Winning In Wigan

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 21 October 2007
Five straight wins, four in the league and four away from home without conceding a single goal, great to be a Pompey fan right now isn't it?

Over 3,500 Pompey fans bundled into the North Stand of the JJB Stadium to witness yet another victory for the men in black. In honesty, the game was dire with Wigan lacking quality and Portsmouth trying to be too intricate.

Wigan's best chance came right at the start of the game as Paul Scharner's header hit the post but since then they created nothing worthy of note. Their passing was wayward and their set-pieces were either blocked or drifted harmlessly out of play.

That's not to say that we were much better, especially in the first half.

The Pompey players tried to walk the ball into the net at times. John Utaka gave Kilbane the runaround but was lacking an end product. Anything else we tried was stopped by the irritating Bramble and Granqvist and so our best chance of the half came from a long range shot from Kranjcar that went straight into Kirkland's arms.

The second half started much in the same manner. Pompey were passing the ball well but couldn't create anything against a stubborn Wigan team that continued to play poorly.

Peter Walton gave some dubious decisions to the home side that might have resulted in something if the resulting free kicks weren't wasted. When one of his decisions did go in our favour, Sulley Muntari's free kick went narrowly wide of Kirkland's goal.

In such a scrappy game it seemed inevitable that it would finish goalless. However, the Premier League's leading goalscorer had other ideas as Muntari's cross from the left was deflected into Benjani's path and he tucked away his 7th goal of the season.

The Pompey fans celebrated behind the goal and with the goal coming in the last ten minutes, Wigan had to push forward and that allowed Glen Johnson to run forward. With nobody tracking him, the right back bombed forward and struck in a second goal to send the travelling army into delirium.

It's difficult to say how much we deserved to win yesterday. We were very comfortable at the back, solid in midfield but really didn't offer any end product when going forward until the last ten minutes.

On the other hand, Wigan were poor all game and we began to turn the screw about midway into the second half by keeping them pinned inside their own half. I think we just deserved to win on the balance of play, but I'm sure no Pompey fan will care as long as we keep racking the points up.

On another note, I hope Wigan sort themselves out and survive. I really do like those chunky steak pies!

Pompey Player Ratings

David James: 7 - Made a couple of good takes but really didn't have much to do.

Glen Johnson: 8 - Best game in a Pompey shirt defensively and grabbed himself a goal when going forward.

Sol Campbell: 8 - A rock at the back.

Sylvain Distin: 7 - Dealt with "Scuba Sibierski" well.

Hermann Hreidarsson: 7 - Another solid performance.

Sean Davis: 7 - Battled hard in the centre.

Papa Bouba Diop: 7 - Strong performance once again.

Sulley Muntari: 7 - Effective all over the pitch.

John Utaka: 7 - Tormented Wigan down the right but had no end product.

Niko Kranjcar: 6 - Didn't have much going forward.

Benjani: 8 - Grabbed a goal and did a fair bit of work at the back too.

Substitutes

Jamie Ashdown

Noe Pamarot

Pedro Mendes: 6 - Slotted in well for Davis.

Matthew Taylor

David Nugent

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Tue 17th October 19:45

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