Vital Football

Leicester 1-3 Pompey

1 - 3

Walkers Stadium

Sat 04-08-07, 3pm

Attendance: 8914


The final pre season match before the new season kicked off saw Pompey off to Milan Mandaric's Leicester City, as an unbeaten pre season record was defended in our new white away strip.

Injuries to Niko Kranjcar, Gary O'Neil, Benjani and John Utaka - with the latter a possible doubt for Derby - saw them out of contention.

The likely starting back five against Derby next week of David James, Lauren, Sol Campbell, Sylvain Distin and Hermann Hreidarsson started. The midfield resembled the majority of what next week will probably be in Pedro Mendes and Sulley Muntari, although Sean Davis - who was expected to be out injured for a number of weeks - and Arnold Mvuemba came in, but would not be likely starters. David Nugent and Lomana LuaLua started up front, which may possibly be the starting pair next week?

Goals from David Nugent, the excellent Lomana LuaLua and substitute Franck Songo'o saw us home, despite falling behind to an early goal from Iain Hume, 3-1.

The Match
Pompey flew out of the traps with the first attack of the game yielding a chance. David Nugent crossed into the box, with this fine centre met by Sulley Muntari who was arriving from midfield but his left footed drive went over.

With the Pompey midfield breaking down a Leicester break, Nugent was put in but the first clear cut effort, with him through one on one, saw him finish poorly.

Leicester's first chance came through Iain Hume but he failed to threaten, although moments later he did threaten and more as Leicester took a 14th minute lead. Mark de Vries' ball caught out the Pompey defence square and Hume made no mistake when one on one with David James.

Pompey responded well with Nugent, coming under pressure from James Chambers, denied by a good save from Paul Henderson in the Leicester goal as he attempted a lob over him.

A superb move, heavily involving and created by Lomana LuaLua was the key factor in Pompey's 20th minute equaliser as a turn of pace with him running at the defence, following Sean Davis' pass, saw him picking out Arnold Mvuemba, who was arriving from midfield who in turn squared to Nugent who made no mistake from 7 yards.

This goal seemed to breed extra confidence as Mvuemba - a couple of times - and LuaLua had chances, with Pompey having most of possession for the next 15-20 minutes or so of the game, keeping the ball well with, playing it around nicely with some superb skill from Sulley Muntari and LuaLua included, culminating this period with Muntari curling towards goal, finishing narrowly over.

With half time approaching further good work and movement from Nugent saw him get himself into a position where could threaten, which he did, but his effort curled towards the corner narrowly missed the target.

The half time break saw three changes made, as Noe Pamarot, Djimi Traore and Matty Taylor came on for Lauren, Hreidarsson and Mendes

Immediately after the restart James made a fantastic save from Hume to deny him another goal. His strike was destined for the top corner but a brilliant save denied Leicester a second lead.

A move started by LuaLua with a clever flick was also finished by him as Pompey took the lead less than 5 minutes into the 2nd half. LuaLua found Nugent who put in a telling ball into the box which was expertly dummied by Muntari and LuaLua curled powerfully into the top corner for another superb goal.

Leicester were almost level themselves but James Wesolowski's crashing drive, which left James beaten, could not beat the bar, as this came to Pompey's aid. We then broke away and Pamarot's run was halted in the box with him going down looking for a penalty, but nothing was given.

Leicester then had a couple of more chances, the first to Bruno N'Gotty as he got his head to a corner, but this free header was wide of the post that was also being guarded by a defender. Soon after this Hume eventually capitalised on a slight mistake from Sylvain Distin to get a shot away, but this went wide.

Moments after DJ Campbell had came on he was in the action, getting in behind Campbell and Distin who again got caught ball watching, but his effort was comfortably saved by James, with another header from a corner by N'Gotty next for Leicester over the bar, followed by Stephen Clemence's and then De Vries' effort, but neither threatened the target.

Even though Leicester wee being more threatening, Pompey had taken the foot off the gas, which was understandable. With 15 minutes to play Franck Songo'o was given another opportunity to impress, as he came on for Lauren.

Just after being slightly caught in two minds, not knowing whether to come out to meet DJ Campbell or not James did enough to make a save before another brilliant save preserved our lead. His best of the day denied Shaun Newton on the volley.

83 minutes in and it was 3-1 to Pompey. Songo'o had previously made a good run to force a corner, then in the passage of play that followed this corner further brilliant play from LuaLua saw him skin his full back to find Songo'o who finished low into the corner for his third goal of pre season only a few minutes after coming on.

With 3 minutes to play further chances were made, with Distin, Muntari and LuaLua coming off as Andy O'Brien, Richard Hughes and Martin Cranie came on for a brief run out.

Match Summary
The toughest test we have faced during pre season, in this country anyway, will have proved ideal preparations for the seasons opener against Derby next week, as the majority that started today would have got another good shift under their belts in preparation for this match.

At times the defence switched off, which would cost us in the Premiership, but luckily we got away with this today but all in all the main thing was to come through this match with a positive result, positive showing and not picking up any injuries - with all the boxes ticked appropriately.

Lomana LuaLua appears to have been reborn, again looking very hungry and more than interested not to mention playing for the team, not just himself. The movement of David Nugent was again a massive bonus, which should see Pompey benefit immensely when he is a little less hesitant with what he is going to do.

The back five next week will be as it was today, the midfield will probably see Matty Taylor and Gary O'Neil come in for Sean Davis and Arnold Mvuemba, with Sulley Muntari moving into the middle and my thinking now is that David Nugent and Lomana LuaLua should and will be the fellas that start up front.


Leicester 1 - Iain Hume 14
Pompey 3 - David Nugent 20, Lomana LuaLua 47, Franck Songo'o 83

David James
Lauren (Franck Songo'o 75)
Sol Campbell
Sylvain Distin (Andy O'Brien 87)
Hermann Hreidarsson (Djimi Traore 45)
Sean Davis
Pedro Mendes (Noe Pamarot 45)
Sulley Muntari (Richard Hughes 87)
Arnold Mvuemba (Matty Taylor 45)
Lomana LuaLua (Martin Cranie 87)
David Nugent

Substitute not used
Jamie Ashdown

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Date:Saturday August 4 2007
Time: 5:14PM

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bookies had us as favs... i put a tenner on us odds of 2.20 a while back, then 2 at 2.15, and finally this morning 5 @ 2.10 ..... basically made 20 PROFIT from this match.... god pompey are great away .... no hang on... thats an oxymoron!!!
04/08/2007 19:41:00
oh yeh odds of 2.50 for pompey to beat derby by the way which represents stupid amounts of value!!!
04/08/2007 19:42:00
shame they scored really. Would be great to get the same result next week, but i wont hold my breath, as they should be as confidant as we are!
04/08/2007 20:54:00
Good day out wasnt it? We looked a bit dodgy at the back at times, however we never do well against Leicester do we? Nugent looks like he has foundh is feet and Lua Lua looks like he wants to play. James is brilliant isnt he, thank goodness Harry got him. So lads eyes down for the new season, any players in before the big day? Everybody had a different rumour to spread didnt they, from Kanoute to Dyer. Lets hope we are talking about an away victory ths time next week. Play up Pompey
04/08/2007 21:31:00
dyer has now not joined west ham - holding out for a move to us? well, you never know :) (although im still not convinced we would need him anyway) And kannoute has now been linked with arsnal. Looking forward to the game next weekend - im going to predict a 1-0 win for us, but i have to decide on who will score...
04/08/2007 22:46:00
i hope that dyer doesnt come here - cannot stand the fella tbh and dont particularly rate him much either... i cannot wait for the season to get going, weve had a very good pre season, lets kick on from that with 3 pts at derby. im going for something alittle better than 1-0 tho myself...
dyer is still going to west ham . We were not good today certainly not goood enough to beat an average prem side, defencsively we were poor and ou strikers were wastefull, it does not inspire confidence at all. We still need a crack striker. Positives LuaLua seems to be hitting form at the right time, a goal every other game from Nugent looks possible and will be a good return. we showed a bit of gumption to hang on at times. jamo has still got it and we played in a positive manner, We still need to improve, that was a fizzy pop league team we were playing and had they Derby is only 30 miless from leicester but they are miles better in quality and had the foxes not had worse strikers than us they would have overturned the deficit.
05/08/2007 00:21:00
tonight BBc3 showed the best goals that didnt win goal of the season and who was the winner, our very own ( for the moment anyway) Mathew taylor
05/08/2007 00:22:00
apologies for the poor spelling, cutting , pasting of my game review, i'm knackerd
05/08/2007 00:24:00
i wouldnt have forgiven you the poor spelling etc russ if you hadnt excused it :) yep, defending was very poor and the finishing alittle wasteful at times but i would like to think that when the real tests come we will be better - and we will...
05/08/2007 08:47:00
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