Pompey’s Chelsea drought will stretch into another season after another customary defeat from the Fulham lodgers, but that doesn’t tell the full story.
Chelsea were obviously favourites, but the weather sometimes acts as a great leveller, and the weather was wet, wet, wet. The conditions were reminiscent of a match against Leicester in our promotion campaign, the pitch wasn’t as waterlogged, but was certainly hevier than normal and the ball zipped on when you least expected it.
Pompey had the first little snifters of goal, Hreiedarrson popping up in the penalty area once more, but Terry dived in to prevent him adding to his tally for the season. Kranjcar had another effort blocked after a Hayden Mullins slice ended up at this feet and Petr Cech showed how valued he is at Chelsea with a cracking save from Davis’ drive from the edge of the block, 9 times out of 10 it would have beaten most ‘keepers, but Cech isn’t most ‘keepers is he?
Chelsea were having the lion’s share of possesion, but were not really threatening James’ goal, Ashley Cole’s driven cross across the face of goal being missed by Drogba was as closs as they were to come.
One thing was really standing out for me this half, and that was David Nugent’s touch, he was coping really well with the conditions and was killing the ball dead when it pinged towards him, his work-rate has never been in question, but his close control seemed to have stepped another level.
Hermann was cropping up in all the right places as well, more than once an Icelandic head or foot got in just in time to block an avenue to goal.
Chelsea were mainly relying on shots from out the box, James spilled a couple to give them hope, but a blue shirt was always first to hand to mop up.
Second half and the action was to come, Pompey were to have two gilt-edged chances and Chelsea the one, the story writes itself really doesn’t it?
Pompey were playing very deep, and not just in the water, Chelea were being allowed to get within 35 yards of goal pretty much unchallenged, but we were soaking up the pressure well and seemed content to burst forward on the break.
On about the hour mark Nugent produced the most silky of turns, John Terry was truly left for dead and Nugent bore down on goal, trouble is bloody Cech was still there and he again saved well when a goal seemed certain.
If that chance was a good one, the next one was more golden than C3PO after a good rub with brasso, Chelea pushed everyone forward and the ball broke to Crouch who was still 10 yards in his own half, thing is he was still 10 yards clear of any defender, he broke down the right and crossed into the path of Kranjcar who only had Cech to beat, he beat him, and the post, chance gone begging.
Quaresma came on for Chelsea and Pompey were looking to play out for a draw, the defence was deeper than the Titanic now, and Nugent was playing as another left-back.
Pompey countered the substition with one of their own, Utaka replacing Pennant.
Pompey got to about 10 minutes from the end when the inevitable happened, Quaresma crossed from the right, the ball squirmed through to Drogba on the far left, and the ball was dispatched into the bottom corner, the sucker-punch landed on Pompey’s chin once more.
Pompey needed to press forward now, and Nugent bent in a beauty of a cross from the right, but Belletti did enough to put Kranjcar off and time was nearly up.
James managed a little sortie up front, but the game was up and Pompey had played valiantly, but ultimately ended up with nothing. They say you get what you deserve in football, I say, Bullshit.
Hart & Kidd
Pomey announce after the game that Paul Hart and Brian Kidd would remain in charge until the end of the season, congratulations to both, and not many complaints either, onwards and upwards.
The threat still lingers but if we play like this every game from now until the end of the season we are giving ourselves the best possible chance of survival surely?