Pompey depart Carling cup
Pompey predictably crashed out of the League cup tonight, we were denied the services of top performers O'Hara and Boateng who were cup-tied along with Tommy Smith and Mike Williamson.
Hermann Hreidarsson surprisingly started, I felt he may of been rested after his long term injury, while the Utaka/Webber strike partnership that was called for got an airing. Vanden Borre started at right-back trying to prove he is an option, while Belhadj provided width to the left.
Pompey got off to a flier, Petrov sliced in a Webber corner in only the 10th minute, luck hasn't gone hand in hand with Pompey so far, but it was certainly a bit of fortune on the night.
But this is Pompey, not content with a bit of luck, Hreidarsson declined the chance to clear and Emile Heskey who only ever seems to score against Pompey was left one-on-one, he slotted past Begovic and the lead lasted 2 minutes.
Buoyed by their goal and Villa gained the upper hand, Milner skinned Brown alive and blasted home a second on 27th minutes, the match was following an all so familiar routine, lax defending and slopping finishing from the home side, an almost blueprint for the season.
The half was seen out under Villa pressure, Pompey were further out to sea than the Isle of Wight, all our frailties were evident and Grant could see the job at hand.
Second half and Pompey decided to make a fist of it, we held all the possesion but lacked a cutting edge, Vanden Borre was bombing forward at every opportunity, but the goal would not come, Hughes and Brown were tidy enough in the middle, but neither could find a killer ball, in fact neither could find a petty thief of a ball, creativity is not the name of their game.
With 3/4's of the game gone, Villa added another, Young's cross deflected onto the head of Downing and the returning midfielder had a comeback goal, Pompey were undone once more, the scoreline may have looked harsh, but the difference in luck/quality/confidence was clear.
Pompey were still pushing, but never threatening, Piquionne had a couple of headers smothered uneasily by Guzan, and then Kanu squirted home from 6 yards to set up a grand finale, trouble is Pompey opened up once again, Young hit home a deflected effort within a minute, and Pompey had scored two and conceded within 2 minutes for the second time in the match, game over and a Pompey crowd left to go home soaked and defeated with 4 goals against fro the second time in 3 days.