Still life in the Tramp's vest
Pompey were reminiscent of Nigel Benn yesterday, there we were out on the ropes, and out of nowhere came a giant right hook to ko an opponent, we may be doomed, but we will not go quietly, kicking and screaming is the Pompey way, and you can bet there will be a few more bloody noses in the Premiership before we depart.
Avram Grant decided to tinker a little once more, he still perservered with just one up front, but Webber was certainly playing a more supporting role. Hos masterstroke though was removing Marc Wilson from the firing line of central defence, he was placed in the 'Basinas' role in front of the defence, he has had his doubters of late, he was about to ram some comments down some peoples throats.
Pompey came out and it was like watching a team freed from pressure, the ball was on the deck and the passing a bit better than of late, we were not playing like Arsenal of course, but I reckon we could of matched their youth team!
Burnley are in as deep relegation trouble as Pompey, their home form is what has kept them afloat, but they were conceding possesion to the team with the hangman's noose around their necks and almost went behind in the first quarter of an hour, Belhadj fired in a cross toward Webber who deftly flicked home, the flag was up though as he had strayed marginally offside.
It took only a further 10 minutes though, and Webber was involved again, he weved and jinked and fired in a cross-shot that Piquionne managed to get to, he had got goalside of Carlisle and fired home.
The goal fired Burnley into a bit of life, they were in a game and decided they had better up their own ante, Fletcher almost pulled them level, he outstipped Rocha and then fired over James' bar, McDonald was next, he crossed from the right and James did well to squirt it out for a corner.
Pompey were undone by route one once more, but make no mistake this was a quality goal, Jensen pumped long and Paterson with his back to goal managed to lift the ball up and over James, a great opportunist goal.
There was quarter of an hour of the half to go, Burnley were on top, Elliot forced a low save from James and then came the first in a hat-trick of penalty shouts aginst Carlisle, Webber crossed and the son of Richard Whiteley got his hand in the way, both officials missed it however and Pompey were denied.
Quincy was off and Utaka was on, but O'Hara was next to threaten, he took a return pass and smashed a shot aginst Jensens' bar, the ball bounced down and Foxe blocked Webber's follow-up, so close.
This was a great game, something we have been denied a bit lately, and the second half was going to be little different. Piquionne almost got in first, but Mears produced a last ditch tackle to deny him, he did the same a couple of minutes later, but this time the hapless Carlisle was up against him, his challenge was not so clean and Pompey had a spot-kick.
Half a dozen players ran away from the responsibilty, and O'Hara stood up, he hit his penalty firmly enough, but it was to close to Jensen, he saved like he had a Fratton earlier in the season and scores were still level.
The penalty save lifted Burnley once more and Fletcher should have made Pompey pay, Mears crossed from the right and the Scot headed over from six yards with only James to beat, a real let off.
Both teams were going all out for a win, Burnley went all out with Eagles and Cork coming on, this led to a ten minute spell of Claret pressure, but James was never seriously threatened again.
Pompey got a second go from 12 yards on 75, Clarke intercepted a throw ment for his 'keeper, he was caught by both Utaka and Webber and responded by flattening Utaka, Pompey had another golden chance. This time Yebda fought off Wilson for the chance, and he smashed home, sending Jensen the wrong way for his second Pompey goal, Pompey were in front once more.
Burnley predictably threw everything at pompey now, but the defence held out, ably aided by Wilson in front of them, Rocha was the most static of the rearguard however, and he first took a yellow for a bodycheck on Eagles, and the repeated the dose 5 minutes later and saw red for the second time in his fledgling Pompey career.
Pompey were able to see out the 5 minutes injury time, Diop having a little cameo, heading clear a dangerous centre, his only contribution but a telling one.
Time to bounce back?
Never has a ChumbaWumba song seemed more apt!
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