Vital Football

Pompey 2-1 Man City

2 - 1
Man City

Fratton Park

Saturday 10-02-07, 5:15pm

Attendance: 19,344


With just three points from the last eighteen victory was a must for Pompey over our visitors to Fratton Park this evening Man City, thanks to a late Kanu winner this was obtained with a 2-1 win.

Injury ruled out Linvoy Primus with Harry Redknapp deciding to make five other changes from the Wigan match, out went Lauren, Richard Hughes, Rudolph Douala, Benjani and Kanu with Djimi Traore, Matty Taylor, Sean Davis, Gary O'Neil, Lomana LuaLua and Andrew Cole coming in.

In a dream start Pedro Mendes scored another of his blockbusters to give Pompey an early lead, chances came and went before a Bernardo Corradi equaliser. A draw was looking likely, if not fair until substitute Kanu popped up with a winner.

The draw back of the win was the injury to Mendes as a result of a scandalously late challenge on him from Joey Barton, this so incensed Redknapp that he confronted the referee at half time and got sent to the stands for the second half as a result.

First Half
The key to this match was always likely to be a good start by Pompey and it doesn't get much better than a goal in the opening five minutes! Matty Taylor's corner was well punched away by Andreas Isaksson but it fell to Pedro Mendes who turned his man well before smashing home an unstoppable 20-yard effort through the crowd and past the Swedish International before he could react.

After efforts from Lomana LuaLua and Andrew Cole had gone wide of the target Isaksson was called into action again, and all before ten minutes were played. Some trickery from LuaLua worked an opening and his curling 30-yard drive destined for the bottom corner was tipped away for a corner.

Pompey were rampant and but for further saves by Isaksson from Taylor, tipping around the post, another long range effort from Mendes and once again tipping a LuaLua effort away for a corner we could have been maybe 5-0 up with less than thirty minutes played, while a cross almost found its way into the City net via a deflection off Micah Richards, but likely for them it went narrowly wide.

With half time approaching a moment of real controversy arose, with the ball nowhere in sight and no intent of trying to win the ball Joey Barton raked his studs down Mendes' Achilles to leave the Portuguese midfielder writhing in pain. The challenge eventually earned Barton a yellow card but saw Mendes carried off on a stretcher against City once again to be replaced by Lauren.

Despite having most of the running and most of the chances but for a fantastic reaction save from David James to deny Bernardo Corradi's header City would have found themselves level on half time.

Second Half
The incident involving Barton had incensed Harry Redknapp so much that he went into the referees changing room at half time and after a rant of foul and abusive language he was banished to the stands for the second half.

With Mendes missing in the midfield having pulled all the strings in the first half we were finding it harder to boss this area as City improved then just after the hour a sloppy clearance from Djimi Traore went straight to Vassell in the midfield who delivered and inch perfect cross to Corradi, who maybe without much challenge from Noe Pamarot guided the ball past James.

The Fratton crowd reacted as they always did and but for a double save from Isaksson to deny first LuaLua and then Cole we would have been ahead again, but City themselves then had a good chance to take the lead. A good move eventually ended with Michael Ball, a reported transfer window target for Pompey to drive wide from 20-yards.

Twenty minutes to play and with nerves jangling a little with the importance of the game Redknapp made the attacking move to bring on Niko Kranjcar and Kanu in place of Traore and Cole.

Glen Johnson, who had a fine game went on a marauding run down the right and curled a shot from the edge of the area that narrowly missed the top corner, was it going to be one of those days? The answer no!

Another good Johnson run saw him cleverly pick out Kanu who looked to have been too heavy with his touch as it got away from him but with the goalkeeper and defenders converging upon him he stretched out one of his big boots and poked home to give Pompey a priceless three points.

Match Summary
What a massive three points this is, we were looking fairly comfortable until some sloppy defending from Djimi Traore allowed City the ball in midfield, not the best of defending from Noe Pamarot either to allow Corradi in so easily but he moved well to get in but we dug in a found that second goal we so desperately needed.

Almost a year ago Pedro Mendes inspired us to a crucial victory over City; in the 44 minutes he played today he was doing the same. As an after event Barton should be punished for his disgraceful challenge on Mendes but knowing the FA they'll do nothing.

If this victory has half the impact it did last season you better be dusting off your passports again with many of you having put them away recently! My belief that Europe could still be attained has never wavered, had we lost today I would have been close to conceding but as it is it has grown ever stronger. Every team has a bad patch and we've had ours.

We have a week off now to rest and recuperate due to the FA Cup next weekend but then we travel to Blackburn for another crunch match, another must win.


Pompey 2 - Pedro Mendes 5, Kanu 81
Man City 1 - Bernardo Corradi 62

David James
Glen Johnson
Noe Pamarot
Sol Campbell
Djimi Traore (Niko Kranjcar 71)
Matty Taylor
Gary O'Neil
Sean Davis
Pedro Mendes (Lauren 44)
Andrew Cole (Kanu 71)
Lomana LuaLua

Substitutes Not Used
Jamie Ashdown
Rudolph Douala

Date:Saturday February 10 2007
Time: 11:31PM


The win was very important on 3 fronts...ending a winless streak, keeping Euro dreams alive and giving Pompey fans virtual Premiership security. Not that we were worried about the latter - I bloody well was on current form. Any news on Mendes injury ?
11/02/2007 10:42:00
Pompeygray on sky this morning the club have said that they wont know until tomorrow. On the other fronts in thwe 1st half we showed some class and despite extreme provocation in the second half we showed real character and application.fabulous goal from Mendes & LuaLua seems to have got the message that he has team mates so credit to him for yesterday's performance. Good substitutions Krunchie did some good stuff and i thought changed it back in our favour, and Kanu scores and smiles again. Also it seems we have got some of those all important lucky breaks back. Much more for a domm and gloomer to be content about eh midge. And we broke that dreaded 40 point barrier and hopefully we can kick on away to blackburn next week.
11/02/2007 11:07:00
Barton is an animal, I've been on the Citeh websites venting my spleen about him, Psycho and City in general. I am sick and tired of our players getting kicked all over the park by maggots such as Thatcher, Barton and many others while our players get booked for really pathetic issues. Take yesterday, Cole was booked by useless idiot referee Dean purely because e would not walk over the him when he whistled Cole over. Minutes later, that dirty piece of scum Barton crunched the back of Mendes' Achilles in what can only be seen as a deliberate act of violence towards him as Mendes was making a fool out of City's inept midfield. This could have ended Mendes' career, the second time this season by a bunch of inbred, morons from the North, the same side that did it to him last time. This foul brought a yellow card from Dean for Barton, so how on earth does that work out? Cole gets a yellow for not responding to the referee fast enough, yet animal Barton can end a player's career and he too only gets a yellow card? Meanwhile, Harry goes to complain the Dean at half time and gets a red card for foul and abusive language which he allegedly used in the officials changing room - NOT on the pitch in front of others like Barton. Where is the balance of justice there? The Premiership stinks, the referees are atrocious and players like Barton are scum who get away with murder. Is the Prem really worth it????
11/02/2007 11:19:00
Barton is a thug on and off the field. Does anyone remember him being sent home in disgrace following a Thailand bar incident ? Is he worse than Thatcher ? The answer is yes. Joey Barton should play with those other unnamed thugs that used to play for Leeds Utd.
11/02/2007 12:27:00
TruePompeyBlue, you basiclly just put into words exactlly what I have been thinking since yesterday, which leaves me with little to say, only I totally agree with all points & Dean was another megalomaniac wanting to make a name for himself...*****er!
11/02/2007 12:33:00
Seems to me that Barton couldn't out play mendes so he decided to take him out. It nearly worked as we struggle for a while after Mendes left the field but Thankfully justice was done with the result if not with the refs handling of the matter.
Steve C
11/02/2007 14:12:00
I suspect copy+paste in TruePompeyBlue's comment (jk).
11/02/2007 16:56:00
don't think he wanted to put him out the game just to foul him
11/02/2007 17:32:00
Great to see some desire and passion around the team once more. What a simply fantastic first half (except for pedro's injury) and some grit and determination in the second. As for Barton, i think you've all said it already! Play up pompey lets keep this going at Blackburn. Anyone know who the ref is by the way?lol.
11/02/2007 17:48:00
And just to add I thought Johnson played well, and Lua had a great game.
11/02/2007 18:30:00
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