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1990/91: Crvena zvezda spot on

Entertainment was at a premium in Bari as FK Crvena zvezda met Olympique de Marseille in the European Champion Clubs' Cup final – it took a penalty shootout after a goalless draw to send the trophy to Belgrade.

1990/91: Crvena Zvezda spot on
1990/91: Crvena Zvezda spot on ©UEFA.com

FK Crvena zvezda 0-0 Olympique de Marseille (aet, Crvena zvezda win 5-3 on penalties)
San Nicola, Bari

It was the perfect script. FK Crvena zvezda against Olympique de Marseille. The best two teams in the European Champion Clubs' Cup contesting UEFA's 100th final. But a celebration it was not. Both coaches, Ljubko Petrović and Raymond Goethals, chose defence ahead of the attacking play that had illuminated the competition. And the result was a stalemate where the continent had expected a showpiece, won on penalties by Crvena zvezda. The paradox, that both sides had fought so admirably to get there.

Marseille chalked up 13 goals against KS Dinamo Tirana and Lech Poznán before eclipsing Milan AC in the quarter-finals. The lights actually went out towards the end of the second leg at the Vélodrome with the home team leading 1-0 after parity in Milan. This prompted a walk-off by the visitors, which resulted in UEFA awarding the match to Marseille 3-0 and banning the holders from Europe for a year. OM then beat FC Spartak Moskva, conquerors of SSC Napoli and Real Madrid CF, home and away in the last four - the Soviet side unable to deal with the three musketeers, Chris Waddle, Jean-Pierre Papin and Abedi Pelé.

The other semi-final was even better. Crvena zvezda inflicted on FC Bayern München a first home defeat in Europe, 2-1, with breathtaking goals from Darko Pancev and Dejan Savićević. And though Bayern fought back in Belgrade, a last-minute own goal gave the Yugoslav side the 2-2 draw they needed. Some might say deserved (the vanquished Grasshopper-Club, Rangers FC and 1. FC Dynamo Dresden included). Certainly, the pantheon was theirs for the taking; the pity was they had to go in through the back door.