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Page last updated at 21:42 GMT, Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Portsmouth   1 - 4   Arsenal

Arsenal goalscorer Aaron Ramsey
Teenager Ramsey celebrates his fine solo effort for Arsenal at Fratton Park

By Jonathan Stevenson

Arsenal showcased their Premier League title credentials and increased Portsmouth's troubles at the bottom with a stunningly comprehensive win.

They took the lead when Eduardo's free-kick deflected in off Younes Kaboul, before Samir Nasri fired in a second.

Aaron Ramsey made it 3-0 with a brilliant solo goal, hammering in from 20 yards, before Nadir Belhadj's close-range strike gave Pompey faint hope.

But Alex Song superbly headed in a Nasri cross to wrap it up for Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger's men keep up the pressure at the top, moving to within four points of Chelsea and staying two behind Manchester United with a game in hand on each.

606: DEBATE
Arsenal

The final round of Premier League fixtures of the year also contained a first for the top division - neither side fielded an Englishman in their starting XI at Fratton Park.

Wenger revealed before the game Arsenal would be without influential captain Cesc Fabregas for two weeks, but they never looked like they needed the brilliant Spaniard against the league's basement boys.

Try as they might, Portsmouth simply could not compete and it completed a difficult day at the office after they had earlier been issued with a winding-up petition by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Cut four points adrift at the bottom, Pompey were desperate for an early morale boost after going down 2-0 at West Ham on Boxing Day, but save for a Kevin-Prince Boateng shot that Manuel Almunia parried away, they all-too-rarely threatened.

As they tend to do, the Gunners enjoyed the lion's share of the possession and they worked the hosts around their own pitch as their superior passing game made Portsmouth toil.

Soon the chances began to arrive as Andrey Arshavin hammered over, Eduardo glanced a header wide and then Asmir Begovic pulled off a superb reflex save from Abou Diaby's near-post shot.

It was a matter of time before Arsenal went in front, and when Aaron Mokoena hauled down Ramsey 25 yards out, they seized their opportunity.

Eduardo's left-foot shot took a deflection off Kaboul to wrong-foot Begovic and Hermann Hreidarsson - standing on the line - simply stood and watched the ball fly past him into the corner where he should have been standing.

Just before the break a lovely Arsenal move led to Eduardo finding space in the area and he was given an age to pick out Ramsey - the Welshman then neatly teeing up Nasri to belt home from 16 yards.

The gulf in class remained stark after the break, though the Gunners had to wait until 20 minutes from time to add to their goal tally.

It was worth the wait, though, as Ramsey dispossessed Anthony Vanden Borre, effortlessly skipped past Frederic Piquionne and slammed a stunning left-foot shot into the corner from just outside the box.

Pompey had a glimmer of hope when Belhadj's shot from Vanden Borre's pass deflected in off Thomas Vermaelen, but the visitors soon restored their three-goal cushion as Song strained his neck muscles to powerfully head home Nasri's right-wing cross.

Arsenal, who have now scored 51 goals in 19 Premier League games this season, end the year on a high after three successive wins, but Pompey face an uncertain future both on and off the field.

Live text and stats

 

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Portsmouth 1-4 Arsenal FT
(HT 0-2)
  • Belhadj 74
  • Eduardo 28
  • Nasri 42
  • Ramsey 69
  • A Song 81

Portsmouth

  • 31 Begovic
  • 03 Kaboul
  • 07 Hreidarsson
  • 16 Finnan
  • 26 Ben-Haim
  • 39 Belhadj
  • 04 Mokoena yellow card (Vanden Borre 58)
  • 22 Hughes yellow card (Brown 90+2)
  • 23 Boateng (Kanu 71)
  • 32 Yebda
  • 09 Piquionne

Substitutes

  • 21 Ashdown,
  • 18 Vanden Borre,
  • 08 Diop,
  • 11 Brown,
  • 17 Utaka,
  • 35 Wilson,
  • 27 Kanu

Arsenal

Substitutes

Ref: WileyAtt: 20,404
PORTSMOUTH
ARSENAL

Possession

  • Portsmouth 44%
  • Arsenal 56%

Attempts on target

  • Portsmouth 6
  • Arsenal 10

Attempts off target

  • Portsmouth 4
  • Arsenal 4

Corners

  • Portsmouth 2
  • Arsenal 10

Fouls

  • Portsmouth 14
  • Arsenal 3
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+4:51 The referee brings the game to a close.
  • 90:00+3:47 Craig Eastmond takes a shot. Save by Asmir Begovic.
  • 90:00+3:31 Bacary Sagna delivers the ball, Younes Kaboul makes a clearance.
  • 90:00+3:15 Corner taken short by Tomas Rosicky.
  • 90:00+3:07 Centre by Carlos Alberto Vela, clearance made by Hermann Hreidarsson.
  • 90:00+2:04 Close range effort by Frederic Piquionne misses to the left of the target.
  • 90:00+1:05 Substitution Michael Brown comes on in place of Richard Hughes.
  • 90:00+0:02 Richard Hughes gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Carlos Alberto Vela. Thomas Vermaelen takes the free kick.
  • 89:15 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Nadir Belhadj, clearance made by Alexandre Song Billong.
  • 88:37 Corner taken right-footed by Aaron Ramsey from the right by-line, Hermann Hreidarsson manages to make a clearance.
  • 88:30 The ball is crossed by Bacary Sagna, blocked by Hermann Hreidarsson.
  • 87:11 The ball is swung over by Tomas Rosicky.
  • 86:55 Hassan Yebda gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alexandre Song Billong. Thomas Vermaelen restarts play with the free kick.
  • 85:57 Free kick taken by Manuel Almunia.
  • 85:57 Booking Richard Hughes goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
  • 85:52 Alexandre Song Billong fouled by Richard Hughes, the ref awards a free kick.
  • 84:28 Substitution Samir Nasri goes off and Craig Eastmond comes on.
  • 84:05 Corner from the left by-line taken by Samir Nasri, clearance by Frederic Piquionne.
  • 83:20 Unfair challenge on Aaron Ramsey by Younes Kaboul results in a free kick. Samir Nasri has an effort direct from the free kick.
  • 81:50 The ball is crossed by Nadir Belhadj, Manuel Almunia makes a save.
  • 81:30 Substitution Carlos Alberto Vela comes on in place of Andrey Arshavin.
  • 80:31 Assist by Samir Nasri.
  • 80:31 GOAL - Alex SongPortsmouth 1 - 4 Arsenal Alexandre Song Billong scores a headed goal from close range. Portsmouth 1-4 Arsenal.
  • 80:29 Samir Nasri produces a cross,
  • 78:06 Tomas Rosicky has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide right of the target.
  • 76:39 The ball is sent over by Nadir Belhadj, Manuel Almunia makes a save.
  • 75:50 Centre by Steve Finnan, Manuel Almunia makes a save.
  • 73:38 Assist on the goal came from Anthony Vanden Borre.
  • 73:38 GOAL - Nadir BelhadjPortsmouth 1 - 3 Arsenal Nadir Belhadj finds the net with a goal from inside the box to the top left corner of the goal. Portsmouth 1-3 Arsenal.
  • 73:09 The assistant referee signals for offside against Andrey Arshavin. Indirect free kick taken by Younes Kaboul.
  • 70:34 Substitution Tomas Rosicky replaces Da Silva Eduardo.
  • 70:34 Substitution Nwankwo Kanu on for Kevin-Prince Boateng.
  • 68:51 GOAL - Aaron RamseyPortsmouth 0 - 3 Arsenal Aaron Ramsey grabs a goal from just outside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Portsmouth 0-3 Arsenal.
  • 68:43 Bacary Sagna produces a cross, clearance made by Tal Ben-Haim.
  • 68:27 Samir Nasri decides to take the corner short.
  • 66:57 The ball is sent over by Da Silva Eduardo, Asmir Begovic makes a save.
  • 66:21 The referee blows for offside against Frederic Piquionne. Manuel Almunia takes the free kick.
  • 61:48 The assistant referee flags for offside against Frederic Piquionne. Manuel Almunia takes the indirect free kick.
  • 60:42 A cross is delivered by Anthony Vanden Borre, Hassan Yebda takes a shot. Save made by Manuel Almunia.
  • 57:22 Free kick taken by Hermann Hreidarsson.
  • 57:22 Substitution Anthony Vanden Borre on for Aaron Mokoena.
  • 57:22 Alexandre Song Billong challenges Kevin-Prince Boateng unfairly and gives away a free kick.
  • 56:18 Foul by Frederic Piquionne on Armand Traore, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Armand Traore.
  • 55:47 Alexandre Song Billong challenges Kevin-Prince Boateng unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Tal Ben-Haim.
  • 54:14 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kevin-Prince Boateng on Alexandre Song Billong. Free kick crossed by Samir Nasri, clearance by Richard Hughes.
  • 54:00 Bacary Sagna produces a cross, Younes Kaboul manages to make a clearance.
  • 53:54 Centre by Armand Traore, clearance by Asmir Begovic.
  • 53:22 The referee blows for offside against Frederic Piquionne. Bacary Sagna takes the indirect free kick.
  • 52:30 Steve Finnan crosses the ball, Effort from deep inside the area by Nadir Belhadj misses to the right of the goal.
  • 50:57 Shot on goal by Da Silva Eduardo from just inside the area goes over the target.
  • 49:47 The assistant referee signals for offside against Hassan Yebda. Armand Traore takes the indirect free kick.
  • 47:51 The offside flag is raised against Andrey Arshavin. Indirect free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
  • 47:43 Armand Traore delivers the ball, Hermann Hreidarsson makes a clearance.
  • 46:52 Andrey Arshavin takes a shot. Blocked by Tal Ben-Haim.
  • 45:47 Armand Traore produces a cross, Tal Ben-Haim makes a clearance.
  • 45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+3:11 It is the end of the first-half.
  • 45:00+1:50 Andrey Arshavin takes a shot. Save by Asmir Begovic.
  • 45:00+1:10 Da Silva Eduardo takes the direct free kick.
  • 45:00+1:10 Booking Aaron Mokoena is cautioned.
  • 45:00+1:01 Unfair challenge on Aaron Ramsey by Aaron Mokoena results in a free kick.
  • 44:41 Kevin-Prince Boateng is caught offside. Manuel Almunia takes the indirect free kick.
  • 44:04 Centre by Andrey Arshavin, Younes Kaboul manages to make a clearance.
  • 43:11 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alexandre Song Billong by Aaron Mokoena. Aaron Ramsey takes the direct free kick.
  • 41:12 Aaron Ramsey provided the assist for the goal.
  • 41:12 GOAL - Samir NasriPortsmouth 0 - 2 Arsenal Samir Nasri scores a goal from the edge of the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Portsmouth 0-2 Arsenal.
  • 40:49 Samir Nasri crosses the ball.
  • 39:00 Hassan Yebda delivers the ball, blocked by Armand Traore.
  • 38:14 Free kick awarded for a foul by Richard Hughes on Thomas Vermaelen. William Gallas takes the direct free kick.
  • 32:39 Nadir Belhadj has an effort at goal from outside the area which goes wide right of the goal.
  • 32:16 Kevin-Prince Boateng takes a shot. Blocked by William Gallas.
  • 31:09 Free kick awarded for a foul by Aaron Mokoena on Andrey Arshavin. Andrey Arshavin restarts play with the free kick.
  • 30:03 Corner taken by Samir Nasri from the right by-line to the near post, Steve Finnan manages to make a clearance.
  • 29:55 Bacary Sagna produces a cross, blocked by Hermann Hreidarsson.
  • 29:39 The ball is swung over by Steve Finnan.
  • 28:17 Unfair challenge on Frederic Piquionne by Vassiriki Diaby results in a free kick. Steve Finnan takes the free kick.
  • 27:02 GOAL - Da Silva EduardoPortsmouth 0 - 1 Arsenal Da Silva Eduardo grabs a goal direct from the free kick from outside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Portsmouth 0-1 Arsenal.
  • 25:55 Free kick awarded for a foul by Aaron Mokoena on Aaron Ramsey.
  • 25:27 Frederic Piquionne is penalised for a handball. Aaron Ramsey takes the free kick.
  • 24:11 Effort on goal by Aaron Mokoena from a long way out goes over the bar.
  • 22:24 Vassiriki Diaby fouled by Aaron Mokoena, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Samir Nasri, Steve Finnan manages to make a clearance.
  • 21:31 Hermann Hreidarsson challenges Samir Nasri unfairly and gives away a free kick. Bacary Sagna takes the direct free kick.
  • 21:16 Frederic Piquionne is penalised for a handball. Indirect free kick taken by Armand Traore.
  • 20:26 The ball is delivered by Hassan Yebda.
  • 19:42 The offside flag is raised against Andrey Arshavin. Free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.
  • 18:50 Bacary Sagna takes a shot. Richard Hughes gets a block in.
  • 18:37 Corner from left by-line taken by Samir Nasri.
  • 18:19 Centre by Da Silva Eduardo, Vassiriki Diaby takes a shot. Save made by Asmir Begovic.
  • 16:11 Bacary Sagna produces a cross, Da Silva Eduardo produces a header from close range which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
  • 15:08 A cross is delivered by Armand Traore, Younes Kaboul makes a clearance.
  • 14:20 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Samir Nasri from the right by-line, Kevin-Prince Boateng makes a clearance.
  • 14:14 The ball is swung over by Bacary Sagna, blocked by Hermann Hreidarsson.
  • 13:28 Da Silva Eduardo takes the inswinging corner, save by Asmir Begovic.
  • 13:15 Short corner taken by Da Silva Eduardo from the right by-line.
  • 12:43 Inswinging corner taken by Da Silva Eduardo from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Kevin-Prince Boateng.
  • 12:35 Bacary Sagna crosses the ball, blocked by Nadir Belhadj.
  • 10:49 Andrey Arshavin has an effort at goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
  • 10:30 The ball is swung over by Nadir Belhadj, blocked by Da Silva Eduardo.
  • 10:05 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Nadir Belhadj, save by Manuel Almunia.
  • 9:46 Kevin-Prince Boateng takes a shot. Manuel Almunia makes a save.
  • 9:09 Richard Hughes takes a shot. Blocked by Thomas Vermaelen.
  • 9:08 The ball is swung over by Frederic Piquionne, clearance made by William Gallas.
  • 7:30 A cross is delivered by Bacary Sagna, blocked by Hermann Hreidarsson.
  • 5:49 The assistant referee flags for offside against Andrey Arshavin. Asmir Begovic takes the free kick.
  • 5:25 Aaron Mokoena challenges Da Silva Eduardo unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by William Gallas.
  • 2:45 Steve Finnan produces a cross.
  • 2:16 Kevin-Prince Boateng takes a shot. Thomas Vermaelen gets a block in.
  • 0:00 The match begins.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Premier League results

30 Dec 2009 23:59 UK


Premier League table

Wednesday, 30 December 2009 22:02 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full Premier League table
1 Chelsea 20 29 45
2 Man Utd 20 27 43
3 Arsenal 19 30 41
4 Tottenham 20 20 37
5 Man City 19 11 35
6 Aston Villa 20 11 35
7 Liverpool 20 12 33
8 Birmingham 20 2 32
9 Fulham 19 5 27
10 Sunderland 20 -3 23
11 Everton 19 -6 22
12 Stoke 19 -8 21
13 Blackburn 20 -15 21
14 Burnley 20 -18 20
15 Wolves 20 -19 19
16 Wigan 19 -23 19
17 West Ham 20 -9 18
18 Bolton 18 -10 18
19 Hull 20 -22 18
20 Portsmouth 20 -14 14

see also
Wenger lauds Arsenal commitment
31 Dec 09 |  Premier League
Wednesday football as it happened
30 Dec 09 |  Football
Wednesday's Premier League photos
30 Dec 09 |  Football
Pompey 'shock' at wind-up request
30 Dec 09 |  Business


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