Well a hammering was predicted, a hammering was dealt out, but bizarrely enough this was Pompey’s best display of the season.
Paul Hart stunned everyone by going with Kanu up front, flanked by Utaka and Piquionne, Vanden Borre slipped to the bench, Diop was at home nursing his hamstring.
The game started ok for Pompey, Arsenal were predictably enjoying the lions share of possesion, Wilson and Belhadj making timely interceptions early on, with Piquionne squirting in a shot at the other end.
On 18 minutes the inevitable happened, Eduardo ghosted past Wilson and squared for Diaby who smashed home.
Pompey suddenly looked all at sea, and Diaby got another straight after, a quick counter and Eboue rolled another over to Diaby who had the easy task of tapping home. Almost straight away again and it should of been 3, Arshavin crossing right across goal with no contact, then Fabregas spurning an opportunity to shoot.
James denied Van Persie in quick succession, and all of a sudden Pompey were back in it with their first goal of the season.
Belhadj lofted one in and Kaboul rose above a flat-footed Almunia to nod home, Pompey had a lifeline.
On half-time James excelled again, blocking out Van Persie once more in a one man mission to deny the Dutchman.
Second half and Pompey’s tormentor-in-chief Fabregas was off, and so should of been Gallas, Utaka completely out stripped him and Gallas clipped him, but predictably away from home the ref waved play on and the linesman looked to the skies is if nothing had happened, definite free-kick and last man should of walked.
Gallas then took his outrageous luck to new levels, within a couple of minutes he found himself at the other end, the ball hit his foot richocheted up to his face and in off the post, I’m sure Paul Hart could be heard to say ‘that Frenchman should not be on the pitch’
3-1 it was and Pompey were deflated, Piquionne got away from Clichy but dithered and had the ball whipped off of his foot when he should really of scored.
70 minutes and Ramsey got another, he found himself goalside when Pompey appealed for offside, he cooly slotted past a distraught James.
A few minutes later and the sight all Pompey fans dreaded, David James went off with a muscle injury and Begovic replaced him, hopefully it is no more than a recurrence of his injury against Rangers. Utaka had another good chance to pull Pompey closer, but sliced wide when he should of very least tested Almunia.
Let in 4 but it could of been so much worse, hopefully not seriously injured
Done some good things but Eduardo had the upper hand on him, seems to prefer the middle.
One slip let in Diaby but Van persie couldn’t punish him further.
Pompey’s top scorer!
Great early interception and Pompey’s most creative outlet
Seems to play much better away from home, should of scored but at least looked lively for periods.
Given a free role, should of been given a free transfer, he is going next summer but hardly putting himself in the shop window, can Pompey afford to carry a player more interested in not injuring himself than football?
Best of the midfield 3 by a mile, puts in a shift and can tackle
Holds the ball well, got an hour at his old club and didn’t let himself down
Puts in the effort of Benjani, trouble is he looks like he might take as long to score as well.