Pompey played out their ‘must win’ match, and win it they did, the game was a bit of a reversal of recent matches, in so much that we played very averagely but came out winners for a change!
Avram grant recalled Tommy Smith to the line up in place of Piquionne, Finnan came in for the suspended Kaboul, and we had what looked quite an attacking line-up.
Burnley were making all the early in roads, Begovic was untroubled however, but Pompey were giving away possesion constantly, the passing was not crisp and the control was just not there. To prove the point Boateng fired in a shot from distance, it found its way to Dindane on the edge of the six yard area, but with the goal gaping he miscontrolled and a golden chance was gone.
Burnley were on top though, Blake fired in a free-kick that Begovic gathered, and Fletcher made a poor contact when he should really of scored.
The Pompey crowd was edgy, groans of frustration went up every time a ball was misplaced or a pass was miscontrolled.
On the half hour Pompey had a penalty, Hreidarsson chested a ball into the box and then went to ground, Elliott was nearest to him, but no contact was made at all, Dowd pointed to the spot, and Pompey had their second pen on the trot. Dindane had already grabbed the ball, he was clutching it to his chest away from Boateng who was succesful last week, he placed, lined it up, and then hit a weak shot that Jensen saved with ease, this time though the ball bounced up and straight on to his head, with 3/4’s of the goal to aim at, he headed it straight back to Jensen who clucthed on this time, our main man in front of goal was benevolent once more, it may of been a generous decision, but he had missed another golden opportunity.
The miss did however prove the catalyst for a bit of Pompey pressure, Jensen was not really threatened however, but we pushing harder with Boateng the fulcrum, Dindane almost redeemed himself by dispossessing Bikey on the right flank, he charged towards the box, but his driven cross was blocked out by Jensen.
Second half and Burnley were on the front foot once more, Fletcher forcing Begovic into a stretching save the Jamo would of been proud of, the ball looked destined for his bottom left corner, but a strong Canadian/Bosnian arm came out and pushed it wide.
Avram Grant had seen enough, he pulled off Tommy Smith who was hard working but not really threatening on the right, and on came Kanu to save the day once more.
Begovic was next to grab the spotlight once more though, Fletcher was to be denied once more, he hit a swerving volley from distance, and Begovic bettered his last save by stretching up and tipping away from his top corner, the Canadian was the diffence at the moment.
Kanu then showed why he is priceless, he showed good feet and slipped in the marauding Hreidarsson with a weighted pass, the Iceman had plenty to do, but found Jensen’s bottom corner with a lovely finish, a quick head stand and Pompey had a lifeline.
Burnley started to turn the screw looking for an equaliser, but Wilson was standing tall in Pompey’s defence, he was showing great calm as the onslaught came, passing out of defence when others would of hacked, Yebda was showing his defensive qualities also, mopping up well on a couple of occasions.
On 84 minutes, Pompey played a quick free-kick on the left, O’Hara sent over his best cross of the day and found Dindane’s head, this time the Ivorian was feeling leass festive, he headed down and the ball bounced up again over Jensen’s flailing arm, Bikey was nowhere to be seen and Pompey had a cushion.
Pompey should of had a third, Dindane broke away, but his pass to Kanu was weak and the chance was snuffed out, if the roles were reversed maybe it would of been another.
Steadying influence without being spectacular.
Growing with every game, maybe the find of a poor season.
Solid in the tackle, but he is like Christopher Biggins walking near a chip shop, he cannot pass it!
Won a penalty and scored the opener, not bad for a 34 year old left back!
Probably Pompey’s most accomplished outfield player. Another booking however.
His best moment was the cross that led to our second goal, unusually caught in posession a few times
I thought the Algerian played well second half, maybe bouyed by the large Algerian contingent in the South stand.
Poor first half, but one thing about him is that he does not hide, even after his miss he wanted the ball, he was rewarded for persistence with his 4th league goal.
Battled hard on the right, but couldn’t find an avenue to goal.
Usual game, plenty of tackles and energy
Changed the game.
Grant showed the big difference between himself and Hart, when the game was running away from us he pulled out plan B, his substitution was at the right time and turned the match.
Sure I’ve said it before, but when we face a ‘keeper from 12 yards, why don’t Pompey just put their foot through it?
Also like last week, a couple of corners were played to the edge of the box for a shot to be fired in, we will be caught out soon.