Pathetic Pompey Wilt In Braga

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 23 October 2008
Pompey were given a lesson in European football in Minho tonight after falling to a heavy 3-0 defeat by a superior Braga side.

Harry Redknapp must have been cursing his luck as Glen Johnson was injured prior to the match and things got worse just eight minutes in when Diop was penalised for a perfectly good challenge 30 yards from goal and Luis Aguiar scored from the resulting free kick.

David James' positioning looked a bit suspect for the goal and I think he would have got to it if he had stayed on his line, but he can't really be blamed for what was a fantastic free kick.

Pompey did not get going at all in the first half as Braga controlled the midfield but if Jermain Defoe had scored when he was one-on-one with Eduardo then the result may have been different.

Glen Little had to be replaced during the first half as he pulled up with a hamstring injury but John Utaka was once again ineffective when he came on.

Braga 'keeper Eduardo looked dodgy and I'm disappointed that we didn't put him under more pressure. Then again, we couldn't keep hold of the ball for long enough to create a decent chance so the route one tactic was our preferred method of attack.

Whilst Pompey's direct tactics looked like working towards the end of the first half, the plan for the second half was ruined after Wason Renteria turned his marker and shot into the bottom corner in the 47th minute.

That goal seemed to drain Pompey as the Braga players began to over-react when they were fouled and frustrate Pompey with their time wasting. The referee didn't help with his inconsistent performance topped off with disallowing a goal for Pompey for what seemed to be nothing.

Pompey's abysmal evening was capped with a third goal when Sean Davis slid the ball onto David James' post and Alan was there to finish the game at the end.

We really missed Lassana Diarra tonight and I also think we lacked a creative spark so the sooner Niko Kranjcar gets back, the better. Diop and Davis were simply not good enough in the centre whilst Armand Traore and Noe Pamarot were poor.

I have sympathy for anyone who forked out to watch that rubbish tonight. Pompey fans will be demanding a response against Fulham on Sunday but the big picture is that we already have a lot of work to do if we're to qualify for the next round of the UEFA Cup.

AC Milan beat Heerenveen 3-1 tonight which means we're bottom of the group after round one and we sit out the next matchday. We can't afford to play as badly as we did tonight againstthe Rossoneri or we'll get obliterated.

It's far from over though so there's no need to panic yet.

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