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Tottenham 2 - Pompey 1

White Hart Lane

Sunday 01-10-06, 4pm

Attendance: 36,063

Pompey Lose To Dodgy Pen

Pompey travelled to White Hart Lane knowing a win would, at worst see us sitting in second place in the Premiership during the International break.

A debut was handed to Niko Kranjcar who along with Lomana LuaLua came in for Matty Taylor and Benjani respectively. Mido didn't get his chance to face his "easiest" opponent Sol Campbell as he started the game from the bench, where he remained.

First half goals from Danny Murphy after 42 seconds and Jermain Defoe ten minutes before the break from the spot following Didier Zokora's blatant dive put Spurs in control. Kanu pulled one back before the break but Pompey couldn't create enough to avoid a second successive defeat as they went down 2-1.

First Half
Pompey got the game underway in their new all black strip as we looked to gain our first points ever at White Hart Lane, but after only 42 seconds we were 1-0 down! Dimitar Berbatov's header could only be parried by David James and rather than clearing Glen Johnson tried to leave it for James only somehow managing to nudge it to Danny Murphy as James tired to pounce on the ball and Murphy took advantage to tap into an empty net.

Having not conceded before Monday we had now conceded our first away goal of the season also, but the crowd reacted as always and so did the players, responding by winning a series of corners won initially as a result of Paul Robinson turning away Kanu`'looping header.

Debutant Niko Kranjcar first real involvement would be to be sandwiched between two Spurs players as he won a free kick in a first ten minutes that were very open with Spurs' Berbatov looking dangerous.

Spurs started to apply some pressure and after winning a couple of corners from one of them David James would have to make the games first real save. Having made room for himself on the edge of the area Murphy went for the top left hand corner but James denied him with a fine save flying away to his right.

Gary O'Neil forced Robinson into his first save at the other end, although it was a timid effort. Trying his luck from the edge of the area his effort lacked power and feel straight into the arms of the England goalkeeper who set Spurs away on a break.

Having previously struggled to really get into the game Pompey started to see more of the ball from and Sol Campbell, being booed anytime he touched the ball, or came anywhere near it could have silenced the crowd could he have better directed his header from a corner.

With Pompey getting back into the game they were almost caught on the break as the lively Berbatov flicked on to Jermain Defoe who would have been in had it not been for James' finger tips as he raced to the edge of his box.

As the game entered the final ten minutes of the half the moment of controversy, which ultimately settled the game would occur. Having done well to get into the box Didier Zokora's blatant dive would con the referee into awarding Spurs a penalty. Under no pressure from Pedro Mendes, who pulled his leg away Zokora went down and the referee bought his act, pointing to the spot. In all fairness to the referee my initial reaction was "penalty" but it certainly wasn't and although he only sees the incident once the ref did seem to be in a very good position.

Defoe placed the ball on the spot and despite James going the right way he was beaten low into the bottom left hand corner as Pompey's already difficult task was made harder, they were now left with a mountain to climb to claim even a point.

This mountain was reduced to a mole hill as Kanu headed Pompey back into the game in the 40th minutes. Although I was finding it hard to single out one player for special praise (Johnson was having a terrible game, constantly giving the ball away or misplacing passes) Gary O'Neil was having a decent enough one having already put in a series of fine crosses into the middle, and it would be another inch perfect ball that found Kanu.

Second Half
As the second half got underway Mendes looked to extract some revenge on Zokora with a cynical foul which earned Spurs a free kick on the edge of the Pompey box. A few words were exchanged, but Mendes had made his point, not that it would be any real consolation for what had gone before.

Pompey upped the tempo at the start of the second half with Lomana LuaLua, who had found it difficult to get into the game before, linking up well with Kranjcar before Mendes tried his luck from long range, which on reflection he maybe wished he hadn't.

The game flowed from end to end but with little clear cut incident or opportunity, although a great defensive header from the once again steady and commanding Linvoy Primus denied Michael Dawson what would have been a free header on goal.

Kranjcar was coming into the game more and seeing more of the ball in the second forty-five minutes as Pompey pressed, trying to turn their possession into something meaningful, Johnson on the other hand continued to struggle.

64 minutes in and Harry Redknapp decided changes were needed, off came captain Dejan Stefanovic and the quiet Sean Davis with Matty Taylor and Benjani coming on in their places. With Stefanovic's departure the captain's armband was passed to Sol.

With his first effort on goal Kranjcar narrowly put over with a powerful effort from some 25-yards, before Robinson almost got caught out in the Spurs gaol. As he attempted to leave a ball which he thought was running out for a goal kick LuaLua nipped in behind him but was unable to pull the ball back for the waiting Pompey attackers.

A rare mistake from Linvoy let in Spurs on the counter attack but Taylor's last gasp covering challenge on the tiring Berbatov cleared the danger for a corner, which Primus would defend well. From a corner moments later Jermaine Jenas was denied by another good save from James.

With less than twenty minutes to play the third and final Pompey change was made, off came Kanu, who looked to be carrying a slight injury with Andrew Cole coming on for his Pompey league debut in his place. Spurs' Bulgarian threat Berbatov soon followed Kanu off the pitch as the seventy odd minutes he'd played, his first game in some weeks caught up with him.

The disappointing and seemingly off the pace Johnson, playing in the worst match I've seen him play EVER had a shot charged down which found its way to Cole who's own effort was well blocked by the Tottenham defence before somehow ricocheting it way back to him but he wouldn't be able to get a shot away this time.

As Pompey pushed forward in numbers late on Defoe broke away and as the defence backed off he got a shot in which James again saved well, with Jenas, with the goal pretty much at his mercy from the edge of the box following another Spurs break unable to connect with a pull back, wildly miss kicking completely.

Without being able to create any clear cut openings Pompey were being restricted to long ranged efforts, most of which were from Kranjcar, with most of them being disappointing. One in particular had he played in Cole instead of shooting the veteran would have been in one on one with Robinson and you'd have fancied him to score.

Following a collision between Sol and Spurs defenders Dawson and Tom Huddlestone, Dawson would have to be removed after a lengthily stoppage with Huddlestone bandaged up which would lead to five minutes injury time, giving Pompey hope if they could just create that chance... which they did, although not clear cut LuaLua got in the end of a cross to the far post in the 93rd minute but his header, shoulder, back or neck, whatever connected powerfully would be superbly saved by Robinson to deny Pompey a probably fair point.

There would still be time for Spurs to have another break away and when through on goal Jenas' effort would go over the bar, with the aid of a great Mendes challenge, not seen by the referee or his assistants though as a goal kick was given.

So we were beaten again, can't say we deserved to win the game but I don't think we deserved to lose. Once again it was a case of not converting our possession into clear cut chances, which Spurs need some credit for.

Not ideally we now go into the International break off the back of back to back defeats. This can either work in our favour with players working on match fitness etc. or players will reflect on what has happened with negative thoughts creeping in which shouldn't happen as we've just been beaten by to good, and well organised sides in Bolton and Tottenham, no disgrace there but I had been looking for at least four points from these games though...

Spurs - Danny Murphy 1, Jermain Defoe pen 35
Pompey - Kanu 40

David James
Linvoy Primus
Dejan Stefanovic (c) (Matty Taylor 64)
Glen Johnson
Sol Campbell
Niko Kranjcar
Gary O'Neil
Pedro Mendes
Sean Davis (Benjani 64)
Lomana LuaLua
Kanu (Andrew Cole 72)


Substitutes Not Used
Dean Kiely
Noe Pamarot

Star Player

Pedro Mendes
Not many Pompey players really had good games but Pedro Mendes did in my opinion, he covered so much ground doing a lot of good defensive work as well as pulling the strings in the middle of the park, was harshly penalised for yet more good tracking back on Didier Zokora for the "penalty." His one mistake aside Linvoy Primus looked fantastic at the back again; covering at times for Sol Campbell who had a few rocky moments in front of the booing Spurs fans. Gary O'Neil also had an OK game but seemed to drift in an out.

Glen Johnson was poor and Niko Kranjcar needs to learn he won't get the time he wants on the ball in the Premiership but he will, still showed some nice touches and decent ideas so I have no doubt will be a top player.




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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday October 1 2006

Time: 6:09PM

Your Comments

Didn't they get a dodgy one last year when the ball hit O'Neil's arm.
storagematt
Fair play to Martin Jol for keeping the wide mouthed Mido on the bench, he did not deserve to play, sorry guys but don't agree about the penalty decision being dodgy, even if it was all teams get these decisions that go their way even you and I am sure it evens itself out by the end of the season. I would still loved you guys to win this one even if it was just to see the smug look wiped off the faces of the Tottenham fans!!
Cravens
what a terrible dive, too much of it happening in the game and it's not just the foreigners some of the worst offenders are Rooney and Gerrard supposed hard men!!!
dazza71
It shouldn't be a situation where discissions even themselves out over a season. The people at the top of the sport should ask themselves why incorrect discissions are made each weekend. This week alone Arsenal should of had Van Persie sent off before his two goals against Charlton. The Liverpool keeper was ajudged to of handled the ball outside the area and the linesman even tried getting himself back into the correct position to argue with the keeper, and then we have Spurs Zokora diving in the area claiming Pedro had taken his feet from under him. The FA should maybe start looking into why these errors are being made so often or atleast start looking into the camera at video evidence. Maybe the BBC could do a documenatry on referee's taking a bung.
nelson
cheated
lmatthews
What do you thinka bout Kruchies game? I think he was the best in pompeys team. Glen played the worst game ever...
hr_fan
Shocking, two years in a row we've been done by a dodgy penalty at White Hart Lane, O'Neil's "handball" last season this time appauling dive, Zokora should be ashamed of himself! I thought Kranjcar was OK but as for him being the best out there not so sure about that...
pompeyrug
2 games in a row ive not been impressed with johnson... easily gives the ball away (cant name a time he passed to a pompey player), isnt a fast enough player (mentally) and easily loses confidence. was a good game, we were unlucky to go 2-0 down but what the hell was up with the 1st goal, just HOOF THE ******* BALL AWAY! we were robbed again, and easily deserved a point! West ham next, i think its our turn for points!
pompey pessimist
 

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