United 0-1 Pompey
Sat 08-03-08, 12.45pm
A solitary win and we were at Wembley for the FA cup semi final… the only problem was the fact that United, and United at Old Trafford stood in our way! Few expected anything, but I have always have faith - and this paid off after a 1-0 win.
Only one change was made from the defeat to Everton last weekend, the cup tied Jermain Defoe dropped out with John Utaka coming in.
We rode our luck a bit, but Sulley Muntari's late penalty proved enough to see us to an incredible victory
This is not going to be a convention match report, its been a long day and tiredness is kicking in, but so is the realisation that so many incredible things have happened - we beat united, at Old Trafford no less, this win puts us into the semi finals, and now means the dream of seeing Pompey at Wembley has now materialised, along with the fact that we are 90 minutes away from the FA cup final!
Due to all these factors the game is somewhat of a haze now, I have not seen any footage or anything, what I write is based on what I remember! We clearly had a game plan to hold and frustrate United, which we did fantastically well in the 1st half.
Cristiano Ronaldo and his diving antics probably went against him when he was not given 'that penalty' that Fergie has been moaning about. Carlos Tevez also managed to somehow miss what seemed a goal, although Glen Johnson deserves credit for this clearance.
All in all though we dealt with the threat United posed, and but for a little more invention and attacking willing could have hit them on the break, but as said a game plan was being closely followed.
The 2nd half saw us push forward more, and still we dealt with the threat United posed, but again in all fairness from where I was stood - yep stood, not sat we seemed fairly comfortable and well disciplined, although again we had to clear off the line, but how Michael Carrick did not score I do not know, but again Sylvain Distin this time deserves credit.
The breaks that we made became more and more frequent when Milan Baros came on for Kanu, and it was Baros that won us a penalty, which also saw Tomasz Kuszczak - who had come on for Edwin Van Der Sar at half time - sent off!
With all the United changes made Rio Ferdinand - fresh from several paddies, along with many of his teammates - went in goal. Sulley Muntari stepped up and sent us wild as he converted. United were rocked by this, and could not gain composure, and if anything we could have scored again, but we were content with what we got.
We had some luck, but I think that our tactics were spot on today, we set out our stall, in the 1st half it looked like nothing else other than to draw and take them back to Fratton Park, but in the 2nd half it took another turn and we looked like we wanted it, and we got it.
We rattled United, from the off when Lassana Diarra let Cristiano Ronaldo know who he was!
It was absolutely electric being at Old Trafford today, the United fans were silent apart from a few 'United, United's' and boos at the penalty award, but we were fantastic, we never stopped for the whole 90 minutes, and more.
What a day, as long as it was, and what a result - what have I been saying fellas, our name is on this cup, surely we will never get a better chance after Chelski bowed out to cap a perfect day!
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Pompey 1 - Sulley Muntari 78 (pen)
Papa Bouba Diop
Niko Kranjcar (Richard Hughes 81)
John Utaka (Lauren 74)
Kanu (Milan Baros 54)
Substitutes Not Used