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Pompey 0 - Liverpool 0

Fratton

12:45pm

Attendance: 20,388

Pompey hold leaders

Liverpool slipped off the top after being held to a goalless draw at Fratton, but if Kanu had succeeded where Taylor normally does, it could have been oh so different.
Papa Diop made his debut in the centre of midfield, with Utaka switching wings to accomodate Benjani on the right, this was to ensure a 5 man midfield obviously to squeeze Liverpool out. Kanu played the lone role up front with Campbell stepping in at the back at the expense of Pamarot.

For Liverpool it was a start for Crouch upfront, Torres and Gerrard had to be content with spots on the bench along with Ryan Babel.
Jamie Carragher returned after a broken rib, and Finnan shook off a light knock to take his place in defence.

First Half

The match got off to a slowish start with both defenses cancelling each other out, Yossi Benayoun had the first effort at goal, forcing a smart save out of James at his near post.
Both teams played the ball around, although Pompey, Muntari in particular were guilty of giving the ball away cheaply, the game resembled a base-line tennis slog, with both teams building from the back and getting repelled anywhere the other goal.
Pompey's first real effort on goal arrived with a strike from Benjani,slipping in from his wide role and striking with power only to see his effort first deflected and the turned wide by Reina.
Liverpool were being reduced to shooting from outside the area, mainly from free-kicks after Sissoko resembled Bambi on ice anytime he came anywhere near the Pompey area, Pompey's wall did the job on each occasion though, although Mike Riley wasn't gaining any fans with his willingness to blow his whistle everytime the big Mali man did his shot soldier routine.
Minutes before halftime came the turning point of the match, Kanu was held in the box, the linesmans flag went across his chest, and Pompey had a golden opportunity to take the lead, much to Liverpool's, Carragher and Alonso's in particular disgust. The ball was placed on the spot, and Kanu who missed so miserably last season against Blackburn, did much the same, after leaving a neon light in the goalmouth to show Reina exactly where he would put it.

The game was now alive though, passions were raised and blood was flowing, tackles flew in, but no goal was threatened.

Second Half

Liverpool threatened first again, Crouch flicking a shot over the bar after nipping in blindside of Hreidarsson.
The neutrals watching on Sky would no doubt being waiting for the red machine to go up a gear and romp home, it was Pompey however who created the better chances, Utaka firing wide with the whole goal in fron of him, and Muntari, who had upped his game second half, doing likewise, seeming to miskick after Kanu's set-up.

Gerrard and Torres came on, Babel not far behind as Benitez went for the points, but apart from one chamce for Torres, which he skied, the match could have gone either way, Liverpool had the greater goal threat, but Pompey, the better chances.

In Summary a draw was probably about right, but I along with many others left my seat dissapointed at not winning, a penalty should have been enough to clinch it, but when Kanu put the ball on the spot, I looked for Taylor, Kranjcar, anyone, not Kanu to hit it, but it was not to be, we played the top four and gained 2 points, both at home. The gulf to the top sides is there for all to see, but we are edging closer.


Star Player

Diop

For all those who doubted him, Papa Diop gave a performance to show why he was signed, along with Sean Davis and Muntari he covered the midfield and won many tackles, if his heading was more direct he may even of scored!

Player Ratings


James

No real scares, did what had to be done

Johnson

Sacrificed his attacking instinct to turn in a sterling defensive performance, only a late slip with Torres blotting his card.

Hreidarsson

Best Pompey performance by far, he even had an attacking threat about him.

Distin

Cultured as ever, only seemed slightly ruffled when Torres came on.

Campbell

Our Captain, our rock.

Utaka

Looked a shadow on the left, went to ground a bit easily and missed a glorious chance, but looked like his old self after Kranjcar's arrival allowed him to switch flanks.

Benjani

Worked seflessly again, one good strike.

Diop

Man mountain and midfield general.

Muntari

Awful first half, much improved second.

Davis

The bloke runs a marathon every match, won countless tackles, but his tendency to be crablike in his passin,g seems to cloud many a fans vision of him.

Kanu

Crap penalty, otherwise the usual close control and lovely passes, to be fair was harshly treated by Riley after the penalty award, could easily have won another.

Kranjcar

Made little impact.

Manager Rating

Redknapp will be gutted at just a point really, but you know he will point out this was Liverpool and we are little Pompey.

Opponent Rating

Benitez may have underestimated us a bit with his decision to place Gerrard and Torres on the bench, they looked a lot better with them.




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The Journalist

Writer: paultsmouth Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday September 15 2007

Time: 5:05PM

Your Comments

bit gutted at a point really, still Robinson let in 3 again, Jamo for England?
paultsmouth
I think you'll find the leaders won at Spurs :) Although good job on holding the pool. Much appreiciation to the Arsenal retierment home!!
Rocky7
Good report. Sounds frustrating though, I'll have to see MotD tonight. The missed penalty reeks of irony.
Lysimachus
Just re-read the article, didn't realise the extent of my sarcasm!
paultsmouth
bolox was a draw the right result, we cannot keep looking gift horses in the mouth like this, so what if it maybe wasnt a penalty the big four get these all the time and who cares at the end NO BUGER!! To miss the three clear chancesthat we had is crap, WILL SOME ONE BUY US A F0KING GOAL SCORER, we are in 15th and before anubody mentions the pathetic " ha but we have played the big four so its normal" to me again today we have to go away to blackburn next week. I am seriously dissapointed that people who are paid to score cant, meet the new boss, same as the old boss
russellm
Well, i thought it was a good game. Was surprised by Boubadiop, didnt realise he was such a good player. Thought, after all my concerns Johnson did well, but he has to keep his concentration every game now. Herman did put in his best display so far, Kanu was Kanu how can this guy play up front on his own??? Ball skills second to none, but no pace or stamina! Seen the penalty miss, what a lame shot. Russellm, remember we have played the big four......and we are just pompey LOL, i can see redknapps interview already!!! Positives...complete turn around after the Arsenal game. Distin looks amazing. HR must start playing players in thier best positions..... Benji running the channels, not the right wing, Kanuu up front with someone else......Johnson in the reserves.....haha couldnt resist. Look, overall a great performance from the team today. more of the same and we wont be in 15th for long.
pompey4me
And play Utaka on the right, FFS.
pompey4me
Agree with most of what you have all said but the worst thing about the penalty was that no-one knew who was going to take it as the ball was handed from hand to hand. This should be decided BEFORE the game not during. Good performance though and Liverpool hanging on an the end a bit but they did look dangerous on the break.
eastneydave
It was a harsh penalty. Pompey players didn't even ask for one, which tells you all you need to know about it. I agree that a draw is the fair result. Pompey had two good chances to score in the second half and missed them both. Voronin hit the bar and was a yard short for a tap in. Good luck the rest of the season.
JohnDoe
I thought we did well, Liverpool are a good side and a footballing side, the last footballing side passed us to defeat at the Emirates, we showed character today, suprised Matty and Pedro did not play, mind you Sean is only one card from a ban now. Distin and Sol, marvellous lads, how different it is when the Sol man is in the team, and the Wardrobe did ok. Utaka on the right Harry, it is unfair to get him to try a role which is alien to him, he is a threat on the right with Johnson. Cheers John, good luck midweek and for the rest of the season.
Owenspompey
i can see it now "shows how far we have come if we are outraged t failing to beat liverpool" - that was the one review that made it sound like a boring game, but all our playors seem to have done well, and WHY was matty on the bench, letting Kanu take a penalty??? anyone but him!!!
pompeycarpet
Kanu is so poor from the spot isnt he, Matty must be gutted, did you see his face all afternoon, he must be hacked off at being left out. However Hermann did well i was fearing the worst when he faced Pennant, but it was a solid game from him wasnt it. Jammo should have taken it the way he was hitting the ball today !!
Owenspompey
Jamo is what we were all saying in our section too.
pompey4me
the penalty was feckin rubbish why didn't Taylor take it??
merlin
It wasn't a badly taken penalty, it was a good save by Reina.
JohnDoe
That was a great game. Rafa did us a real favour thank god for squad rotation! He could cost Liverpool the title this season. Fantastic performances from Sol & Distin, Herman was surprising going forward he looked quite good, GJ starting to grow in confidence (if you can't with Sol and Distin beside you then when can you?). Kanu linked play well and Diop, well he will do well this season for us. We missed our chances, we were not punished!! That is the positive! Two points dropped I think, but we got a performance and we showed real promise and TBH we did look safe at the back and Liverpool did not really bother us. Yes it's progress but we should have won.
L L Blue
merlin, taylor was on the bench.....why? you'd have to ask Harry!
pompey4me
As I walked from the ground amid a bunch of 'happy' Pompey fans I heard two scoucers saying 'dare made op wit a *****in' pint, its like dare *****in cup final an they shoulda crapped on us' (owenspompey you'll have to do the accent for me !) Anyway my point is the game was there for the taking and Liverpool or not we settled for a point at home - I am disapointed with our finishing, I am disapointed with the lack of passion ... and here goes fellas the first one to say it ........ Diop for GON ... you must be joking, thought Diop was average at best... Kanu may in 'arry's opinion, link the play well but on two occassions when he actally did in the second half nobody was pouring forward to give him an option....... Back five were as you'd expect them to be - Solid, sol & dist excellent, GJ growing, Herman best yet. Middle .. Davis worked had but could not thread a pass for toffee, Utaka out of position WHY harry WHY ... Sulley,,, where were you in the first half.. Diop .. so what, nothing special. Up front Benji wide .... to cross to who ????? Kanu... wish he hadn't signed that bloody contract... and as for that Penalty..... I am gutted (as you can probably tell) It was OK but should...no could, have been a lot better .. we could.. have had all three points .........I was just pleased Messers Gerrard Babbel & Torres didn't start the game.
Chix
.......but i would have settled for a point before the game !! ;)
Chix
All said and done, a much improved performance after Arsenal, but why play players out of position??
pompey4me
stve mclaren does it, and hesthe England manager...so it must be right...Glen Johnson was good defensivly when he wasnt trying to attack at every possible opertunity, but why has matty been pushed out of the squad these past few games? he was one of our best playors last season, and his place was taken by itauak, who was playing out of posiition. why oh why oh why? i can only asume he had some...disagreement... with harry.
pompeycarpet
itauak???have we signed another african???lol
pompey4me
and someone perleeease tell me why the extremely average sean davis is in the team and gary o is at boro
russellm
come to think of it can someone perleeease tekll me why papaboobit diop is in the team and gary O is at Boro, nothing against PDB but he aint all that is he
russellm
wer were the team at home and we should expect to beat every body else at our home, someone on sky finally said what most of is thought the penalty save was a showboat job, awfull run up, why did we make no changes, cos we didnt blo0dy well want to win chix is right with his rant,we have done it to our selves again, but im sure we can blame the retired graham poll or el nino for not haveing the ability to win away and being in 15th
russellm
The downside of another reasonable performance is probably our comparisons to last year. 06/07(07/08) MAN.UTD 3 PTS(1) ARSENAL 1(0)CHELSEA 0 (0) LIVERPOOL 3 (1).Bonus is BOLTON 0 (3)....Total 5 (5) Derby not counted. Comparison 0 difference. I will keep this stat going. Perhaps we can replace the 3 promoted sides against last years 3 relegated ones to ensure a 38 game comparison.
pompeygray
russelm I think you are being harsh on Papa, he was mom to most, Gario has gone, let it go!
paultsmouth
honestly, we should have done better. Anyone who says liverpool should be winning games like that is forgetting we should ALSO be winning games like that. 8pts from the first 6 games was what we all thought we would get. we have 6. could this be the first of many times that we fail to meet expectations, or have we just started poorly? one thing is for sure, if we loose at blackburn, things could all come tumbling down. (not that it will be an easy game).
pompeycarpet
oh, and that isnt to mention that liverpool fans are all viwing the game as 1 point gained, rather than 2 points lost. we should have won, and we know it.
pompeycarpet
We're still undefeated at home lads, I think expectation levels have been raised somewhat, Blackburn away is another I would settle for a point at, teams like Reading, 'boro and the like are ones we should expect to beat home or away.
paultsmouth
Move on from Gary O'Neill, he has gone, and him and his new team got battered yesterday, Papa Diop did a good job for us and will be a real asset to the squad. Considering that was his first game for the club against a good team, he did well and deserved the man of the match. Sean Davis needs to be left out and Pedro brought back, Davis offers very little to us and doesnt score and cant spot the incisive pass that will open up a defence.
Owenspompey
Guys, GON is gone move on now. Diop did well (first home game against quality), Utaka looked like fish out off water, Davis was average at best but gets 100% for effort. I agree Taylor should be in team and Pedro, but guess Taylor has opened his gob again and p*ssed of Arry. It was two points lost but don't forget the performance was good against one of the best in the country.
L L Blue
I think Davis gets in on the basis of what he allows others to do, his tracking over the pitch is phenomenal, the one thing that really lets him down is goals, must be nearly 18 months now, what he doesn't need is the crowd on his back because one of their favourites is on the bench.
paultsmouth
Its not a case of a favourite being on the bench i just feel that Sean offers little in the middle of the park. You know that he wont score and he is not creative, Pedro and Matty offer far more, and Davis also committs those silly fouls that get him booked and put us under pressure look at the three free kicks he gave away on the edge of the box yesterday.
Owenspompey
Just reading through the coments, surprised that some didnt rate the wardrobe yesterday, my MOM. I believe he won it on tv too. Why o why is MT on the bench?? Why were we playing this 4-3-3?? I prefer it when we play with width, and MT does provide that, along with his energy and defensive duties from midfield. Davies is coming in for a lot of stick here, but i'm with paultsmouth, he lets the others in the team play. I like him in there, but am surprised he's in there b4 Pedro, is he injured?? Have to say, especially after the Arse game i was pleased with yesterdays PERFORMANCE, the result...well, the forewards have to take the chances, but on another day we could of had 3.
pompey4me
A point was all I thought we would get before, old cynic as I am. Gutted not to get 3. Sulley is useless wide left, I've been saying it since day 1. Either move him inside or put him on the bench. Matty wide left midfield, Utaka wide right midfield. Benji & Kanu upfront.
storagematt
4-3-3? I think it was more 4-5-1
paultsmouth
Yeah paultsmouth, i was in two minds what they were playing, so I went on the pompey website, and Kanu says on there it was 4-3-3.
pompey4me
we played 4-5-1 too much last season, and its what the playoers are used to...i want to see a 3-5-2. and i completly agree with storagematt.
pompeycarpet
I want to see 4-4-2, it's just what were best at!
pompey4me
- i just read on the pompey site that kanu wanted to take our next penalty...*******************
pompeycarpet
Just read score in the news of the world, 4-3-3 was what it said. Must be true, news of the world!!
pompey4me
if Benjani and Utaka were up front, someone should have told them!
paultsmouth
Agree paultsmouth, or was it the christmas tree, 4-3-2-1? whatever it was, there was no width!
pompey4me
well fellas, ive juts returned from a long weekend break and ive been festering over this all weekend... why the ***** didnt 'arry just stick with 4-4-2 instead of basically wasting players as he did - 'arry mate it does not work, particularly at home ffs... why the ***** kanu was taking the penalty i cannot *****ing understand - livid as that! i like the fella but i know right away the muppet would miss and if anyone lets him even think about taking the next one as he is saying i hope their is a snipper lurking in the stands... bloody frustrating, the game was their for the taking. yep i would have taken a point before the game, but we had enough clear cut chances to win our next 3 games - providing we kept clean sheets in all 3 as we would have won then all 1-0... oh, a note on papa smurf - yep i was not sure on his signing, still do not really think he will add anything we dont have but i thought he was really good the other day and deserved the man of the match award, anyone who says differently is wrong - sorry fellas... i do like davis, but would have certainly have had a creative influence such as kranjcar ahead of him...
pompeyrug
 

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