Dindane Hat-Trick Smashes Wigan Pumpkins
Pompey got at Wiagn right from the start and dominated the majority of the first half. Powerful possession play meant that the men in their pumpkin like orange kit could not get a shot at David James whilst Chris Kirkland was kept busy at the other end.
The deadlock was broken when Michael Brown's defence splitting pass found Dindane who dinked the ball over Kirkland to bag his first goal for Pompey.
The Ivory Coast international then turned provider for the second goal by producing the through ball on the right for Freddie Piquionne to run past the Latics defence and cooly slot past Kirkland just before half-time to send Fratton Park into raptures.
Minutes before that Jason Scotland had a chance to equalise for Wigan when through on goal but he missed thanks to some pressure from the ever improving Marc Wilson.
Pompey suffered two injury blows during the game. Steve Finnan limped off in the first half to be replaced by Belhadj which meant Ben-Haim was moved to right back and did a superb job there.
The second came in the second half when Piquionne hit the deck after an innocuous looking challenge from Boyce. He tried to continue but fell to the floor again and had to be stretchered off the pitch as Kanu replaced him.
Thankfully Freddie just had a concussion and is now fine but his replacement was simply a joy to watch. I laughed out loud as the Nigerian held the ball as three Wigan players were attempting to tackle him before he shrugged them off and laid the ball off to someone else.
He's not just about party tricks though, as he set up the final two goals. He passed the ball (or mis-hit his shot, depending on your view) to Dindane who slid in for his second goal and then in the last minute he drew a foul from Boyce in the box and Aruna "Zinedine" Dindane completed his hat-trick by converting the penalty.
It was a great win for us despite a shocking Wigan performance but I was very impressed with everyone on the pitch yesterday. It was great to see a Pompey striker finally find the back of the net, Jamie O'Hara and Michael Brown ran the midfield and the defence did what they had to do, even when Ben-Haim had to switch sides.
The only question is whether we can replicate this kind of performance on the road. We go to Ewood Park next week knowing that victory over Blackburn will take us above them and possibly even out of the bottom three for the first time this season. What a boost that would be!
For now, we remain bottom of the league but let's just bask in the glory of this win, one of our best since we first arrived in the Premier League back in 2003.
Pompey Player Ratings
David James: 6 - Virtually nothing to do as Wigan did not have a shot on target.
Steve Finnan: 6 - Solid until injury.
Marc Wilson: 7 - Looks like a good defender now.
Younes Kaboul: 7 - Did his usual job at the back and got forward too.
Tal Ben-Haim: 7 - Equally as good at right back as well as left back.
Michael Brown: 8 - Ran the game.
Jamie O'Hara: 8 - Hardly misplaced a pass.
Hassan Yebda: 7 - Fought for everything.
Kevin-Prince Boateng: 8 - Drove the team forward.
Frederic Piquionne: 8 - Haunted Wigan defence until injured.
Aruna Dindane: 9 - Top class hat-trick.
Nadir Belhadj (Finnan 41): 6 - Did his job well.
Hayden Mullins (Yebda 85): N/A - Rare outing.
Kanu (Piquionne 57): 8 - Set up two goals and made a mockery of Wigan's players when on the ball. A joy to watch.