Vital Football

Blackburn 3-0 Pompey

3 - 0

Ewood Park

Sunday 25-02-07, 3pm

Attendance: 17434


Pompey travelled to Lancashire this afternoon to face a team many thought could be deflated following their European exit during the week, this proved wrong as Blackburn ran out comfortable winners 3-0 (it should have been worse!)

With Pedro Mendes fit to return with his injury from Joey Barton's horrendous challenge last time out not as bad as first thought. The only change from the win over Man City saw Linvoy Primus return from injury, coming in for Djimi Traore.

A disappointing afternoon saw Blackburn ahead inside of sixty seconds through Shabani Nonda, the same man put them two up inside twenty five. Stephen Warnock added a third early in the second half before Nonda saw a penalty saved by David James.

First Half
Both sides would have been looking to make a good start to put the opponent on the back foot as both sides needed to win really to help their European hopes. And it was Blackburn that got the dream start scoring with the first attack of the game. David Bentley's cross was misjudged by Sol Campbell and his header failed to find David James allowing Shabani Nonda to volley into the corner of the net with less than a minute played.

Pompey were stunned and before we could recover James had to save from Matt Derbyshire's 25-yard effort to prevent the score moving to two - nil in Blackburn's favour with less than three minutes played!

Our first effort came shortly after Derbyshire's, Lomana LuaLua attempting a free kick which was saved by Brad Friedel. We would have to wait another fifteen minutes before another chance, again from LuaLua and again from range but he could only shot wide this time.

Twenty five minutes in and things went from bad to worse. Again confusion at the back between James and Noe Pamarot this time allowed Nonda to nip in to tuck home. A tough job was made even harder, this molehill to climb had suddenly become a mountain but at least we had time...didn't we!

Blackburn had a further effort through Aaron Mokoena but he shot wide with Pompey limited to efforts from range, both also wide of the target from Matty Taylor and LuaLua once again as half time came round with Pompey needing something special in the second half to rescue even a point.

Second Half
Blackburn were forced into a change at half time with Chris Samba having to be replaced by Zurab Khizanishvili while Harry Redknapp acted in the hope of rescuing this game, off came Noe Pamarot and Sean Davis on came Niko Kranjcar and Kanu.

Any hopes of a Pompey fight back were ended five minutes after the break, Stephen Warnock started a move, kept going and popped up to drive past James from within the area. 3-0 to play and still 40 minutes to play!

I always thought that Pedro Mendes and Tugay would play vital parts for their clubs today with both instrumental to each, it was the veteran Tugay who put in a fine display to over shadow his younger rival. Mendes had to be removed ten minutes into the second half allowing Arnold Mvuemba to come in for his Pompey debut.

Nothing was being created; Blackburn looked the hungrier and the team most likely to score more. Indeed James had to save from former Pompey loanee Jason Roberts but then hauled down the otherwise quiet Morten Gamst Pedersen to give Blackburn a penalty. Nonda placed the ball on the spot looking for a hat trick but James guessed the right way to turn the ball away to safety.

Apart from Campbell and Andrew Cole headers, neither of which troubled Friedel it just wasn't happening for Pompey and but from James tipping Roberts' fierce 25-yard drive around the post it would have been 4-0 with time still to play, with James also having to deny Nonda again, tipping his effort over to once again deny him that hat trick he wanted.

Match Summary
Blackburn avenged their opening day 3-0 defeat with a 3-0 victory of their own (also seeing their striker denied a hat trick by having a penalty saved as Kanu had been on that August afternoon) to get their European hopes back on track putting a massive dent in our own.

Another disappointing away day sees Pompey lose to a side challenging for a European place that were seemingly hungrier for this game. We didn't help ourselves at times aiding with most of the goals. The long break we had, the amount of games Blackburn have played recently, the fact that they went out of Europe in the week were all thought to be in our favour. It didn't prove so.

Following Everton's win on Saturday this game was even more important for both. Luckily Bolton lost however Spurs won as a result to put more pressure on us. With Chelsea next up, followed immediately by Reading four points at least is a must!


Blackburn 3 - Shabani Nonda 1 & 25, Stephen Warnock 50
Pompey 0

David James
Glen Johnson
Linvoy Primus
Sol Campbell
Noe Pamarot (Niko Kranjcar 45)
Matty Taylor
Gary O'Neil
Sean Davis (Kanu 45)
Pedro Mendes (Arnold Mvuemba 55)
Andrew Cole
Lomana LuaLua

Substitutes Not Used
Jamie Ashdown
Djimi Traore

Date:Sunday February 25 2007
Time: 6:03PM


We're all going on a West Country tour.
25/02/2007 18:31:00
away form has gone to pot
25/02/2007 20:58:00
On current form we would probably only be beating the likes of West Ham and Watford. With many big teams left to play it will be hard now for us to finish top 10 never mind European qualification. We look like the annual Charltion Athletic or maybe after today's game 'pathetic'.
25/02/2007 21:15:00
Looks like players attitude again. Bet they will be up for it against chelsea! Why cant they be responsible enough to try against all teams?
25/02/2007 23:21:00
On our current form, storagematt, we won't even beat West Ham or Watford. We are appalling, gutless, inpet and incompetent. This season has turned into a total flop. Maybe it's time for Harry to move on?
26/02/2007 00:12:00
Personally I'd have taken what we've had this season so far if you'd offered it me at the beginning of the campaign. TruePompeyBlue I feel you are taking on the persona of a tabloid journalist if you think Harry should go. I know our current form is disappointing but its not worth sacking the manager for is it?
The Rabbi
26/02/2007 08:30:00
Sorry lads... you team's performance was lacklustre. you couldn;t have played us at a worse time... the lads were still smarting from Thursday Night. Hats off to DJ though takign quite a bit of stick from the Blackburn End he seemed to take it in good manner and was over-joyed to save the penalty and let us know! (despite the fact that my gran could have saved Nonda's half attempt! Have a good rest of the season and 8th spot aint so bad!
Ex Ewood Resident
26/02/2007 08:52:00
We were poor the better team certainly won... Before the season started we would have settled for 8th, but after the start we made it would seem disappointing but even so still a huge step forward... If two from Arsenal, Chelsea or Man Utd play out the cup final would 8th get us into the intertwobob cup if we want? 7th would gain a spot through the league wouldn't it... Why are you so anti Redknapp TruePompeyBlue? I've said it before and will say it again if we lose him again I fear we'll move backwards as we did when he left last time and not forward as we were at that time and as we are again... When he last left we were comfortable midtable look where we ended up, had he not come back we'd have gone down! And had he not left anyway dare I say we may have already tasted European Football...
26/02/2007 10:53:00
Over the past few seasons teams that have had surprising seasons have gone on to struggle the next season, eg Wigan, West Ham this season, Birmingham last season etc. Whilst i would like to see Pompey play in Europe it's more important not to fall in to a struggle next season. Europe will come in time but let's be patient and build a strong squad capable of sustaining a two pronged attack.
Steve C
26/02/2007 11:35:00
Europe will only drain our league ambitions, look at Ipswich. We should be happy if we can finish 12th or better. At the moment and looking at our remaining fixtures I am not so sure. Perhaps everyone is looking at next season now, but February is a bit early for that and can only throw negatives at the Management. We all know that Harry was and still is the man. Football fans can be very fickle and unforgiving....if Harry goes end of season we will definitely be gone next term, no risk on that one.
26/02/2007 12:17:00
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