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Last Updated:  Sunday, 2 March, 2003, 11:59 GMT
Redknapp salutes magic Merson
Paul Merson celebrates with Svetoslav Todorov
Merson stood out for Pompey
Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp lavished praise on Paul Merson after the 5-0 thrashing of Millwall at the New Den.

Yacubu Ayegbini (2), Tim Sherwood and Svetoslav Todorov put Pompey four up by half-time and Merson rounded off a dazzling display with a second-half penalty.

"Merson was different class with his running and passing," said Redknapp.

"Millwall couldn't get to grips with him. There's no reason why Merse can't play at the highest level."

Redknapp was also pleased with new striker Ayegbini.

Each time we lost the ball we were punished by a very good team
Millwall boss Mark McGhee

"Yacubu took his goals really well," added Redknapp. "His pace was electrifying - they couldn't handle him.

"We scored some good goals. To come here and win 5-0 is a great result."

Millwall manager Mark McGhee was forced to admit that Merson and his team-mates had taught the Lions a footballing lesson.

"We were seeing a player above anything you usually get in this division," said McGhee.

"He sees the player early and can pick him out with his first touch.

"We'll look at the video and see where Portsmouth are going right.

"It was all over by half-time. Each time we lost the ball we were punished by a very good team."

Pompey boss Harry Redknapp
"I thought it would be a difficult game"

Pompey's Paul Merson
"It was a great team performance"



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