Date:Sunday January 31 2010
Well the result was predictable, but it wasn't the predicted thrashing we expected, Pompey with a bit of luck could of got something in the end, but Mrs.Luck served divorce papers a long time ago.
Pompey sprang a surprise of sorts by playing David James in goal, with Begovic being courted in the Potteries, Grant was forced to turn to Jamo who is on the verge of departing himself, Ashdown was overlooked once more.
Vanden Borre got a first Prem start in 4 months, Finnan sat on the bench to rest him for Wednesday.
Ben Haim stepped into the breach left by Kaboul and Webber earnt a start in place of Piquionne.
The City faithful sat back and waited for the avalanche of goals to start cascading into the away net, but Pompey nearly broke the deadlock as early as the 4th minute, Webber sent over a deep cross from the left and Given flapped straight to Utaka, he lacked composure though and skied a good half-chance over the bar, a golden chance had passed us by.
3 minutes later and Pompey had a good shout for a penalty, trouble is it was one of those you rarely get as an away side, you know the sort, free-kick anywhere on the pitch except the penalty area, Webber going for a centre got shoved over by Garrido, ref waving away his despairing shouts.
City had to wait until the 25th minute to get James into action, Ireland bought down a ball over the top, (maybe with a hand) and shot for James to save comfortably.
On 36, Pompey almost had the lead, Utaka was played in by Webber and his backheel was struck first time by Vanden Borre, his shot in turn looped up off of Kompany and hit the bar, Ireland stood strong to divert away, another inch lower and Pompey would have led.
Just 3 minutes later and I'm sure I spotted Lady Luck sat in the home section with one hand giving a one fingered salute to all things Pompey, our defence made a hash of an offside trap, Ireland played long over the top, and Adebayor who still looked off took one touch and blasted home past James. The slope had got steeper.
On the stroke of half-time James made a hash of holding a Tevez shot and let it squirt out for a corner, the centre came over and Kompany powered it home with Ben Haim resembling a flat-footed pygmy, 2 down and almost out.
The second half saw Pompey go about City once more, but Boateng seemed disinterested and Webber and Utaka were struggling to break free.
O'Hara was tidy enough on his return, but both he and Basinas were struggling to find a killer through ball.
A couple of Pompey corners caused a bit of havoc with no result, then came another golden moment for Pompey, Basinas lashed in a 30 yarder that Given could only parry to Webber, with the goal gaping last weeks hero managed to get his feet in a tangle and just helped the ball wide, you do wonder how the outcome would of been if any of City's strikeforce had had the chance.
Pompey couldn't of been accused of lack of effort barring a couple, but that extra quality could not be found, to highlight the matter Wilson mishit a volley straight to Piquionne who could only deflect into Givens arms.
The whistle went and no doubt the headlines will claim it was easy for City, but Pompey put in a shift with very little luck, the side is still showing some fighting spirit in the face of adversity, but that will not be enough.
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Date:Sunday January 31 2010
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