Portsmouth 0 Chelsea 2

With Leeds and Leicester picking up points to ever shorten the gap between Pompey and the drop zone, Redknapp led his charges out in a match where defeat was not an option.

Despite a reasonably bright showing, Scott Parker's well-taken first goal for Chelsea took the wind out of Portsmouth's sails, and when Yakubu missed an open goal following a blunder by Chelsea 'keeper Neil Sullivan, the writing was on the wall. Come the second half, with news that Man Utd were losing, the Londoners were not in the mood to blow their lead and sub Hernan Crespo chested in a goal after Jimmy Floud Hassilbank smacked the ball against the Portsmouth crossbar.

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp remained upbeat his charges can remain among the elite, commenting that: "It looks a bit grim for us but nobody is giving up. I have been saying for a while that, apart from the top five, there is nothing in this league.

"We can give everybody else a game like we gave Chelsea but we need the breaks.''

However, with only two league wins since the end of November, the option of defeat needs to be taken off the menu and quickly.