Date:Sunday November 11 2007
The great league form continued last week against the barcodes, today we returned to Fortress Fratton with Man City the visitors.
Noe Pamarot retained his place despite Hermann Hreidarsson being fit, who took a place on the bench. David Nugent returned to the squad, however there was a surprise sprung with Kanu selected in Papa Bouba Diop's enforced suspended absence - Pedro Mendes was expected to come in, what this meant in terms of formation I was not sure at first... but it did look like basically 2 up front.
Both sides had a couple of very good chances, with the woodwork denying us twice, once in either half as for the 2nd home game running we had to 'settle' for a 0-0 draw.
The afternoon started with a minutes silence in remembrance to the brave that served this country, with this being respected impeccably.
Pompey made a good start and had three chances in the opening 90 seconds, firstly John Utaka's trickery saw him turn onto his left foot to deliver to Niko Kranjcar, but he headed over. Kanu then forced Joe Hart into a save at his near post and from the resulting corner Sean Davis shot over.
We were in control for the opening of the game, but City came back into the half, but neither side had any real chances until Glen Johnson saw a 20 odd yarder safely claimed by Hart on 20 minutes.
But for a fantastic Richard Dunne clearance Kranjcar would have been in on the end of Kanu's flick at the end of a fine Pompey move.
Another surging Johnson run looked to have broken down, until he won the ball back to get into the area only to see his effort hit the bar, but only after a fantastic save from Hart, who tipped it onto the bar.
The best chance City had in the half fell to Darius Vassell who was brilliantly denied by David James when through one on one - but the flag was already up for offside so it would not have counted anyway.
Good work from Kranjcar saw him easily beat Vedran Corluka before getting his shot away from the edge of the area. This effort went wide, but a corner was given - wrongly so - from which Noe Pamarot headed over.
City ended the half with their best chance - Martin Petrov, unmarked on the edge of the area shot straight at James, who claimed safely.
Harry Redknapp made a change at half time with Matty Taylor coming on for Utaka.
Pompey started with most the possession early in the 2nd half, but 5 minutes into it City really should have taken the lead. A quick break saw Stephen Ireland play Petrov through with a cracking ball, he in turn put in a great pass across the face of the box that was crying out for Vassell to finish, but he got it all wrong and we escaped.
The possession was good for Pompey but this was not really being turned into a real chances.
With just under 30 minutes to play Kanu pulled up with a problem so David Nugent was called over. Whilst waiting to make the change Taylor headed wide - then Nugent came on, could this be his chance...
As the game wore on and we tried to push on more for the winner City were able to break and one such break saw Elano have a fine chance but he shot straight at James who stood up well nonetheless, saving again soon after from Petrov, but again comfortably.
When it is not going your way it does not go your way does it, as Nugent found out. His shot, which probably would have been saved fairly easily by Hart took a deflection and with him beaten the inside of the post denied him - typical...
The last chance for Pompey came when Johnson again came forward and he picked up Nugent's layoff. It was another good chance, but as with the 1st half he was denied by Hart.
Micah Richards did head wide for City right at the end as for the 2nd league match running we had to be content with a 0-0 draw.
City came to do a job, defend well and look to get something on the break and the got the job done - something that we will see a lot of from visiting sides this season.
We might have put them under quite a bit of pressure at times but in all honesty the real clear cut chances were few and far between and it was not - overall - the performance that most were expecting...
When Nugent came on I was praying he would get a break - with it being my thinking that an injury or something similar could give him this chance and so it proved today - but when you are out of luck, something that might go your way to kick start things always goes against you.
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Man City 0
John Utaka (Matty Taylor 45)
Kanu (David Nugent 63)
Substitutes Not Used
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Date:Sunday November 11 2007
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