation is only for a referees to decide but that is hard to explain in the Balkans. After that possible penalty almost the whole of the Zvezda team protested and Jovanetic didn't show any cards, but he should have, he just sent off the Zvezda assistant coach. After that he lost his authority and his performance was not on that level like it was before. Once more a Zvezda player fell down in the box, and again it was not a penalty, maybe this time the player deserved yellow for diving, but that would have been be his second. And with a sending off like that I'm not sure that this match would have finished.
Little about match
Zvezda didn't have a single shot on target, just a few wide ones, and of course the referee is "guilty":. Partizan scored a fantastic goal from 25 meters, and they had a few more attempts. After matches like these it is clear why clubs from ex- Yugoslavia can only dream about Spring in a European Cup. Clubs need to first clean up and not wail and cry every team and blame the referee. But it is easier to blame others then say that the better team won. But that is the Balkans .