Portsmouth - Pompey 1-2 Wigan
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Pompey 1 - Wigan 2


Sat-01-11-08, 3pm


Pompey 1-2 Wigan

Woodwork Helps Wet Wigan Win

Luck was not on Portsmouth's side this afternoon as Wigan somehow managed to come away from Fratton Park with all 3 points.

Tony Adams made 3 changes to the team that lost 1-0 at Liverpool on Wednesday, with Sol Campbell and Glen Johnson returning from injury to replace Younes Kaboul and Noe Pamarot respectively. Jermain Defoe was also restored to the first-team in favour of John Utaka as Tony Adams reverted back to the more familiar 4-4-2 formation. For Wigan, Paul Scharner and Kevin Kilbane made way for Titus Bramble and Jason Koumas.

Despite being in the bottom three, Wigan always had the ability to test Portsmouth. In Amr Zaki they had the league's top goal-scorer, and midfielders Antonio Valencia and Wilson Palacios have been lined up for January moves to teams in the top 4.

Wigan started the better of the teams in the pouring rain, with the only noticeable event of the opening encounters being the drains overflowing, resulting in many drenched fans in the Fratton End being moved to drier seats. The Latics went close early on, with Zaki's header just missing the far corner of the goal.

Pompey soon took the initiative however, and Peter Crouch almost gave the home side the lead when his header sailed over Kirkland, only to bounce back off of the bar, with Diop making a mess of the rebound.

Diop didn't have to wait long for his turn to hit the bar, with his powerful header beating everyone but Wilson Palacios, who was stood just behind the line, but still managed to clear via the woodwork, with the whole ball not crossing the line.

Titus Bramble was lucky to stay on the pitch after taking out Armand Traore on the edge of the area. The French winger did incredibly well to get to Diarra's ball before the Wigan man, only to be clattered into by the bulky centre-back. The free-kick came to nothing, Jermain Defoe firing the ball at the wall, somewhere in the general direction of Bramble...

This period of pressure for Portsmouth came to nothing, as Wigan stuck on the break just before half-time, with Titus Bramble doing what he does best, falling over like a sack of spuds. This time it wasn`t a slip however, as he was caught in the area by an outstretched Papa Bouba Diop, who has nothing going for him at the moment. Amr Zaki easily despatched the penalty, re-enforcing the belief that Wigan will do well to make his loan permanent in the summer.

As the half-time whistle went, thousands of fans headed for the shelter, and Tony Adams would have been wondering just how his team weren't leading.

Portsmouth came out for the second half desperate to pull back the deficit, a point echoed my Adams' first substitution of the day, with Niko Kranjcar replacing the pacy Armand Traore. The move almost paid off straight away, with Kranjcar's deflected free kick cleared off of the line by Wilson Palacios yet again.

There was a rare moment of luck for Tony Adams' men when Chris Kirkland bizarrely picked up the ball from a back pass. After several minutes of moaning by the Wigan defence, Defoe's effort was cleared off of the line yet again, this time by Heskey and Melchiot.

The home fans were outraged at Amr Zaki midway through the second half after the Wigan striker stayed down after a perfectly good Lassana Diarra challenge. The Egyptian forward looked more like Amir Kahn than Amr Zaki, he went down so fast.

Pompey kept piling on the pressure, and the home team struck the crossbar twice within the space of 30 seconds. Glen Johnson's header hit the woodwork from a Diarra corner, and Crouch sent another looping header onto the same crossbar from the resulting cross. It was starting to look like it wasn't Portsmouth's day.

Kranjcar finally found the breakthrough after 82 minutes, half-volleying through the crowd at the back post after Wigan failed to clear Belhadj's left wing cross.

Portsmouth kept pushing forward, leaving themselves open at the back. After Distin had galloped up the field to start an attack, Valencia was left unmarked at the back post, only to see David James head his attempted chip clear.

Wigan grabbed the winner after yet another attack, with Heskey slotting home after Cattermole's through ball. Wigan will no doubt be ecstatic with the win, having been on the back foot for the majority of the game, although many Portsmouth fans were of the opinion that the Wigan players made "Emile" of the celebration.

Next up at Fratton is high-flying Hull City, although Portsmouth fans have to endure away trips to Sunderland and West Ham first. Let's hope Tony Adams can get a few wins under his belt before the all important visit of AC Milan on the 27th November.


Join the Vital Pompey Debate

The Journalist

Writer: jbaker Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday November 1 2008

Time: 6:06PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Tony Adams so far has one vital ingredient missing, luck
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01/11/2008 18:15:00

how many times did they clear it off the line?!?!?
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01/11/2008 18:21:00

how many times did we hit the poxy bar!
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01/11/2008 18:27:00

Sure Diop's header went over the line in the first half!! Heard so many muppets slagging off Adams on the Quay after the game... get a life, we battered Wigan in the 2nd half, we just didn't have any luck at-all!
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01/11/2008 18:30:00

agree simon, im not having any of the 'adams is the wrong man' bull*****! had we won today, and we could have he would have been a god... far too open at the back, but with more luck we would have mullered wigan.
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01/11/2008 18:31:00

zaki heskey are a pair that will trouble any defence. better luck next time.
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01/11/2008 18:35:00

diop again gives a pen away no need to slide in especially when bramble is on the ball !! Feel sorry for Adams he has had no luck so far a draw against fulham wot we should ave won , lost at liverpool wen that should been a draw and a lost today wot was so unlucky hit bar 3 times and loads of the line.O well we will ave ac milan at home 3-0 pompey lol
stfc ballboy
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01/11/2008 18:55:00

took ages to read, but well said stfc.
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01/11/2008 18:59:00

my thoughts as well baker =) gutted well thats wat happens when chix predicts 3-0 lol
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01/11/2008 19:07:00

redknapp took all the luck with him, spurs have been hammered and are now 2-1 up!
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01/11/2008 19:20:00

Luck quite right Paul et al. Four times we hit the bar and then fall asleep in injury time. Strange results all round today so don't panic blame the yellow ball.
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01/11/2008 19:37:00

I didn't go to the game but listened intently in my warm comfy car! Sounded like a great game of football, chances everywhere! We were so unlucky by the sounds of it, but I do have one issue: the idiots that say it's Adams' fault. It was an unlucky defeat in what was quite frankly terrible conditions - we could've won the game by miles, but lady luck wasn't shining. Adams is going to be a great manager for Portsmouth, but he needs an experienced number 2 desperately. Some of his decisions I probably don't agree with, but all in all Pompey under Adams have been confident albeit unlucky.
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01/11/2008 20:00:00

yes, I have got to agree Gino... whilst Martin Keown and tony are probably good friends, and he would make a great defencive coach, we do need SOMEONE experianced at managing/assitant manging in the backroom staff...
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01/11/2008 20:11:00

ok i was at the game. lets get one thing clear im not in the adams out group BUT i do think we have rushed this and gone for the jolly ol' cheap option. this is the moment pompey are at their peak ... THIS is the moment we should have looked at a really experienced EUROPEAN manager to take us forward and not to experiment. yes we were unlucky BUT we played at 60% today. sloppy ball control, karp passing, bad marking (in some cases NO marking). wigan were there for the taking and we didnt take them. in this weather attractive football fails ... ask arsenal! im annoyed, but HOPE we can get a point in the future.
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01/11/2008 21:15:00

5 points off the drop zone and our goal difference isn't great. We have lost more than we have won so are lucky to be in the top half. We have to go to Sunderland as an attacking unit otherwise more miserable results are likey to follow...A goal a game just isn't good enough.
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01/11/2008 21:17:00

The stats say we had the greater possession we also had 18 efforts to your 20 for those of you who say you battereds us you watched a different game than me. Bramble should have been sent off...never in a million years was it a sending off and when Zaki got flattened that was a booking and we didnt even get a free kick! Its a mazing how we all see a different game, I am a little disappointed that we didint win 4-1, Valencia missed two gilt edge chances and had a perfectly good goal ruled out
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02/11/2008 01:00:00

my apologies worbo. and agreed gino, adams will come good, it just takes time.
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02/11/2008 01:03:00

worbo - agree Bramble should NOT have been sent off (and wasnt!). However I think we MUST have been watching a different game - as hitting the bar four times, and having two (or was it four?) shots cleared off the line suggests to me that on another day, the score line would have been very different.
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02/11/2008 08:10:00

My take.. Wigan controlled the middle for the first and Diop, Diarra and Davies looked like they had never met. The second half was better and were we to some degree unlucky but trying to play a neat passing game on a wet surface against a team of meaty players was never going to work... I'm fully behing Adams and I'm fully behind his philosophy BUT.. All you have to do is look at Arsenals results during November & December over the past ten years (when the rain comes down and the pitches get soggy and then hard with frost) and it shows that not even M Wengar can counter the weather. Wigan were not a good fottballing side.. but that doesn't matter they are entitled to take three points if they score more goals than us and that's what they did because they adopted the better tactics and kept plugging away.. Did they deserve it on possession or chances Hell not.. but they won !
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02/11/2008 08:59:00

Admittedly Portsmouth were unlucky in this game but we defended magnificently and its one of those games for the home side. Wigan, though, are not a bad footballing side. If we are, how come we won and created numerous opportunities ourselves? You can't blame Wigan for Pompey hitting the woodwork and also the fact they made goal line clearances. That's just good defensive technique, something we've been lacking. For me it was a reasonably even game though Pompey admittedly had slightly the better of it despite the fact they hit the woodwork five times. That said, Pompey will bounce back and we were due some luck anyway from games we should've and deservedly taken points from. People need to realise we're no mugs and the petty comments about our club/manager need to be put to bed.
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02/11/2008 10:16:00

It loked to me like there were too many Wigan players on the pitch, there was alsways one of them in the way and some of ours looked a little reluctant to get straight in there - Davis for example seemed a bit hesitant to get the ball off them; and there were a number of occasions when Lassie or Belhadj were jinking about with the ball and not one blue shirt there to help him out. A bit of sitting back waiting for the ball to come to them and then a Latic would pop up and get in between the pass and the intended player. I think there's nothing to criticise Wigan for - they stopped us playing and we didn't do enough to impose ourselves on them.
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02/11/2008 12:48:00

hats off to wigan, your a decent side and bruce has got a load of good players with you - maybe we didnt deserve to win, but we sure as hell did not deserve to lose, at the end of the day we did tho and thats all that counts...
we now dust ourselves down, get this bloody awful week behind us and ensure we do not lose at sunderland or west ham - points at both will do me, a win and a draw would be great, 2 wins fantastic!
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02/11/2008 12:49:00

Firstly, really miffed with the weather. Bl00dy dry all week & even now on Sunday but why oh why did it have to chuck down on matchday. I can't blame anybody for this but it did us no favours at all. Luck, Harry took her with him & oh boy is he using her. Tony you must have ran over an army black cats somewhere. What is scary is real fact that so many of our star players may go in Januray. We need the points on the board to avoid a relegation battle. If we can't beat cr4p sides like Fulham or Wigan we are in serious trouble. We would have have won those game last month. We never lost games in the last minute before yet it's happening now. We had our bset 11/12 yesterday & for the all the woodwork, we only scored one. Not good enough. P155ed off.
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02/11/2008 13:48:00

Apart from the first half hour, when Davis and Diop gave the ball away too much I thought we played some good stuff in terrible conditions. However, you have to take your chances - we could/should have scored four or five. I was surprised to see a Tony Adams team switch-off defensively at the end of the first and second half though. By the way, Worbo, I was right in front of the Diarra challenge on Zaki and Diarra played the ball, making no contact with Zaki who then went down like he'd been shot. Surely a guy like Steve Bruce, who always played the game with integrity, must be embarrassed by that sort of cheating (I'd be just as pis5ed off if it were a Pompey player going to ground like that)?
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03/11/2008 12:41:00


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