Portsmouth - Pompey go out in style
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Pompey 3 - Sunderland 1


20:00 18/5/09


Pompey go out in style

Pompey bowed out of Premiership home games with a welcome win, it was also a win from behind and played with verve, especially second half after Traore and Kaboul's introduction.

Paul Hart raised a few eyebrows with a 4-3-3 formation, but it was a switch at half-time to 4-4-2 that got Pompey playing the kind of football we know they can.

Most satisfying on the night will be the face that after going behind, Pompey fought back when our safety was already assured, that and the re-appearance of John Utaka as player to fear again after a gap of 18 months, shame there is only one game to go!

The first half was started at a fair tempo, Pompey almost took the lead after only 5 minutes, Johnson's cross found Crouch and his first header was blocked, and the follow up lacked the power to make the net and was scrambled away.

The game went a bit cat and mouse after that, Sunderland knew a point was enough for them and seemed content to just not lose, while Pompey found it hard to force the issue.
The mackems came closest though when some shocking defending by Mullins allowed a cross to find Jones who beat debutant Begovic with a header but found a post instead, the ball then managed to roll across an empty net and then somehow curl out, lucky old Pompey!

Second half and Traore replaced Kanu and Kaboul switched with the injured Hughes, Traore looked like he had earlier in the season, full of purpose and pace, his first cross found Crouch, but he couldn't keep his header down. Pompey were playing with intent now, but Sunderland broke against play and Davenport picked out Jones to prod home, it could of been the usual story of a team with nothing to play for capitulating, but Pompey were playing a different game.

Almost straight away a Begovic punt found Utaka, Davenport was holding him back, but with ref Wiley seeming to blow for a spot kick, Utaka blasted home his first goal in a year and the ref played a belated advantage.

Less than ten minutes later and Anton Ferdinand copied brother Rio with a Fratton park howler, he missed a straight forward clearance and Utaka was in a again, he rounded Felipe Fulop in the goal, but was denied by Bardsley's challenge, but the ball still found the net and Bardsley had an unwanted OG to his name.

Sunderland tried to press, but Jones was twice denied by Begovic, all this allowed Pompey to break once more and Traore got the goal his season deserved, firing low past Fulop.

With 5 minutes to go Pompey fans goe what they craved, the sight of Linvoy Primus' bobbing dreadlocks in a blue shirt once more, he may of been only on for a short while but didn't put a foot wrong as every touched was cheered like a cup final winner, rarely has been one man so adored by the Fratton faithful, it truly was a show of love for a great servant when football has gone mercenary.

Star Player

Go on then, John Utaka, credit where it is due, he has been vilified by most and rightly so lately, but he was full of purpose and took his goal well, if he could only reproduce this for most of the season he would be a hero.

The Journalist

Writer: paultsmouth Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday May 18 2009

Time: 11:30PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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"Job done" sticker
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18/05/2009 23:31:00

seeing primus come on for those few minutes made my season... i swear davis put the ball out on purpose to get him in sooner, but he didnt, then clearly the herminator did and on he came - fantastic!
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18/05/2009 23:38:00

Well that was a turn up, 4-3-3 eh, like nodster suggested earlier. Much better with 4-4-2 though, more width and better passing. It has to be said, however we were lucky with Jones missing golden opportunities.
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18/05/2009 23:51:00

From the Fratton end it looked as if we had had just as close a miss as them a bit earlier in the game than theres. Great to see Utaka showing some form,
Steve C
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19/05/2009 00:05:00

Well, I'll go to the bottom of our stairs! Utaka scored! Unfortunately, its too little too late methinks. I enjoyed the game, its amazing what a difference a few goals make. When was the last time we actually scored 3 goals in one match? OK, I know we didnt SCORE three, but got them, if you know what I mean. Actually, I don't think we have all season....
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19/05/2009 00:16:00

Good win Pompey
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19/05/2009 01:52:00

If we were to have Utaka upfront with Crouch next season with Johnson and Kaboul on the right then we might well have a decent team, just a shame that Glen and two-metre Peter will probably go, and that it's taken us this long to find a good right sided midfielder! We desperately need a Fernandes/Muntari type centre midfielder to partner Davis (if he signs on). Begovic looked very decent at times, and it's just a shame that Pele and Gekas never really got their chance to impress for us! Maybe next season we will see Wilson and Mvuemba get back to full fitness and maybe make a serious impact on the first team!
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19/05/2009 02:58:00

Three against Blackburn Gandor, but this would appear to be biggest Home win of the season as I think we beat Blackburn 3-2. Oh and Away we tore Everton apart 3-0.
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19/05/2009 03:49:00

got up early morning for this one..... enjoyed the way we played second half.. what a difference Traore made down the left. I think we missed his pace since January. Before HE left he was doing well. Utaka playing up front looked like a different animal.. shame he could not have been more consistent. Lets have a go at Wigan 442 like and start contemplating what the summer may bring.
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19/05/2009 06:06:00

Far better in the second but thought Sunderland were very poor but credit where it is due we had a job to do and did it. Thought the highlight for me was us singing that Shearer song and getting applauded by the Sunderland fans.. I loved that and would still love to see Newcastle drop and not Sunderland. Fantastic to see Linvoy ..made me season. What happens now is anybody's guess.
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19/05/2009 07:49:00

Agree, Chix, loved the mutual Shearer-knocking session - pity they've got Chelsea next but I will be crossing everything for them. Having had to rush from work, got the 6 o clock from Waterloo with 2 mins to spare and travelled down squashed in by a lardy bloke nodding off on my shoulder, I was distinctly underwhelmed by half time and feeling grateful to have three months off from watching Mullins and Hughes but by the end of the game, I was blubbing like a big baby at the Linvoy Show. Man is a genius
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19/05/2009 09:18:00

and meant to add that I was delighted to see that Paul Hart HAS got romance in his soul. Not that he would have got from the ground in one piece in Linvoy had not been played.
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19/05/2009 09:35:00

What a great evening. Some great chanting by both sets of fans, and some half decent football. I told you all that Utaka would come good! Let's hope he can repeat that performance as we may need him next season! Linvoy coming on has made my season! What a legend. Did anyone record the game? I would love to hear how loud the crowd got at the end.
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19/05/2009 10:05:00

The second half was good, though played too much at the Milton End for my liking, however there were some sublime moments of passing and interplay - oh god I feel Gervaise taking over.
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19/05/2009 10:23:00

A great way to finish the season, as I predicted, well almost, well not all. I really thought we would get beat as they needed it more than we did. Sunderland didn't help themselves & we did. The truth is it only papers over the cracks which will emerge in the coming months & then this victory will count for little. Great to be safe but the future is to uncertain to enjoy the survival for long.
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19/05/2009 16:35:00

Just watched the whole match again on Setanta and was more than a little fed up with the commentators going on and on about the fact that the ref blew his whistle before the Utaka shot crossed the line. I didn't notice this at all at the match and it was clear he blew after JU had made contact with the ball, it was on its way in. It wasn't much of a controversy and Ricky Sbragia didn't have much to say about it, just that if we'd got the penalty, we'd have scored anyway (as long as JU wasn't given the job again)
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19/05/2009 20:04:00

What a match to go out on! The first half was dire, I wanted to go home - but I'm glad I didn't. Hart has shown there is more to him than just playing safe, and I'm really pleased about that. Very pleased with Begovic - unlike England we have a solid replacement for whenever Jamo may be out. Also loved the mutual anti-Newcastle chanting, that was fun! As for Linvoy, the man is a true legend, it was great to see him and his big smile out there even if for just a few minutes. Then there was the "lap of appreciation", must admit I was wondering how many I would never see again. Oh, forgot to mention Glen Johnson and all his 9 player of the season awards. 'don't go!'
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19/05/2009 20:13:00

Hammersmith, my understanding is that the ref was about to blow for a penalty (about to = didn't), then Utaka scored anyway, so he played the advantage. I'm getting increasingly hacked off with Setanta about lots of things, and this doesn't help. On Sunday they were trailing our match saying neither side were safe. Not sure if they didn't know or were lying. Not sure which is worse.
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19/05/2009 20:15:00


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