Portsmouth’s woes continue against Man City

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles


In a week where the blue half of Manchester mourned the loss of one of its greatest ever exports Oasis, Noel Gallagher spoke of his intent to spend the abundance of leisure time he now has on his hands “indulging” himself in his football team.

Oasis may have split, but on the pitch Mark Hughes will be pleasantly surprised how quickly his multi-million pound side are evolving into a cohesive unit.

Meanwhile Portsmouth commenced life under Arab businessman Sulaimann Al Fahim earlier this week. A fresh wave of optimism blew across Fratton Park with the vocal home support in good voice.

A slow start saw City control the tempo of the game. The critics were quick to suggest that Hughes would find it difficult to maintain a balance in the City team.

So far the doubters have been proved wrong.

Gareth Barry and Stephen Ireland looked impressive in midfield, with the latter regularly breaking up any fleeting Pompey attacks, and in turn allowing Ireland to orchestrate the Manchester City offence from his central midfield role.

Up front Emmanuel Adebayor and Carlos Tevez looked sharp. The duo provided the depleted Pompey defence with a constant headache all afternoon.

The deadlock was broken on the 26 minute mark. Barry whipped in a dangerous corner which flew on to the dreadlocked head of Adebayor. The Togo international headed firmly past Begovic to maintain his fine goal scoring form.

It was a deserved lead after a steady performance by the away side.

Micah Richards added a second before half time. A delightful pass from Tevez found the fiery Craig Bellamy. The Welshman had time to measure a cross, which was driven in by the City right back.

Unfortunately for Hughes it was wrongfully ruled out after the assistant flagged for an offside infringement.

Al Fahim ventured pitch side at half time. He would spend the second half sitting with the fans in a move not too dissimilar to the now abominated Mike Ashley.

Portsmouth lacked cutting edge. Kranjcar occasionally looked to thread the perfect ball through the City defence but the chances were few and far between.

The new chairman, hailing from the United Arab Emirates, was left to ponder how much money he would need to pump into his new club in order to compete with his compatriots at City

On 77 minutes John Utaka almost sent the home crowd into frenzy. His ferocious shot fizzed past the left post much to the relief of a grateful Shay Given.

David Nugent was introduced towards the end of the game. He made an instant impact forcing Shay Given into a save as Portsmouth looked increasingly dangerous.

Two late penalty claims for Manchester City were rejected by Howard Webb. The perfect start continues for Mark Hughes’ men while Portsmouth slumped to four consecutive defeats.

Cash rich City will face two massive matches when they return from the international break. The visit of Arsenal and a trip to Old Trafford will be the real acid test for this impressive Manchester City team.


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