How Pedro Mendes must look forward to the next time he faces Manchester City.
Not one to endure half-measures against us, he encapsulated his career so far against City in yesterday's game, reprising his collection of long range strikes to put Pompey ahead before again being stretchered off, following a challenge from Joey Barton.
Stuart Pearce has come out to defend Barton, whilst opposite number Harry Redknapp (typically) clearly disagreed and saw himself sent to the stands for the second-half following a half-time 'discussion' with referee Mike Dean.
Ultimately, it is difficult to know what (if any) intent there was from Barton, and whether he sought to injure Mendes or not but TV replays appear to suggest that Barton did intend to catch Mendes rather than make an attempt for the ball. Having said that, I don't think it was in any way apparant that Barton sought or meant any harm to Mendes.
Barton could face further reprisals though as it appears that the FA are set to be informed by the local constabulary of complaints made against him for making obscene or offensive gestures. City have come out early against this, with Paul Tyrell denying Barton is guilty and that the club would 'robustly' challenge any action.
As for the game itself, I don't think we deserved to get anything from it given the fact that the majority of the game saw us uninspiring in attack and overrun at the back when Portsmouth went on the attack.
We were particularly inept during the first-half, creating little and could have already been behind when Mendes struck the first goal, with only a smart save by David James from Corradi our only real chance. We were constantly under pressure and Isaksson made a couple of smart saves to display his quality and press claims for a prolonged run in the side.
The second-half fared little better, but Vassell's good work down the right saw him get a cross in and Corradi headed well past James to put us on level terms. From that moment - deserved or not, we should have been in a position to kick-on and if either of the sides looked likely to grab a winner it was us.
But, with just under ten minutes remaining a lapse in concentration at the back allowed a neat ball to be played through and Kanu struck past Isaksson to seal the points and Portsmouth's first win in some seven games.
There weren't many positives to take from the game, with the midfield trio that has played well in recent weeks struggling to gel as a unit, and the defence looking far from solid - although Ball had an encouraging debut at left-back but perhaps could have anticipated the second goal more quickly. In attack we struggled with Vassell too wide for the majority of the game leaving Corradi isolated and left to to try and win the many long balls delivered his way.
With other results at the weekend we have dropped to sixteenth position, and according to Sky are now in 'freefall'. A ten point gap between ourselves and the relegation positions should be sufficient to avoid the drop but if any of the bottom three get their act together over the final quarter of the season we could be in for a nervy time between now and the end of the season.
“We didn’t come out and compete in the first half. They were- Stuart Pearce.
told that at half time and we’ve got ourselves back in the game.
“It’s just a
pity that I can’t be standing here now having got a point from Portsmouth
because we might have deserved it if we’d have had a bit more about us.”
"I like Sylvain. He's got great pace, is good in the
air, has a good left foot and is a quality player," said Redknapp.
go somewhere else when he's out of contract in the summer." - Harry Redknapp
- David James
"Joey is 100 per cent player, but you've got to learn you
can't be 100 per cent all the time".