Portsmouth - West Brom 0-1 Pompey
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West Brom 0 - Pompey 1


Sat 05-04-08, 12.15pm

Attendance: 83,000 plus...

West Brom 0-1 Pompey

The moment we have been waiting for finally arrived today, Pompey were off to Wembley for the FA cup semi final. Could we go that one step further than 92? The answer was…yes!

Richard Hughes was the unlucky man to miss out on the squad, while injury ruled out John Utaka. Sean Davis and Pedro Mendes dropped to the bench, the players that came in were Lassana Diarra, Papa Bouba Diop and Sulley Muntari the latter from suspended the former from injury. With Jermain Defoe being cup tied Kanu returned.

Thanks to a goal early in the 2nd half from Kanu we marched onto the cup final.

The Match
What can I say, the game is mostly a blur to me to be honest, maybe it was the fact that it was Pompey in the FA cup semi final, maybe it was the fact that it was at Wembley, or maybe it was the fact that I did not sleep much last night and we set off so early… I do recall quite early on David James was forced into a save, I think from Kevin Phillips.

There were some very strange refereeing and assistant decisions, with most of them against us, that was another thing I do remember, and clearly! Our one and only real chance of the half was from a Sulley Muntari free kick from an outrageous distance, maybe to either side of Dean Kiely it might have gone in as it seemed well enough struck.

The best chance of the half for anyone fell to Milan Baros, or at least almost did, as a ball played through to him almost saw him in, but he could not quite stretch to make a connection.

We came out with much more conviction and looked more of a threat in the 2nd half and took the lead a few minutes before the hour mark when Baros broke into the box, only to see his shot half saved by Kiely, who then scrambled back to try and clear as Hermann Hreidarsson came charging in, with a West Brom defender also trying to clear Kiely only succeeded in pushing the ball into the path of Kanu who tucked home.

The game should have been wrapped up when Baros was played through but with not one, not two, maybe three or even four chances to get a shot away he blew it…

West Brom pushed on to get an equaliser, and in doing so this enabled us to mount some counter attacks but we failed to make the most of these in most instances, with Dave Nugent - having come on for Baros - missing a chance, which in fairness to him was difficult.

As they pushed on in search of that equaliser James had to be alert to cut out a dangerous ball across the box, but only the woodwork denied them getting on level terms but we managed to do enough and could afford another missed Nugent chance, as he blazed over, or at least appeared to, although I am told that it looked like he was fouled. To sure things up Sean Davis got on late on, replacing Kanu.

Match Summary
It was not a great game, for the 1st half West Brom were easily the better side, for periods of the 2nd it was the other way - but the main thing is we won and we are now in the FA cup final, yep the FA cup final!

On a personal note I would like to give a big thank you to pompey4me and his family who allowed me to travel with him and his family, which was a real pleasure! It was also fantastic to meet up with a few of you from this site around Wembley, it is a shame that not all could make it, we will save that for May hopefully eh!


West Brom 0
Pompey 1 - Kanu 54

David James
Glen Johnson
Sol Campbell
Sylvain Distin
Hermann Hreidarsson
Papa Bouba Diop
Lassana Diarra
Sulley Muntari
Niko Kranjcar
Kanu (Sean Davis)
Milan Baros (Dave Nugent)

Substitutes Not Used
Jamie Ashdown
Pedro Mendes

Join the Vital Pompey Debate

The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday April 5 2008

Time: 6:00PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
sorry fellas, not my greatest ever report but the day is a slight blur in many ways - and that is not as a result of alcohol! we won, that is the main thing tho eh!
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05/04/2008 18:02:00

Congrats Pompey! Best of luck in the final!!
Fan of Blues
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05/04/2008 18:03:00

cheers mate, surely we must now finish the job? now i think it is time for a few 'shandies' to celebrate!
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05/04/2008 18:04:00

Who's Herman Henderson?? lol. Great day, Great stadium, not such a great game. Had a ball with the Landlord as my passenger! Thanks for coming!
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05/04/2008 18:23:00

im soo glad that we managed to make it, me're going to wembley for the real thing now!
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05/04/2008 18:35:00

just got back, crap game, great result
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05/04/2008 18:53:00

Just got back myself, the game was awful, but we are going back in May thats all that counts surely. Play up Pompey.
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05/04/2008 19:29:00

Good on ya lads. I was stuck down here in Cornwall lying under my effing car with the radio on. First half i wanted it to fall on me. When Kanu scored i was yelling like mad, i think the guy's nearby thought it had. Got to get to the final somehow...PUP....
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05/04/2008 20:57:00

very tense affair but typical of the way Pompey have got thro the previous rounds. Our name must be on that cup. I dont know whether it was worse watching on the box or you guys lucky enough to be there!!
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05/04/2008 21:22:00

We should rename ourselves 'Smash & Grabbers FC'. I'm not complaining I'm used to the Italian national team winning like that.
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05/04/2008 22:22:00

I agree with all the comments. We were a bit lucky. Baros's "handball" was a 50/50 call. He did control the ball but it wasn't clear if he controlled it legally or otherwise. Ref's call and we got lucky. The game showed we need another striker like Defoe. Baros and Nugent missed 2 chances each that Defoe would have put away. I haven't been sure about Baros up until now. He puts in a lot of effort but can't finish. We need someone else. I saw Kanu when the game started and when he scored. Did he go off the ground in between as he wasn't sighted. Also highlighted was our need for wingers. The ball was played to the left wing on numerous occassions and there wasn't a blue shirt in sight. Team rating 6. players rating all 6 except Diarra 5, Baros5, Kanu (even though he scored) 3. WBA team rating 7. This indicates that imo we were very lucky. Anyway we won and the opposition in the final won't be the same class as WBA so we should (SHOULD) win the cup.
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05/04/2008 23:05:00

I wouldn't say Baros can't finish I just think he is lacking confidence in front of goal at the moment and is lacking that sharpness to get the correct 3rd or 4th touch. Nugent is similar, in fact both are so desperate to score that I believe they are hindering themselves.
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06/04/2008 00:12:00

Well done today Pompey, not a great advert, but I really hope you go on and lift the cup. Always remeber going to watch Pompey when based at HMS Collingwood. Had some wonderful times down there, and the support although not as big then as it is now always excellent.
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06/04/2008 00:22:00

henderson was the poxy spell check on my laptop screwing me over lol! changed now.
im out on my feet, been up for near on 24 hours now so im sleeping for some time now :-)
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06/04/2008 00:42:00

Well Done, Pompey! And Good Luck for the Final!
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06/04/2008 00:50:00

I don't envy you guys trying to get tickets for the final. Will the supporters who went to the semi get first preference for the final?
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06/04/2008 01:03:00

Was it my imagination but from the TV pictures the Webley grass looked overly lush and a fraction to long considering the lushness. The ball didn't run as easily or as far as on many surfaces and many passes (particularly from Pompey) were short. This isn't an excuse but WBA's harder passing style adapted better to the surface and tricky footwork was rendered ineffective.
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06/04/2008 02:21:00

After I put in my post re the Wembley pitch I happened to read a newspaper report that said, in a much more subtle way, that the reporter thought the surface had been prepared to give the less talented footballers a chance against the more talented and that he hoped this wouldn't be the case in 6 weeks time.
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06/04/2008 07:36:00

Brilliant, sat with mt brother in some of the best seats we could have had. Right at the front of the second tier, behind our goal. Great result, that matters. The performance wasn't great, neither were the officals, but we won. The midfield need to get to know each other better. Yes we need a top, top striker to play with Defoe next season. We moaned about an early Saturday start but I'm waking up, a bit blurred to see a snow blizzard outside. Glad we wern't driving today. We taped the BBC match, watch highlights of it on your return & we all thought how awful they were towards us! No credit, the goal was hand ball, poor old WBA, we spoilt the Beebs day by winning. Fck 'em.
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06/04/2008 09:08:00

brilliant day , my seat was two rows above john motson`s balding head,dodgy 1st half but who cares now
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06/04/2008 09:33:00

It says in the Sunday papers West Brom 0 Pompey 1. So shut up BBC, we are sixth in the Premier League and in the Cup Final - what more to you want?
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06/04/2008 10:20:00

Such an abundance of talent, but a midfield that does not function. Muntari and Diarra do not play well together, all Diarra's best games were during the African Cup. Muntari does not perform with any consistency. Di-op, I have no idea of his function and nor does he. Kranjacar is never to be found on the left, as all he does is cut in or back. Gosh, we need some width. Pity our poor strikers, always chasing long balls down the middle.
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06/04/2008 10:38:00

Yep 007, we need width dont we!! I sincerely hope this is 'arrys main priority in the summer. Feel sorry for Diop, playing out of position, he never is, nor will be a right midfielder, but at least he tries. As for Niko, I think we could afford his lack of width, especially with what he can do with the ball, if we had width on the right.
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06/04/2008 10:44:00

Hopefuuly Utaka will be fit for the final, or Lauren will come in to give us some width, we need to change things as the 4-4-2 we tried allowed the Baggies to dominate us in the first half.
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06/04/2008 10:53:00

Utaka......Final......please 'arry no! Just dont think he deserves to play. Imagine the lack of effort on that stage. Embarrasing.
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06/04/2008 11:01:00

We just need someone out wide right, we get overrun when we play that formation with Diop on the right. He doesnt like it there, and it doesnt suit the way we play. The Baggies were not that good, and we made them look far better than they were
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06/04/2008 11:21:00

Well, I suppose Utaka could just stand on the right, just on the by-line, just in his half so he's not offside!! Diop doesnt like the right, but at least he puts in some effort.
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06/04/2008 11:24:00

Diop is not suited to a right wing berth, that is clear, on the day I thought both Baros and Kanu were poor, but both contributed to the goal, Diop was a man at sea first half, better second, Muntari improved after dire first 45, Kranjcar was suffocated, and Diarra was the best of the middle men, Defensively we were sound, so all in all typical Pompey!
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06/04/2008 11:28:00

Typical FA cup Pompey, Our name must be on that cup!
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06/04/2008 11:30:00

We're in the final! Yaaaayyyyyyyy! So we didn't play well, and the goal was controversial - who cares! Its been a dream to see Pompey play at Wembley, now I have. Doubt I'll get final tickets so at least I've been there. What a day- what a result, what a fantastic time for the city and to be a Pompey fan! Cup fever before the semi? You aint seem nothin' yet!
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06/04/2008 12:45:00

I so agree with you Tracy, So what if we were poor, I worried too much about that during the 90minutes, so we won, I had the best day EVER, I wouldn't swop that feeling for anything. To view the sea of Blue and White laid out in front of me was truly the stuff of dreams. To drive up the 303 and M3, beeping horns at the stream of blue and white cars was truly fantastic, for one moment it seemed Pompey had decamped to London such was the flow. We found our Parking 5mins walk from the magnificent stadium. Cracked anothe beer and lit the throwaway barbie, god those sausages tasted good!!!!!!!! My hats off to the Baggies fans we met, a fine bunch of blokes, god fun and magnanimous in defeat. They made it such a fantastic atmosphere. Seats 7 rows from the front, just off the corner flag, what a fantastic view laid out in front of me. What I couldn't get over was how compact the stadium is! We were poor, I agree, but even that aside couldn't ruin my day. When we controlled the middle part of the second half the true division between the teams showed, only 15mins out of 90 granted but it gave me so much hope. The 3 minutes added was surely 33!!!! The tax had run out on the car by the time we got back. I really dont know how i'll ever top that day, To see Pompey play, score and win at Wembley, truly is the stuff of dreams. Do you know i even had a thought for Anthony Minghella this morning, He packed so much into his 50 odd years before he died, but he never saw his beloved Pompey play at Wembley, I wonder if he would have given up his oscar to have witnessed what I did yesterday? who knows? I may never win an oscar, or mix with the stars but I did live my dream yesterday, one I havent woken up from yet, One that will live with me to MY dying day. So before anyone moans about how poor we were yesterday, take a reality check and live for the moment. We are in the Final of the oldest greatest cup competition in the WORLD.
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06/04/2008 14:49:00

So here we go then....90mins and we find out who we'll be playing
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06/04/2008 16:00:00

So it is Cardiff, there had to be a link to the Scum somewhere didnt there?
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06/04/2008 18:14:00

and Cardiff's delightful fans
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06/04/2008 18:36:00

I got the score right, as predicted on Radio Solent Thursday evening. Did anybody hear my little interview?
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06/04/2008 21:25:00

havnt commented on this yet... when i was watching the game, i thought that we contained west brom very well. the commentators were going on about how they did so well, having so much possesion, and dominating the midfield, but effectivly, they had an extra man in there - phillips, who kept dropping back - and then completly lacked any penetration when they got whithin 30yds of our goal. yes, we struggled, but that was mainly down to there players putting every effort in to close down our players, and give us no space at all - which had it gone to exra time, would have left there players dead, and is not a tactic that would work in the PL if you want to last 5 games. we just took it ain a relaxed fasion, and it showed - BUT, they still couldnt break us down, and surely this is only good?!
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06/04/2008 23:34:00

i felt one of the commentators summed it up very well. "its like a training game against the reserves for portsmouth" - that is EXACTLY what it was probably like.
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06/04/2008 23:35:00

(no disrespect to west brom in that)
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06/04/2008 23:35:00

My confusion lies only over the pundits that felt that the Baggies deserved to win, I only remember one shot on target and that was the one in the 6th minute that james fumbled..... they were the better team at passing the ball around the field in the 1st half but you cant deserve to win if you cant score, can you??? They deserve to be promoted and the prem will be better with them in it, but we won and that is it.... as shearer says "it is all about the business end"
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07/04/2008 12:30:00

We got what we deserved - a place in the final just!
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07/04/2008 20:54:00


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