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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 August 2005, 20:39 GMT 21:39 UK
Portsmouth 1-1 Aston Villa
Lomana LuaLua's spectacular strike gave Portsmouth a point against Aston Villa.

Villa took the lead after 11 minutes, just seconds after being reduced to 10 men when Nolberto Solano was sent off for elbowing Richard Hughes.

Hughes recovered, only to then head Gareth Barry's free-kick past goalkeeper Sander Westerveld.

Pompey dominated with the extra man, and LuaLua curled a brillant 20-yard drive past Thomas Sorensen, but their pressure failed to force a winner.

Pompey gave a debut to new signing, Denmark defender Brian Priske, but it proved an inauspicious start for his new club.

Villa took the lead in bizarre circumstances after 11 minutes, immediately after going down to 10 men.

Solano was rightly shown the red card by referee Graham Poll for lashing out with an elbow at Hughes, who was booked for his original foul on the Peruvian.

Hughes was quickly back on his feet, only to head Barry's resulting free-kick past a startled Westerveld.

Pompey responded well as LuaLua proved a constant threat to the Villa defence, and O'Leary's side suffered a blow after 35 minutes when Kevin Phillips limped off to be replaced by Ulises De la Cruz.

The home side continued to dominate and deservedly equalised four minutes before the interval, LuaLua cutting in from the left before curling a glorious finish beyond Thomas Sorensen.

Pompey were lifted by the goal and tried to press home the advantage after the break.

Gary O'Neil somehow shot over the top of an open goal after 62 minutes from John Viafara's cross, before Laurent Robert brought a fine fingertip save from Sorensen.

Hughes then almost made amends for his earlier own goal, only to shoot inches wide as time ran out.

  • Portsmouth manager Alain Perrin:
    "We had many chances and could have scored more goals and I think we were unlucky

    "We showed good spirit and the players wanted to do well for the fans, but maybe we tried to play it too quickly at times

    "We lost concentration for the goal because it came right after Nolberto Solano was sent off. Maybe we were thinking it would be easier with eleven against 10."

  • Aston Villa manager David O'Leary:
    "I thought the sending off was a joke. Nolberto Solano sent off for violent conduct? Do me a favour.

    "He is an honest lad and says he didn't touch him. But I was proud of the way the players fought for the rest of the game. The only thing we did wrong was showing LuaLua inside in the incident when he scored his goal."

    Portsmouth: Westerveld, Priske, O'Brien, Stefanovic, Vignal, O'Neil (Todorov 76), Viafara, Hughes, Robert, LuaLua, Karadas (Pericard 83).
    Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Griffin, Skopelitis.

    Booked: Hughes, Viafara, LuaLua.

    Goals: LuaLua 42.

    Aston Villa: Sorensen, Hughes, Mellberg, Ridgewell, Barry, Solano, McCann, Davis, Whittingham, Phillips (De la Cruz 37), Angel (Moore 74).
    Subs Not Used: Djemba-Djemba, Taylor, Cahill.

    Sent Off: Solano (11).

    Booked: Barry.

    Goals: Hughes 11 og.

    Att: 19,778

    Ref: G Poll (Hertfordshire).

    Interview: Aston Villa manager David O'Leary

    Interview: Portsmouth manager Alain Perrin

    Interview: Lomana LuaLua


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