Vital Football

Kanu Double In 3-0 Win!

3 - 0
Blackburn Rovers

Fratton Park

Saturday 19-08-06, 3pm

Attendance: 19,523


Pompey handed starts to David James, Glen Johnson and Sol Campbell, as the season got underway at Fratton Park with a 3-0 win over Blackburn Rovers, to top the league, albeit briefly...

Svetoslav Todorov opened the scoring in the first half. Kanu, Todorov's replacement, doubled the lead with a debut goal before Lucas Neill saw red for his second booking. Kanu wrapped up the game with his second and Pompey's third, before having a late penalty saved as Andy Todd also received his marching orders.

Matty Taylor would have the first effort of the day fro Pompey, his 35-yard free kick drilled wide of Brad Friedel`s left hand post.

A few minutes later Robbie Savage would test David James with a free kick of his own, his 20-yard effort tipped wide for a Blackburn corner.

Just after the first booking of the afternoon, picked up by Taylor, Benjani, who was unexpected to be fit enough to play would have his first shot of the day, but would be unable to test Friedel.

Taylor would again be involved with the next effort Pompey would have on goal, his cross would find O`Neil who would unleash an effort that wouldn`t really trouble Friedel.

The moment the Fratton faithful had been waiting for arrived on 25 minutes. Benjani`s run down the right would end up with him pulling the ball back to strike partner Svetoslav Todorov who finished from six yards. The fans went wild!

A minute later Sol Campbell would have his first attempt at goal in a Pompey shirt, his header from a Sean Davis free-kick would be parried by the far busier of the two 'keepers Friedel.

On the half hour a barrage of Pompey pressure would ensue. Firstly the head of Linvoy Primus would meet Davis` free kick, but Michael Gray would block his effort. The resulting corner would again see Campbell get another header on goal, which would be blocked again, this time by Lucas Neill for another corner. Savage would clear Taylor`s centre to safety.

Davis would have Pompey`s last effort on goal of the first half, but his long-range effort failed to trouble American Friedel. There would however be time enough for two Blackburn efforts, the first a header by Savage safely claimed by James, the second drawing a good challenge from Sol Campbell to deny Steven Reid.

Morten Gamst Pedersen`s header from a Steven Reid cross would provide the second half`s first chance, but James gathered comfortably.

The first of two Matty Taylor efforts in the opening 10 minutes of the second half would be a 30 yarder over the top, the second, from much closer saved easily by Friedel.

Todorov`s last involvement of the game before being replaced by Kanu`s for his debut, would see him caught offside

Almost immediately Kanu would start his Pompey career with a goal. Sean Davis` cross would find the head of the Nigerian who powered home a header.

Things got worse for Blackburn as a 63rd minute foul on Kanu saw Lucas Neill dismissed for his second bookable offence, seeing the visitors reduced to 10 men.

With the game effectively won half chances would come and go for Benjani and Mendes, but Friedel would prove to be hardly troubled by either.

Yet another Taylor effort would force Friedel to tip his effort round the post for a corner however as the final ten minutes approached.

Despite little real threat from Blackburn all afternoon, with ten minutes remaining any lingering doubts that victory was Pompey`s were quashed as Kanu would head his second, and Pompey`s third, again Davis providing the assist with his cross.

Benjani, who had a good game, would shot over the bar before being replaced by David Thompson, who would also now make his competitive debut for Pompey with time running out.

As the game entered injury time Blackburn captain Andy Todd would be dismissed for a professional foul on Kanu, giving the Nigerian the chance for a dream 30 minute debut hat trick! It wasn`t to be as Brad Friedel guessed correctly and saved the spot kick.

Blackburn surprisingly offered very little threat, but we will more than happily settle for that, and a win, 3-0 at that even better. The win represents our first over Rovers at Fratton in the Premiership.

My tip for player to watch Kanu, even though I expected him to start with Benjani reportedly out injured, didn`t let me down. Although I wasn`t at the game he clearly had an impact on it, and appeared to cause Blackburn problems after his arrival.

A great way to start the season, let`s hope for more, continuing at Manchester City on Wednesday night, PLAY UP POMPEY!!!

Pompey - Todorov 26, Kanu 62, 80 (Missed Pen 90)
Blackburn Rovers -

David James
Glen Johnson
Linvoy Primus
Sol Campbell
Dejan Stefanovic (c)
Gary O'Neil
Pedro Mendes
Sean Davis
Matty Taylor
Benjani (David Thompson 87)
Svetoslav Todorov (Kanu 59)

Substitutes Not Used
Nick Jordan
Richard Hughes
Noe Pamarot

Star Player

Sol Campbell
Most put in top performances, but Campbell's obvious world-class ability clearly showed. Fine leader, held the line together well. More performances like this and his International career will be far from over.

Shame he couldn't cap his performance by taking at least one of the couple of decent chances he had.

Date:Saturday August 19 2006
Time: 5:22PM

Best of International Football News


Who says we need strikers!!!
19/08/2006 17:24:00
And what a game it was!!!! Sol was absolutely awesome along with James! Im all for critisism, but today was a great performance & I really dont have any. Shame about Benji's miss though, that should have been back of the net. Well, if todays performance is anything to go by we are going to be ok this season. & why not? Arrys put a great team together! Play Up Pompey!!!!
19/08/2006 18:42:00
Get in! Great result, I can't wait to get into work on monday as my mate that is a scouser was ribbing me for us signing James and Kanu!
19/08/2006 18:45:00
wow how good where we!
19/08/2006 19:12:00
Absolutely fantastic! Could easily have ended 4 or 5 as well. Can you of the league! lol
19/08/2006 20:12:00
Good all round performance, ref could've have been better. Linvoy was awesome Campbell superb, mendes everywhere and for my money Bejani's best performance for us by far. As i said before if we give Kanu the service he could prove to be an inspired signing.
Steve C
19/08/2006 20:43:00
Just as I predicted, well almost! I thought a draw was a likely result. Shame on me for doubting, well after 30 years, habits die hard. Well done to the boys. Inspired purchase of Kanu, as I predicted, well almost. Hopefully all those how mocked Pompey will take note. Just 37 games to go lads, keep it up.
19/08/2006 20:45:00
37 games and 37 points so we can draw them all then.
Steve C
19/08/2006 20:49:00
Didnt want James, didnt want Kanu if this carries on humble pie will taste so good. sat in row c 68 & 69 of the milton end with my boy for his first pompey game, 3-0 wn and now he thinks we will get 3-0's every weekend....could be a difficult season. Im stunned, Campbell commanded & inspired, apart from minutes 46 - 56 we actually look organised. Early days yet but I thought Mendes looked real good, and Linvoy very sharp, Kanu, yes he Kan....sorry somebody had to do it.
19/08/2006 21:13:00
A friend of mine saw him warming up during the first half and was heard to remark we're not warming up a sub we're warming up a canoe.
Steve C
19/08/2006 21:16:00
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