Date:Monday March 15 2010
Pompey rolled up to Anfield and rolled over to have their tummy tickled. Tonight was the most inept display we have had to witness so far in a season of, well, inept displays.
The fight was not there, the discipline was lacking and so was basic knowledge, ie; never turn your back on a free-kick, and Torres is right footed and will try to cut inside from the left.
Pompey played it safe from the off, Diop got another chance to show how crap he is, Wilson got another chance to show he should be in midfield and Rocha came back in to show he should be nowhere near the Premiership.
In the first half Pompey tried to contain and counter-attack, it was a tactic that worked of sorts until the 26th minute, then Jamie Ashdown dithered on a clearance and was charged down by Gerrard, the ball broke to Maxi and he squared to the unmarked Torres, one of the deadliest strikers in Europe, he doesn't miss from 6 yards with the net gaping.
I had just about stopped swearing and it was 2, Torres turning Finnan inside out and putting in Babel who stroked home. I still hadn't got yhe toys back in the pram when Aquilani made it 3, Torres back-heeled from the left and although Gerrard was credited with a dummy (he missed it) Aquilani was on hand to smash home a first goal in English football.
Torres slapped a post to almost make it 4 and Pompey were proving that if you need to find a confidence booster when you are struggling, we are your men.
The second half started and Pompey were at least making a fist of it, albeit a monkey sized one, Brown testing Reina at last with a shot from a Belhadj cut back, the Spaniard saving well after fighting off rigor mortis from the first half.
Ashdown made a couple of fine saves to somewhat apease his error for the first goal, notably turning a Babel rasp onto the bar.
On 72 came a contentious moment, Gerrard fresh from his let off for flicking the v's at a ref, decided to take out Brown with a forearm smash, the ref managed to spot a foul, but somehow declared the clothesline approach not worthy of a card, Benitez obviously spotted though, replacing his captain at the first opportunity.
5 minutes later and it was all over, Brown conceded a soft free-kick, as he contested it and walked away waving his arms, Torres was played in, Rocha showed him the inside and the net bulged once more, shocking all round.
With time ticking away, Pompey got a consolation, Belhadj played a one-two of sorts with Piquionne, he crossed deep, Piq volleyed toward goal and Belhadj slotted home.
The whistle blew and Pompey marched off, the stomach for the Premiership has gone now, too many players stunk, with O'Hara going off the boil as well it doesn't bode well.
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Date:Monday March 15 2010
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