Kranking It Up
It wasn't the greatest game to be fair, but the result will be very much appreciated as Pompey were missing Defoe, Baros, Utaka and Diarra yet still produced a performance on the pitch. This win also means that we have already broken our record points tally of 54 last season.
I'm actually quite surprised at how easily we won this game. The Hammers started stronger in the first half and almost took the lead when the ball luckily broke to Bobby Zamora who rounded the onrushing James but could only shoot wide thanks to a crucial touch by Distin.
After that chance it was Pompey who took control and dominated possession. The Pompey fans in the away end cheered loudly when we thought that David Nugent had opened his Premier League account but his shot hit the stanchion and hit the other side of the net. That moment made us look a bit silly....
However, it would be West Ham who were made to look silly in the second half as Niko Kranjcar, who had already fired over the bar earlier, lashed in a shot from 25 yards into the bottom corner of the net to ensure that we really did have something to cheer about this time!
I thought a West Ham backlash would follow but Alan Curbishley's subs had little effect on the game as we continued to pass the ball around the pitch nicely and defended stoutly when we had to.
I was also impressed with David Nugent's effort and Arnold Mvuemba's performance, whilst Papa Bouba Diop had his best game since he returned from the African Nations Cup.
Overall we can consider the result as a great night at the office, so to speak, and the chase for fifth will continue on Saturday as Everton go to struggling Birmingham whilst we host resurgent Newcastle.
It should be a very exciting end to the season for everyone involved with Portsmouth Football Club.
Pompey Player Ratings
David James: 6 - Shaky at times but dealt with everything.
Glen Johnson: 8 - Continues to improve and impress.
Sol Campbell: 7 - Marshalled "Fat Annie Lennox" (Ashton) well.
Sylvain Distin: 8 - A class all-round display.
Hermann Hreidarsson: 8 - Very reliable.
Arnold Mvuemba: 6 - Didn't look out of place.
Papa Bouba Diop: 7 - Best game for a while.
Sulley Muntari: 7 - Controlled the midfield.
Pedro Mendes: 7 - Nice passing.
Niko Kranjcar: 8 - Quality goal capped a great performance.
David Nugent: 6 - Pressured the West Ham defence all night.
Richard Hughes: N/A - Late appearance.
Kanu: 6 - Did his job well.