Vital Football

Pompey punish 'pool

2 - 0





Pompey did what none of the pundits thought we could do, the upstarts from the South coast turned over the royalty from the North West.

To be honest Liverpool were as poor as I have seen them, ever. They (Benitez)may point to Mascherano getting sent off, but Liverpool were all ready a goal down and lacking any fluency. Pompey however were right up for it, the passing was a bit amiss from both sides, but the boys in blue were coping better with the slippy conditions.

Avram Grant rang the changes once more, Begovic retained his place with James still ill, wilson dropped to the bench in favour of Kaboul partnering Ben Haim, what proved to be a masterstroke though was the recall of Belhadj to keep Johnson quiet.

The game kicked off and the tricky pitch was evident from the off, both teams finding footing awkward, and passing was going astray.

Liverpool dominated the first 5 minutes, but Pompey had the first sniff of goal, O'Hara delivering a free-kick into the box which was half-cleared and ended up with Piquionne almost touching it past Reina.

Torres was predictably looking like the most likely for 'pool, a shot narrowly over Begovic's bar showing his threat.

On the half hour and Pompey had a magic moment, Boateng smashed in a volley that Reina saved well, the ball went up in the air and Johnson weakly headed it away from goal, straight to Belhadj who hit the sweetest of volley's with his swinging foot past Reina, he was buried under a pile on of Pompey players and the crowd erupted.

Liverpool should of been level within 2 minutes, Agger headed over what was really a sitter and Pompey lived on.

Just before half-time came what was to be the pivotal moment, Ben Haim was carrying the ball out of defence when Mascherano decided to launch into a lunge at him, both players went down and a melly developed as Pompey took umbrage to the challenge, Mascherano was in a worse state on the ground and he limped off with a red card in his face.

Half-time arrived with the predictable chants of 'Getting sacked in the morning', Benitezs' face didn't seem to reflect otherwise.

Second half and Pompey had obviously upset Liverpool some how, Ben haim in particular as Lucas was straight in the book for leaving his foot in.
Liverpool were having the early pressure and finally registered a shot on target, Begovic fielding easily.

Torres was next to see yellow, Brown had obviously wound him up sufficiently to draw a foul and 'pools in discipline was clear.

Pompey were robbing Liverpool regularly in dangrerous positions, Johnson getting picked by O'Hara, and Piquionne was running Carragher ragged.

Just after the hour and Pompey had Begovic to thank, Gerrard fired in a shot which deflected twice, it seemed to be looping in but out came a hand and flicked it away, a truly outstanding reaction save.
The match was becoming proper end-to-end stuff, 'pool were pushing for an equaliser and Pompey for a second killer, Pompey should of had it, but Piquionne got a 50p head on a fantastic cross and headed wide from 8 yards.

With 10 minutes left however, Piquionne got the goal his selfless running deserved, Boateng skinned Agger on the right and fired in a cross, Piq's touch was heavy, but his second touch every bit as good as Belhadjs' in the first half, he swivelled in a volley and Pompey were 2 up with time ticking up.

Pompey played out the final 10 comfortably, Liverpool pushed, but the rearguard held firm, Kaboul proving a colossus in the air, and Ben haim a rock on the ground.

Star Player

So many could of run away with this award on another day, but so many performed so well, but I will go for Brown who shut out Gerrard and got in more tackles than Jordan after a babycham.

Manager Rating

Avram is proving that he is a top tactician, he picks horses for courses and is getting it spot on.

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Date:Sunday December 20 2009
Time: 10:23AM

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nice one paul, love the 'Brown who shut out Gerrard and got in more tackles than Jordan after a babycham' quote, fantastic! and very true...on both counts! brown was top class yesterday

a win that we TOTALLY deserved - we cannot say that we have got what we 'totally deserved' all that often this season can we?
like you i thought liverpool were shockingly poor, as bad as i have seen them, well in a long time, well ever! at the moment they do not have a hope in hell of making the top 4, altho that can change quickly - altho if it does not is 'financial meltdown' on the cards...
20/12/2009 10:44:00
They didn't actually score
20/12/2009 11:05:00
hope not rug for their sakes, as we all know far too well it ain't pleasent, the 1 difference is that if they go into financial melt down i really don't see them getting out of it, just because of the massive amounts of debt their owners have got them in, even with their better infastructure they'd struggle and how many of the glory supporting fans are gonna stay round..... makes ya worry about football as a whole really, but great report paul and what a game enjoyed it immensly!
20/12/2009 11:37:00
p.s. come on chelsea you can win today! hahah :D
20/12/2009 11:38:00
wow! if chelsea win, we're off th bottom of the table for th first time since...ever!
20/12/2009 12:24:00
Anyone see Kuyt say "we're going to teach you a lesson now…" after Mascherano got sent off? Yeah right mate. I don't really care if Liverpool are ***** at the moment, 3 points are everything right now to us. If Chelsea beat West Ham today we'll be off the bottom and won't have the dreaded 'bottom at Christmas' routine thrown at us.
20/12/2009 12:26:00
This is a fantastic 3 points that we really need and didn't expect to get! A true turning point for the season. And of course another chant from the Fratton fans yesterday was 'We're staying up!" Perhaps we just might!
20/12/2009 13:25:00
we will be off the bottom in no time a.k.a today when the hammers live up to their name and get hammered by chelsea
20/12/2009 13:58:00
Personally, I loved the "Feed the Scousers" chant. Priceless!
Pompey Half Pint
20/12/2009 14:44:00
Great to see that after the half time break we stuck to our game plan, and kept concentration right through to the end. Under Hart we didn't do that, and it cost us points. Avram keep up the good work. The players don't want to get carried away there is a hard slog ahead. Just focus on building on confidence levels and continue the improvements at West Ham. PUP!! Does anyone have news on the transfer embargo?
20/12/2009 14:55:00
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