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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 September, 2003, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Rovers end Pompey honeymoon
Portsmouth 1-2 Blackburn

Goals from Lucas Neill and Andy Cole in the final 11 minutes of the first half gave Blackburn their first win in five games and ended Pompey's unbeaten Premiership record.

Neill got the first when he struck from just 10 yards after a goal-mouth scramble.

And Cole, at his predatory best, doubled the advantage eight minutes later when he pushed the ball past Arjan de Zeeuw before finishing clinically beyond keeper Shaka Hislop.

De Zeeuw made amends in the second half, heading home Steve Stone's corner, but Pompey were stifled as Barry Ferguson and Tugay pulled the strings for the visitors.

Teddy Sheringham, chasing his sixth goal in as many games, came closest for the home side in the first half but scuffed wide from eight yards after Boris Zivkovic and Tim Sherwood had set him up.

KEY MOMENTS
35 mins: Neill puts Blackburn 1-0 up
43 mins: Cole grabs Rovers' second
57 mins: De Zeeuw pulls a goal back for Pompey

Stone looked to be the key player in the opening minutes but Lorenzo Amoruso and Markus Babbel held firm.

Tugay's effort from distance forced Hislop to push the ball behind for a corner before Neill struck on 35 minutes.

Following another corner, Cole took possession beyond the far post and saw his low cross scraped off the line by Zivkovic.

De Zeeuw also seemed to get a touch but the ball bounced to Neill who fired home.

Seven minutes later a long ball found Cole, who turned and pushed the ball past De Zeeuw before finishing clinically beyond keeper Hislop.

Blackburn were forced on to the back foot after the break and got their reward with De Zeeuw's power header on 57 minutes.

A Zivkovic cross flashed past Jason Roberts' head as the substitute lunged in after 63 minutes as Portsmouth went all out for a leveller.

De Zeeuw almost claimed a second goal, volleying over after Friedel could only punch out a Stone free-kick.

But Rovers were determined not to let their advantage slip, and Brett Emerton even managed to thunder a shot off the bar in the closing stages as Blackburn took all three points.


Portsmouth: Hislop, Schemmel, De Zeeuw, Stefanovic, Zivkovic, Stone, Sherwood (Roberts 55), Faye, Quashie (Pericard 84), Sheringham, Ayegbini.
Subs Not Used: Wapenaar, Foxe, Smertin.

Booked: Quashie, Schemmel.

Blackburn: Friedel, Neill (Johansson 90), Amoruso, Babbel, Gresko, Emerton, Tugay (Baggio 64), Ferguson, Thompson, Cole, Jansen (Yorke 64).
Subs Not Used: Kelly, Grabbi.

Booked: Gresko, Thompson, Cole.

Attendance: 20,024

Referee: P Durkin (Dorset).


WATCH AND LISTEN
Blackburn boss Graeme Souness
"You can see why Portsmouth aren't going to get beat often at Fratton Park"


Pompey boss Harry Redknapp
"We just couldn't get a break"



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