They were probably the best European side at the time and favourites to win this EC semi-final tie, but away at Partizan ground, on 13th of April 1966, Manchester United witnessed why that European season JNA Stadium seemed impregnable.
Bastion of Yugoslav football, fortress you not only couldn`t conquer but score a goal against.
On the way to the semis, Nantes was beaten 2-0, Werder 3-0 while Sparta was demolished 5-0 after winning Partizan 4-1 at home. Partizan kept another clean sheet after beating Man Utd 2-0 with goals from Hasanagic (`46) and Becejac (`58).
In front of 50,000 attendance, Hasanagic also scored his seventh EC goal that season but German referee decided to disallowed it for no apparent reason.
To be fair, United was better side in the first half missing a number of good opportunities, the best one fell to Dennis Law who failed to send the ball into the empty net from close range, hitting the crossbar only.
After the break, it was all about Partizan and goalscorers Hasanagic and Becejac had an opportunity each to extend the lead for Abdulah Gegic side.
“In the second half, Partizan was firing on all cylinders! Once again, it was the team that thrills and excites, one that brings joy and greatest celebrations. Busby`s Babes were taught a great lesson, starting from sporting chivalry up to the goals itself. Excellent Partizan second half performance led to a deserve win but it has to be said it was only the half of those great opportunities our team seized on. After the 2-0 lead, Becejac and Hasanagic missed even better opportunities compared to the goals they both scored. With that in mind, Partizan was close to reach the final of European Cup even after the first leg”, Vecernje Novosti Daily wrote.
Considering the strength of the opponents, even the 2-0 was a massive although insufficient advantage but our team still managed to win 2-1 on agg after losing 1-0 away at Old Trafford to qualify for the EC final.
This was Partizan side that, in their own admission, beat the better team overall:
Soskic (g), Jusufi, Mihajlovic, Becejac, Rasovic, Vasovic, Bajic, Kovacevic, Hasanagic, Miladinovic, Pirmajer.

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