Portsmouth secure Premiership status

Last updated : 01 May 2004 By Alex Dale
Red-hot Portsmouth offered an organised, efficient display against their Europe-chasing opponents and gained the point they needed to ensure Leeds could not catch them, thanks in no small part to the lively antics of Lomana Lua-Lua and sorchingly-hot forward Yakubu, who put Portsmouth in front with only ten minutes remaining.

Fulham's American striker Brian McBride scored his first goal for the Londoners a few minutes later to tie up the game, but it mattered not in the end as Portsmouth held on the draw they needed.

Harry Redknapp was understandably delighted, gasping: "I thought it would go to the last game of the season and so I'm delighted to be safe with three still to go.

"Just getting in the promotion play-offs last season would have been terrific but winning the championship was outstanding.

"And this season we could have crumbled after Arsenal whacked us 5-1 here in the FA Cup."

Redknapp's opposite number, Chris Coleman, who himself steered a free-falling Fulham away from trouble a year ago, was complimentary of Portsmouth's achievement, adding: "Portsmouth have hit a bit of form just at the right time. It is a good point to get because for one thing the crowd here are magnificent".