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Pompey 7 - Reading 4

Fortress Fratton

Sat 29-09-07, 3pm

Attendance: 20102

Pompey 7-4 Reading

Two league matches unbeaten, going into a run of matches against teams 'we could beat' started with Reading visiting Fortress Fratton.

Only two players - Sylvain Distin and Benjani - who started the league cup win at Burnley started against Reading as David James, Glen Johnson, Sol Campbell, Hermann Hreidarsson, John Utaka, Sean Davis, Papa Bouba Diop, Sulley Muntari and Niko Kranjcar all returned, but Kanu missed out with injury.

Jamie Ashdown, Lauren, Djimi Traore, Noe Pamarot, Arnold Mvuemba, Matty Taylor, Richard Hughes, Pedro Mendes and David Nugent all dropped out - Ashdown, Pamarot, Taylor, Mendes and Nugent took up places on the bench

An incredible match saw Pompey 2-0 up, pulled back to 2-2, 3-2 up with a penalty then saved by David James. We then went to 5-2 up, then 5-3, eventually 7-3 up before an injury time Reading goal made it 7-4 in the end with Benjani - maybe only playing as Kanu was injured - scoring a hat trick among the circus.

The Match
When 3pm came around I took my seat expecting a good game, a Pompey win and goals - my money was on 4-0 - but no one could have expected what we got.

Pompey made a perfect start and a swift attacking move involving John Utaka saw him out wide, picking out a perfect cross to Benjani who arrived at the far post to acrobatically finish with a volley to give us a 7th minute lead.

Benjani almost got in between Michael Duberry and Marcus Hahnemann to add a second, as the chances began to mount up.

Papa Bouba Diop could not quite convert a chance after Hahnemann has spilled a Niko Kranjcar corner, then Kranjcar himself - who showed some incredible skills during this match - nutmeged a defender before shooting wide, then a cross from wide on the left from of all people Sylvain Distin saw Utaka put over, when he could have done better.

Pompey had so much possession, but as plymouth graham told us, you had to worry that we were not making the most of this, or taking the chances and more followed…

Another quick Pompey break saw Kranjcar wide to Utaka, who in turn found Bouba Diop, back to Kranjcar again, who played a one two with Sulley Muntari before some silky skills saw the Croat shot wide, had we scored this it would have been a fantastic goal.

Bouba Diop had a 25-yarder saved before a fantastic solo run from Benjani saw him run from near on half way, beating several players before drilling home from 20 odd yards for his and our second, 2-0 after 37 minutes.

How we were not 3-0 up soon after god only knows, what has to go down as the greatest save I have ever personally witnessed saw Hahnemann deny Glen Johnson from 5-yards out after Benjani's knockdown. All we had to show for another fine move was a corner, which then saw Sean Davis shot just over.

In 1st half injury time Reading were given what looked like being a lifeline. Somehow Liam Rosenior missed from close range, smacking against the bar, but then even more incredibly Dave Kitson missed from point blank range, although David James required credit but eventually at the third attempt Stephen Hunt headed home, 2-1 at half time.

With 5 minutes of half time Reading were level, a rush of blood to James' head, saw him charge out of goal, beaten to the ball by Kitson who rounded him before finishing brilliantly.

Straight after Utaka was put through but his effort was cleared of the line, with Kranjcar's follow up going wide.

James Harper had shot over from close range, again when he should have done better before Bouba Diop had what we thought was another goal disallowed for offside, but we did not have to wait long for this. After 55 minutes another charging run down the left hand side from Distin saw him deliver to Hermann Hreidarsson who beat Hahnemann to the ball head home, Pompey 3 Reading 2.

A few minutes later and a crazy handball from Bouba Diop gave Reading another chance to get level. Nicky Shorey stepped up, but James guessed the right way to make amends for his earlier error to save.

Something that not many of us would really have thought we would witness that often, if ever happened on 70 minutes as Muntari's through ball put in Benjani who rounded the keeper before rolling home for his hat trick and a 4-2 Pompey lead.

It was soon 5-2 on 75 minutes. Davis had put in an initial disappointing cross, but when given a second chance he delivered perfectly to Kranjcar to head home from a few yards out.

Reading were back in the game 3 minutes later as Harper's volley, which was actually going wide took a deflection off sub Shane Long, who looked more than suspiciously offside, David Nugent, who had been waiting for a few minutes to come on then came on for Benjani as Harry Redknapp made his first change, with him immediately being denied by Hahnemann.

The score was 5-3 at this point to recap, but this was 6-3 a couple of minutes after Long's goal as Davis' shot, which did look destined for the corner deflected off Ivar Ingimarsson to make it 6-3 Pompey.

Not content with that we wanted more. Davis saw an effort deflected for a corner, which then should have see another goal as Hreidarsson sent a free header wide.

At the other end Reading were still going for it and with James waiting for the ball instead of going for it Kevin Doyle was able to get in and the ball found its way to Hunt, but with the goal gaping Johnson got back to make a fantastic challenge to deny him.

With injury time approaching Kranjcar produced a simply amazing piece of skill and a run that saw him beat several player before winning a penalty, but who would take it? The crowd wanted Nugent, but Muntari grabbed the ball and smashed it down the middle of the goal, that is now 7-3 to Pompey in case you are having trouble keeping up!

But that was not it, Reading still had time to have the final say in injury time to make it 7-4 with Shorey's deflected effort off Sol Campbell, which would probably have been saved but for this.

Match Summary
What a match!

This had everything, what a game for you to have for your first match of the season. Both sides played their part in a quite incredible 90 minutes of football, which could have quite easily ended at 10-5 at least.

Yep, defensively you can say that both sides were very guilty at times, but to be honest I do not really care, it was a fantastic match in which we looked frightening coming forward attacking at will with Niko Kranjcar stunning, he seems to be showing a defensive as well as a highly impressive attacking nature to his game now that makes his tag as 'a new Robert Prosinecki' justified.

David James made a couple of mistakes that did cost goals, this cannot be denied but everyone, on both sides played very well with Sean Davis, who has had his knockers, yep, myself included at times maybe, again also superb, they all were.


Pompey 7 - Benjani 7, 37 & 70, Hermann Hreidarsson 55, Niko Kranjcar 75, Sean Davis 81, Sulley Muntari 90 (pen)
Reading 4 - Stephen Hunt 45, Dave Kitson 48, Shane Long 78, Nicky Shorey 90

David James
Glen Johnson
Sol Campbell
Sylvain Distin
Hermann Hreidarsson
John Utaka
Sean Davis
Papa Bouba Diop
Sulley Muntari
Niko Kranjcar
Benjani (David Nugent 80)

Substitutes Not Used
Jamie Ashdown
Matty Taylor
Noe Pamarot
Pedro Mendes

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday September 30 2007

Time: 12:39AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I had a £1 for us to win 7-3 at 1,000-1. Gutted.
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30/09/2007 00:59:00

29 attempts at goal with a 33% accuracy success. That's improvement. So is 7 goals. Defence may need a reality check though.
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30/09/2007 01:30:00

In a game where records tumble, does Matt Taylor get an award for being the only Pompey player booked, even though he never got on ?
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30/09/2007 08:28:00

...a tribute to the game when Reading were "bck in it" - yet still 2 goals down at 5-3! What a game.
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30/09/2007 08:43:00

and it really should have been 8-4. Diop was somewhere between 3 and 4 miles onside...and whilst i'm at it, there third goal, with the massiv deflection...surely that was offside too?
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30/09/2007 08:47:00

I can't look at the Fulham game without thinking, 'if we only score 3 goals, we're going down again'. Benjani suddenly looks even more dangerous now. Kranky is improving and Davis is earning his first team starts. Muntari, Diop and Utaka all have special abilities to them. The only player left now is Nugent. Nudge inspired 6-0 rout of Fulham anyone?
Report Abuse
30/09/2007 08:59:00

sorry Lysi dont think Nugent will get the chance
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30/09/2007 09:09:00

i have watched the game on sky twice and we should have had more, i think Diop was just off side but so was their shelly long goal, he was so far off how he was in a different timezone how can an " assistant ref" not see it. Still I'm not sure i will ever see a game like that again so maybe its understandable. We will need a tighter defense at fulham and jamo will have to think a bit. Seemed to me it was a 4,5,1 and i guess we will line up the same next week but i would like to see Nuge get more than 12 minutes of a gloriously chaotic game.
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30/09/2007 09:21:00

sadley, i dont think he will start...krunchie was simpley amazing - and showed why there was no place for matty in the team. Muntari was special, utaka was lightning, diop was brutal, davis was...incredibley...good, distin was looking a real threat with his runs down the left, Harrys 4-3-3/4-5-1 has finaly worked!!!
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30/09/2007 09:24:00

...i say the 4-3-3/4-5-1 has worked, although in truth, it was more like 1-1-9 for most of the game, when we were attacking AND defending.
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30/09/2007 09:25:00

During the match i sent an sms to pompeyrug and communicated that he has permission to attend again
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30/09/2007 09:26:00

reminded me of Newcastle under Keegan
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30/09/2007 09:27:00

Unbelieverble.....I missed the game!!!! why O why..!!!:(:(:(...shopping??? SHOPPING??!!!!!...I will never shop again!!!!!!!!!..might get a devorce!
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30/09/2007 10:12:00

paultsmouth, that is exactly what plymouth graham said to us on the way back, altho he said 'newcastle-esque'... and i will be attending again this season russ, sadly this will not be until the everton match in a couple of months time :( im off to villa park the week after tho aswell!
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30/09/2007 11:14:00

it was one of those matches that you have to watch, if you know anyone that recorded it on football first, please, please, please get them to burn it off for you onto disc or lend you it and watch it... i used the old sky plus to record it and im putting it onto disc now to keep forever - cheesy i know but it will be titled 'the magnificent seven' with the maybe even more cheesy classic movie theme tune as the title sequence...
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30/09/2007 11:16:00

what a game - im still saying that over and over in my head... i still cannot get the images of distin flying down the wing several times, supplying crosses - to have him and hermann involved in a goal shows how open the game was... a game i will never forget in which literally everyone played well, all 22 players - clearly some better than others tho... the midfiled were fantastic again, i love mendes and matty taylor but i can see why they arent getting in, particularly mendes... davis was outstanding again but kranjcar was something else prosenecki is the best player that i have ever seen, pompey or otherwise, with my own two eyes - seen in any stadium at the match type thing - but krunchie could be as good as him, he was phenominal yesterday... oh yeh, what a game!
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30/09/2007 11:23:00

We got back to Liverpool at 1 in the morning, was it worth it, was it ever, that is what football is all about, even though we started with that 4-5-1 formation, we score 7 goals !! Well done to the team, i hear that Jammo is livid because of his conceeding 4 goals, we will forgive you mate, just ensure that you do the business at Fulham. I thought Nico played well and even though i have been a critic of his Davis did a good job, however Muntari and Diop look like a good pairing. Play up Pompey
Report Abuse
30/09/2007 12:01:00

I hear Reading wiill be sponsored by 7 up next season. They hope to have Snow White on the coaching staff soon, she used to having 7 up too. The old ones are the best.
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30/09/2007 12:23:00

i can see why matty and pedro wernt in the team, as our midfield was stunnin! 65% of posetion sums it all up!
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30/09/2007 13:23:00

It was a very special match, something that neither side will ever see again? You lot looked stunning coming forward and even though you conceded four goals didn't look that bad at the back either, enjoy your season, I think it will be a great one.
Madejski Royal
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30/09/2007 15:50:00

...I think I'm gonna be sick ! The game isn't being broadcast out here at all because of the rugby world cup on Setanta and I haven't even seen the highlights yet so Pompeyrug's game report (adept as ever !) is as good as it gets for this side of the pond.
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30/09/2007 16:47:00

great advert for the prem, even if the defending left a lot to be desired. storragematt: is that true, or are you having us on?
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30/09/2007 16:55:00

our defenders had a great game. Distin made some lovely runs down the left hand side, and hreiderson got in scorring postions frequently too (and got 1)...it was just a shame that they were meant to be DEFENDING, not attacking ;-)
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30/09/2007 17:20:00

Well i know we conceded 4 but to be honest i don't care how many we concede in a match as long as we score more. Football is an entertainment business and i'll bet even the reading fans went home feeling they'd been entertained.
Steve C
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30/09/2007 17:56:00

i thought the reading fans were fantastic. i was sat right next to them in the milton end - which was my 1st experience of the milton - and they kept going all the way through and were vocal, unlike some we can have at fratton... they must have been disappointed to lose but they were not disgraced at all were they... entertainment wise ive never seen anything like it - what a game! i like us to defend well - for my fantasy football team aswell! - but so long as we score more than we let in i couldnt give a stuff really, but even tho we did concede 4 tbh i dont think that we defended that badly...
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30/09/2007 18:35:00

Rug you are a lucky, lucky man!!! I was jealous on Friday night by 4.45 on Saturday I was gutted! You should have seen Kamara on Sky Sports second half he was going mad, raving on about how good we were, at one point he was waving his arms so much I thought he was going to take off!!!
L L Blue
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30/09/2007 18:52:00

I agree Krunchie was fantastic some of his passing was excellent. Reminded me of Kevin Dillon! Bet he didn't enjoy the return to FP. Benji looked amazing a true goalscorer has Harry done it again here. I thought we had been sold a pup when the Yak first signed and then look what happened, is Benji our new Yak? A truely amazing game of football I thought we would muller someone this season, 7-4 was not even on that radar though.
L L Blue
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30/09/2007 18:59:00

i hoped we ould muller lots of people this season, win the title, FA cup, and Carling cup...realisticly, i hoped we ould Muller people at fratton. That game will REALLY terrify some of the "less good" teams coming to visit - if thats what we can do to reading...
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30/09/2007 19:07:00

My best mate was on holiday in Italy. I sais I would keep him updated by text. I missed half the game because of it. £ times I was about to send a text then another goal went & had to rewrite it. That'll teach him to have a holiday during the footie season.
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30/09/2007 22:02:00

L L Blue, i wish i could have seen kamara - i said to plymouth graham that i bet he was a sight to behold and so he was... what a game, ive still not come down yet, amazing... i know what you mean storagematt i was watching, trying to make notes for my report and reply to txts from my cousin, his mate, russellm - all in the ground - and another mate who i had asked to come along said he didnt fancy it as reading didnt appeal to him - he is not a pompey fan tho - but credit where due he text me at about 5-3 i think to say sarcastically of course 'looks like i picked the right game to miss out on then'...
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Wow what an exciting game!!!!!! Hreidarsson's goal was pretty good LOL Enjoyed watching - 10/10 for entertainment!
Pardew is Sexy
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01/10/2007 01:44:00

superb entertainment and as for Stan Colleymore rubbishing the score in his column - sod him, what does he know!
Report Abuse
01/10/2007 20:01:00

he was probably too busy out 'dogging' wasnt he that is about all he knows about these days...
Report Abuse
02/10/2007 00:10:00

greta game and you got the great result well done both teams
ozanne park rangers
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05/10/2007 11:42:00


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