Portsmouth 0 Wigan Athletic 2

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 05 November 2005
Wigan Athletic defender Pascal Chimbonda was Wigan's hero for the second week in a row as the Premiership's surprise package extended their winning run to six successive matches.

Chimbonda grabbed a last-gasp winner in the Latics' 1-0 victory over Fulham last weekend.

The French full-back scored one goal and made another as Paul Jewell's men overcame a punchless Portsmouth who look odds on for relegation.

Wigan arrived at Fratton Park with two Pompey old boys in their ranks. Former captain Arjan De Zeeuw was given a hero's welcome by the home fans as he made his first return to the South Coast since rejoining old club Wigan in a £100,000 deal in the summer.

Former Pompey loanee Jason Roberts was also back on his old stomping ground for the first time since an ill-fated loan spell from West Brom two seasons ago.

It was Pompey, looking for their first home win in seven months, who made the better start.

Uruguayan striker Dario Silva was denied a goalscoring opportunity by a superb last-ditch tackle from man of the match Stephane Henchoz as early as the eighth minute.

Wigan goalkeeper John Filan also reacted smartly to save at the feet of Frenchman Gregory Vignal three minutes later.

Silva had the first meaningful effort on goal in the 12th minute when he headed narrowly over from a Vignal cross after Australian Filan had come racing out of his goal and completely misjudged the flight of the ball.

Roberts had his first sight of goal two minutes later when he fired wide with a fierce 25-yard strike.

Top scorer Henri Camara should have done better in the 28th minute when he somehow failed to connect to full-back Leighton Baines' pinpoint cross.

Baines then slid in to make a heroic block on Silva after the quick-fire striker had raced onto Gary O'Neil's throughball.

Pompey were forced to make some last-gasp defending of their own eight minutes before half-time when former Newcastle defender Andy Griffin blocked Lee McCulloch's fierce close-range shot.

Pompey midfielder Matthew Taylor scored a contender for goal of the season in the home side's 4-1 mauling of bottom club Sunderland last weekend and he came close to snatching another long-range goal but shot inches wide from 25 yards after some good hold up play from loan striker Silva.

Roberts found the advertising hording behind the goal for a second time on the stroke of half-time when he shot hopelessly wide from 25 yards.

Damien Francis, a Pompey transfer target in the summer, scuffed a shot wide of Jamie Ashdown's post two minutes after the restart after Jimmy Bullard had crossed from the right.

But Wigan did not have to wait long for their opening goal and it came via that man Chimbonda less than 60 seconds later.

Bullard had hit the first man with every set-piece he had taken so far. But the former West Ham apprentice found the perfect cross this time and his corner was thumped into the net at the back post by Chimbonda who outjumped Danish defender Brian Priske at the back post.

The goal was almost identical to the one that beat Fulham late on last week.

Priske almost atoned for his error in the 52nd minute when he headed wide from an O'Neil corner.

Graham Kavanagh threatened to add to Pompey's woes when he shot wide from long range two minutes later.

Midfielder Laurent Robert was named among the Pompey substitutes despite his refusal to sit on the bench at Sunderland last weekend. The Frenchman was booed by a large section of the home fans when he was brought on to replace fellow Frenchman Vignal in the 59th minute.

Robert made little impact once the booing had finally stopped and Pompey could have fallen further behind in the 71st minute.

Francis flicked on De Zeeuw's long ball and Ashdown did brilliantly to tip over Camara's header from six yards out.

Wigan put the game beyond doubt 11 minutes from time when Roberts netted the goal he had been craving against the side that still see him as a Premiership flop.

The impressive Chimbonda made a fine breakaway move before exchanging passes with Camara on the halfway line and crossing for Roberts to roll the ball under Ashdown and into the bottom right hand corner.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Stephane Henchoz (Wigan Athletic) - The Switzerland international defender never put a foot wrong at the back and as he helped to maintain Wigan's record as the meanest defence in the Premiership.

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