Ronaldo Punishes Pompey

Last updated : 30 January 2008 By Jim Bonner
Pompey never do well at Old Trafford and once again the game was lost in the first quarter of an hour as Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice to condemn Harry Redknapp to another defeat at the Theatre of Nightmares.

The first goal came thanks to some bad control from Pompey's midfield and a side of United's quality will punish even the smallest mistakes and some one-touch passing from United put Ronaldo through on the left and he slotted in with ease.

Everyone will talk about Ronaldo's second goal for years to come - a free kick that was simply chipped over the wall and into the top corner at pace. No goalkeeper would have got near that but then the free kick wouldn't have even been given if it wasn't for Campbell's needless foul.

Pompey never looked like getting a goal back and we can be thankful that it was only two as Fergie's men rained the shots on our goal, forcing David James to make some good saves, including an excellent double-block from Nani and Park Ji-Sung in the second half.

The only positives to take from the game were Jamo's performance and Lassana Diarra's confident showing. We suffered what could be a major injury blow at half-time as Sylvain Distin came off with what is reported to be a hamstring injury.

Milan Baros' debut was a forgettable one as he barely saw the ball whilst Sol Campbell really struggled with United's attack, especially Wayne Rooney. I'm just relieved that this fixture is out of the way and we can concentrate on our next game against... errm... Chelsea....

Pompey Player Ratings

David James: 8 - Kept the score respectable with some important saves.

Glen Johnson: 6 - Average, but not shamed.

Sol Campbell: 5 - Really struggled with Rooney.

Sylvain Distin: 6 - Off at half-time because of injury but did OK until then.

Noe Pamarot: 5 - Shaky.

Lauren: 5 - Ineffective.

Sean Davis: 5 - Not a good return to the first-team.

Lassana Diarra: 7 - Good on the ball.

Niko Kranjcar: 5 - Blunt.

Benjani: 6 - Worked as hard as he could.

Milan Baros: 5 - Didn't have much of a sniff.


Asmir Begovic

Hermann Hreidarsson: 6 - Solid showing in context of the game.

Arnold Mvuemba: 6 - Good effort.

Richard Hughes: N/A - Late sub.

Pedro Mendes