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Wigan 0 - Pompey 2

JJB

Sat 20-10-07, 3pm

Attendance: 17695

Wigan 0-2 Pompey

League action returned after the international break and Pompey were on the road again. After league wins over Blackburn and Fulham we were looking for a hat-trick of wins on the road against Wigan - the scene of one of our greatest triumphs in recent years.

For a third match running Harry Redknapp named an unchanged squad after Sol Campbell was passed fit after international duty.

This third successive away win was achieved with two goals in the final ten minutes from Benjani and Glen Johnson.

The Match
After forcing an early corner Pompey were then caught on the back foot and Wigan should have gone ahead through Paul Scharner, he got himself free but the post saved us.

Pompey responded well and a fine fun from Glen Johnson resulted in him playing in Benjani who went round Chris Kirkland but with the flag up it would not have counted even if he had finished, which he decided not to - but this was promising.

Wigan had the better of the opening 15 minutes or so on the whole, but we did come back into it more from that point on, but chances for either side were few and far between. Niko Kranjcar did have an effort as did Johnson but neither threatened, while Antoine Sibierski headed wide.

In what might have not been the most inspiring of halves we were holding our own and looking fairly comfortable, whilst at the same time threatening to do something - but it could have been Wigan that went in ahead on half time.

A dubiously given free kick for what was deemed a foul by Sylvain Distin on Sibierski gave them a chance on the edge of the area. Jason Koumas stepped up but he could not test David James.

Only a few minutes into the 2nd half Pompey were appealing for a penalty, Sean Davis went down but this was deemed by ref Peter Walton - not the best of refs to be honest - to have been okay.

A chance came and went for Sol Campbell, with Kirkland flapping at a cross Campbell could not direct his header, but Pompey were looking the more dangerous side in this half.

This threat almost brought the games opening goal. A free kick awarded some 30 yards out saw Sulley Muntari decide that this was for him, to be honest I was not too sure I wanted him to strike it but he almost rammed these thoughts down my throat with a fantastic strike, but he was denied by the outside of the post with Kirkland beaten.

With 13 minutes to go Redknapp made his first change of the afternoon bringing Pedro Mendes on for Davis, with one of his first tasks to strike an effort, but this went wide.

10 minutes to play and Pompey were ahead, Muntari's cross found Benjani and he stroked home his 7th goal of the season to become the countries top goalscorer - outright, not joint with anyone else!

Pompey were in control of the game and the 3 points were wrapped up in the 85th minute when Johnson came forward, he kept coming forward and eventually took on the effort from 20 yards to make it 2-0.

Match Summary
The 1st half was not great, but there was only ever one winner in the 2nd half really as the patient approach paid off as well with the goals eventually coming. When they did the confidence grew even more as the bodies poured forward - but they also got back quickly too.

3 away wins on the trot in the league, how fantastic is that and how well we are playing as a team, we look a threat for everyone we play, even if we are not completely at our best. I always feel that a goal will eventually come, even if we have to wait until nearer the end of the match than the beginning.

It could be easy to get carried - and I will! - but why not, bring on the Hammers next week when we return to Fortress Fratton you would be mad to bet against us winning again. Injuries permitting I would not expect any changes - this said I think Sean Davis' booking means a suspension?

PLAY UP POMPEY!

Goals
Wigan 0
Pompey 2 Benjani 80, Glen Johnson 85

David James
Glen Johnson
Sol Campbell
Sylvain Distin
Hermann Hreidarsson
John Utaka
Sean Davis (Pedro Mendes 77)
Papa Bouba Diop
Sulley Muntari
Niko Kranjcar
Benjani


Substitutes Not Used
Jamie Ashdown
David Nugent
Matty Taylor
Noe Pamarot


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday October 20 2007

Time: 5:22PM

Your Comments

This can't be happening. Top 5 finish here we come.
Lysimachus
You do have to pinch yourself to make sure you not dreaming.
eastneydave
Tha though doesn't even occur during sleep. As Wigan fans attending the game will tell me.
Lysimachus
All of a sudden, Harry's tactics away from home make perfect sense
Pompeyscum
were doing the business arent we - winning when we arent playing particularly well, the real signs of a good team... that said i do feel confident that our patient approach will eventually pay dividends - as it did again today...
pompeyrug
Get in there you blues.....Benjani wooaaaaaoooo Benjani wooaaaaooo. This is popmpey4me posting from holiday in Germany, post soon.
pompey4me
Great result and great team spirit. Benjani is a fabulous Pompey player, works his socks off and now leading scorer. I think every Pompey fan adores this guy. I am so pleased for him he deserves this season. His confidence is growing with every game and so is his reputation.
pompeygray
How we must love travelling to Lancashire. That makes Blackburn, Wigan and Burnley our scalps up there. Not to mention beating Bolton at home and Liverpool in Hong Kong and not losing to Man Utd and Liverpool at Fratton. Bring on City soon and get our regular 2-1 scoreline against them.
pompeygray
Great match report once again - The highlights for me me (other than the two goals and the clean sheet of course) were Sulley Muntaris free kick ...looked very impressive and cruely the first five minutes of Agwahoua being on the pitch ... must be the quickest yellow card in premiership history (Dave ??) and then to get hit in the face by a rocket just afterwards he must've been wondering what the hell was going on - He was stagging around like a boxer who had gone ten rounds with Tyson.
Chix
Oh and as for Sean Davis's and his yellow card it is his fifth of the season so we can expect a suspension .... A chance for Matty or Hughsie or Pedro to try and get back into the the team, I just hope we don't have to change the formation to accommodate it. ... but thinking about it it might actually be the Carling Cup game he misses ... I'll do some digging and find out
Chix
What a strange game it was, i thought that it was bound to end up 0-0, but once again we have the quality to snatch a game that last year we would have lost 1-0. Not the best performance but at least we have the spirit and the heart to battle to the end and win. Well done Benjy at last you are showing us why Harry always believed in you. Michael Brown is a complete waste of time isnt he, and he had nothing in his mind other than trying to kick Sean out of the game.
Owenspompey
the game was scrappy but from a few minutes into the second half i thought we would win, but i must admit generally i was lost in the whole atmosphere, with the noise pompey were making it was hard to understand that we were not the home team, i would love to have seen what it sounded like on sky or Quay/PFC radio.
russellm
I think we are in a mix of 6 teams, we are 5th on goal difference and have played a game more than those around us, just a cautionary thought. Games coming up are a much improved west ham at home next week, which we should probably win but then we are away to Newcastle where we normally don't, then we are back to entertaining high flying man city. Personally to stay in 5th or or drop only to 6th,we will need 7 out of the next 9 points.
russellm
We have nothing to fear from the Geordies, we usually go there and defend like mad until we give a stupid goal away or make a mistake that leads to a goal. Against both West Ham and Newcastle lets give it a go and try ot get at least four points.
Owenspompey
michael borwn is a disgrace isnt he - how many times was he fouling players yet he kept getting away with it didnt he - he seems more intent on fighting than playing football most of the time... the atmosphere sounded fantastic on pfctv russ!
pompeyrug
west ham and city would be games i think we can win - and will, newcastle, yep we dont have a good record but we are no good enough to hold them and rather than fould and lose 1-0 or 2-1 we could win 1-0 or 2-1 or even 2-0 like we did at wigan. we will be patient and this could win it for us.
pompeyrug
Pompey win a game in the last ten mins.....the Pompey of old always used to conceed then (dave) we have more quality and consistency than before. PUP
pompey4me
Watched the hammers today, they are there for the taking, if we get at them and hassle them all afternoon then we are more than capable of beating them.
Owenspompey
I share Russellm's caution as the Hammers Geordies and Sky Blues are teams we expect to see around us and although to keep winning is wonderful we have to be realistic and expect a defeat at some point so if we are to stay 5th 6th or 7th we must get that 7 of 9 but tall order though. That said I think West Ham although improved will come at the right time - Sunderland should have beaten them yesterday they had holes all over their defence and I expect Utaka, Johnson, Niko and Benji to run 'em ragged. Against Sunderland, West Ham had nine first teamers out - imagine what that would do to us, so it the situation doesn't improve for them before Saturday, I can see us Hammering the Hammers and getting the first of the 7 we need in the next three games.
Chix
yep, if unlike sunderland - who were unlucky - we take our chances instead of missing them, we could hammer the hammers. had sunderland taken their chances they would have... the aim is 3 pts next week, then i will use the old cliche 'take a game at a time'... but i think we could win all 3!
pompeyrug
I agree about the hammers to a certain extent chix, they were lucky but they rode it and won, so will be confident. I must go to Dubai after that but will be quite happy with 7 from the next 9 points.
russellm
Incidentally, i was delighted to hear that Harry "felt we needed a bit of quality and class on the field in the second half" and so replaced Davis with Pedro. Oh and did i see Davis get yet another yellow card.... LoL :-) i know at least 1 of you may have been waiting for that
russellm
pedro will get his chance now against the hammers wont he, so with that and the league cup match he should have a run of 2 games to stake his claim...
pompeyrug
I think it's not all about staking a claim pompeyrug, Harry feels it is a balanced team for 4,3,3. Harry also feels that with 4,3,3 he can out his newbies in the position he prefers. You would have to make him right with the current fixtures but against the better footballing famous four I don't feel it will work, it puts a lot of pressure on the defence and we have to remember that they are not the quickest in the league. Rejuvenated teams like the arse and man u will pretty much swamp then run through or round us, against those teams i think we should stay 4,4,2
russellm
 

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