The most high-profile derby match in Serbia, The Eternal Derby, competed between Red Star Belgrade and Partizan Belgrade, is often touted as one of the most hostile in Europe, far more life-threatening than the relative peace that ensues whenever Arsenal play Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool match-up against Everton or when Manchester City and Manchester United battle for local supremacy.
Over the weekend, crowd trouble overshadowed the football played on Red Star's Marakana pitch. Stadium officials had made security measures ahead of the game, which included removing seats so they could not be vandalised, however, numerous fires still erupted in the stands while fans also created a big bonfire. Flares were also hurled from one stand to another.
The fan chaos reached such an extent that the referee deemed it too dangerous and so a ten minute match delay was called.
Red Star beat Partizan due to an 18th minute own goal and the scoreline remained 1-0 to the end. Slavisa Stojanovic, the head coach, told the press after the game: 'We were a bit fortunate to score but I think we held our own very well after the goal and could have had a couple more in what was a very tense match with plenty at stake.
'It wasn't the best derby ever played and eye-catching moments were few and far between, but we really had to win and after taking the lead so early in the game we just couldn't take any risks.'
image: © Nigel Wilson