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Page last updated at 17:00 GMT, Saturday, 6 February 2010

Man Utd   5 - 0   Portsmouth

Wayne Rooney
Rooney's header set United on their way to a comprehensive win

By Ian Hughes

Manchester United stormed to the top of the Premier League after crushing bottom club Portsmouth.

Wayne Rooney met Darren Fletcher's cross to head the opener and the lead was doubled when Nani's low cross was deflected in by Anthony Vanden Borre.

Michael Carrick's drive hit Richard Hughes and thumped in off the bar and Dimitar Berbatov's shot made it 4-0.

Pompey's misery was complete when Marc Wilson tried to clear a cross but smashed a volley into his own goal.

It was a ruthless performance from United but the reality was they barely had to break sweat to beat a Pompey side in freefall.

Phelan encouraged by Man Utd's quality

United went in to the game knowing a win would see them leapfrog Chelsea to sit at the Premier League summit, with the Blues hosting third-placed Arsenal on Sunday.

And on paper it seemed they could not get an easier opportunity, with crisis club Pompey having won only once in eight matches, as well as attracting unwanted headlines for their financial difficulties and allegations about their manager Avram Grant's behaviour.

United's off-the-field problems were of the more traditional kind - Rio Ferdinand was out suspended and fellow centre-back Nemanja Vidic was still not fit to return to action.

Not that United's backline needed to be at its strongest, with Pompey chasing shadows for much of the game as Nani, Antonio Valencia and Rooney ran riot.

Predictably, the visitors' defence folded under pressure, with Pompey contributing two of United's goals.

606: DEBATE
Adam Z. Lucifer

Grant's men did well to reach half-time having conceded only two goals as they found themselves struggling to repel wave after wave of United attacks.

Rooney had a decent penalty claim turned down after being pushed by Frederic Piquionne, while Berbatov missed a sitter from six yards after being picked out by Gary Neville.

Pompey did manage to carve out one chance and it took an alert Jonny Evans to clear Jamie O'Hara's goal-bound effort.

But it was a very rare effort from Pompey and they soon went behind.

When Fletcher's cross was left, inexplicably, by keeper David James, Rooney headed in from close range.

James was again left cursing soon after when he was wrong-footed by a deflection off Vanden Borre from Nani's cross.

Grant committed to Pompey cause

Belgian defender Vanden Borre tried to make amends with a decent shot which was well saved by Edwin Van der Sar, who also smothered an effort from Nadir Belhadj.

That proved the last of Pompey's forward play - in fact they then firmly hit the self-destruct button.

They were unfortunate when Carrick's speculative drive cannoned off Hughes and beat James, but they had only themselves to blame for United's fourth goal.

Berbatov was allowed to twist and turn in the area before taking the ball back outside the box and shooting into the bottom corner from acres of space.

It was abysmal defending from Pompey - and worse was to follow.

With no-one around him, Wilson's attempt to cut out Patrice Evra's cross ended with him sending a rasping volley past the hapless James.

United, who had long since taken the chance to rest the brilliant Rooney, should have had a sixth.

Substitute Mame Biram Diouf played the ball one side of Tal Ben-Haim and collected it round the other but then blazed his shot over.


Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson:
"We had a lot of pressure and possession of the ball but we were patient enough.

"That's important when teams come and sit in the way they did here today. Portsmouth were there to make it difficult but we got the goal just before half-time.

"We were a bit fortunate with the second one. Nani beat his man and was trying to play a cross across the box.

"It got a deflection and went past James and into the net. It was fortunate but nonetheless you have to take them. That opened the game for us in the second half.

"We went looking for goals and managed to get three more, the one from Berbatov was brilliant."

Portsmouth manager Avram Grant:
"Positive thinking is always better than negative thinking and as long as we have the chance we will fight.

"We created two good chances and one came off the line. Then after 40 minutes they scored and got some own goals but Manchester United are a better team than us.

"We need to do our job even if it feels like things are going against us. We cannot think like this."

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Man Utd 5-0 Portsmouth FT
(HT 2-0)
  • Rooney 40
  • Vanden Borre (og) 45
  • Hughes (og) 59
  • Berbatov 62
  • Wilson (og) 69

    Man Utd

    Substitutes

    Portsmouth

    Substitutes

    Ref: Lee MasonAtt: 74,684
    MAN UTD
    PORTSMOUTH

    Possession

    • Man Utd 60%
    • Portsmouth 40%

    Attempts on target

    • Man Utd 8
    • Portsmouth 5

    Attempts off target

    • Man Utd 13
    • Portsmouth 2

    Corners

    • Man Utd 12
    • Portsmouth 1

    Fouls

    • Man Utd 9
    • Portsmouth 11
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+3:01 The match has reached full-time.
    • 90:00+2:20 Hassan Yebda takes a shot. Blocked by Jonathan Evans.
    • 90:00+1:52 Centre by Michael Owen.
    • 88:55 Short corner worked by Luis Nani.
    • 88:50 Mame Diouf produces a cross, Ricardo Rocha gets a block in.
    • 88:22 Mame Diouf takes a shot. Blocked by Marc Wilson.
    • 86:12 Foul by Darron Gibson on Tal Ben-Haim, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by David James.
    • 82:44 The ball is sent over by Patrice Evra, save by David James.
    • 81:52 Tal Ben-Haim restarts play with the free kick.
    • 81:52 Booking The referee shows Mame Diouf a yellow card.
    • 81:41 Foul by Mame Diouf on Richard Hughes, free kick awarded.
    • 80:40 Mame Diouf produces a right-footed shot from close in that goes over the bar.
    • 78:14 Antonio Valencia decides to take a short corner.
    • 77:54 Direct free kick taken by Patrice Evra.
    • 77:54 Booking Kevin-Prince Boateng is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 77:34 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kevin-Prince Boateng on Michael Carrick.
    • 76:43 Foul by Mame Diouf on Hayden Mullins, free kick awarded. Marc Wilson restarts play with the free kick.
    • 75:59 Darron Gibson takes a shot. Save made by David James.
    • 75:32 Gary Neville delivers the ball, clearance made by Marc Wilson.
    • 74:33 Kevin-Prince Boateng gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gary Neville. Direct free kick taken by Michael Carrick.
    • 73:57 Substitution Jamie O'Hara leaves the field to be replaced by Hassan Yebda.
    • 73:24 A cross is delivered by Gary Neville, Ricardo Rocha makes a clearance.
    • Correction - 71:52 Mame Diouf produces a cross, clearance by Tal Ben-Haim.
    • 71:52 A cross is delivered by Mame Diouf, clearance made by Marc Wilson.
    • 69:46 Free kick awarded for a foul by Darron Gibson on Richard Hughes. Free kick taken by Tal Ben-Haim.
    • 68:52 Assist by Patrice Evra.
    • 68:52 GOAL - Marc WilsonMan Utd 5 - 0 Portsmouth Marc Wilson concedes an own goal. Man Utd 5-0 Portsmouth.
    • Correction - 68:51 The ball is swung over by Patrice Evra.
    • 68:51 The ball is sent over by Luis Nani.
    • 67:50 Danny Webber challenges Luis Nani unfairly and gives away a free kick. Patrice Evra takes the direct free kick.
    • 67:02 Substitution Frederic Piquionne leaves the field to be replaced by Quincy Owusu-Abeyie.
    • 66:32 Antonio Valencia takes the outswinging corner, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Mame Diouf goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
    • 65:18 Substitution (Man Utd) makes a substitution, with Michael Owen coming on for Dimitar Berbatov.
    • 65:18 Substitution Wayne Rooney leaves the field to be replaced by Mame Diouf.
    • 65:18 Substitution Darren Fletcher goes off and Darron Gibson comes on.
    • 65:01 The ball is sent over by Wayne Rooney, clearance made by Marc Wilson.
    • 64:16 Frederic Piquionne has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.
    • 63:42 Unfair challenge on Gary Neville by Kevin-Prince Boateng results in a free kick. Edwin Van der Sar takes the direct free kick.
    • 61:03 The assist for the goal came from Jonathan Evans.
    • 61:03 GOAL - Dimitar BerbatovMan Utd 4 - 0 Portsmouth Dimitar Berbatov scores a goal from outside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man Utd 4-0 Portsmouth.
    • 60:38 Substitution Kevin-Prince Boateng replaces Anthony Vanden Borre.
    • 58:23 Assist by Michael Carrick.
    • 58:23 GOAL - Richard HughesMan Utd 3 - 0 Portsmouth Richard Hughes concedes an own goal. Man Utd 3-0 Portsmouth.
    • 58:23 Michael Carrick takes a shot. Richard Hughes gets a block in.
    • 54:51 Antonio Valencia takes the outswinging corner, clearance by Frederic Piquionne. Antonio Valencia delivers the ball, Jonathan Evans has a header from close range and clears the crossbar.
    • 54:37 Antonio Valencia takes a shot. Save by David James.
    • 54:01 The ball is delivered by Danny Webber.
    • 51:37 Unfair challenge on Jamie O'Hara by Michael Carrick results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jamie O'Hara.
    • 50:56 The ball is crossed by Luis Nani, David James makes a save.
    • 49:10 Luis Nani produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that goes over the bar.
    • 46:59 Wes Brown challenges Frederic Piquionne unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Jamie O'Hara from left wing.
    • 45:01 The second half kicks off.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+2:15 The whistle is blown to end the first half.
    • 44:46 The assist for the goal came from Luis Nani.
    • 44:46 GOAL - Anthony Vanden BorreMan Utd 2 - 0 Portsmouth An own goal is conceded by Anthony Vanden Borre. Man Utd 2-0 Portsmouth.
    • 43:40 Michael Carrick has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the target.
    • 43:02 Corner from the right by-line taken by Luis Nani, Tal Ben-Haim makes a clearance.
    • 41:54 Jonathan Evans gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Hayden Mullins. Hayden Mullins takes the free kick.
    • 39:40 Assist by Darren Fletcher.
    • 39:40 GOAL - Wayne RooneyMan Utd 1 - 0 Portsmouth Wayne Rooney finds the net with a headed goal from close range. Man Utd 1-0 Portsmouth.
    • 39:25 Darren Fletcher sends in a cross,
    • 38:00 Foul by Wayne Rooney on Richard Hughes, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Tal Ben-Haim.
    • 37:14 Patrice Evra gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Hayden Mullins. Tal Ben-Haim takes the free kick.
    • 35:47 Michael Carrick restarts play with the free kick.
    • 35:47 Booking The referee books Tal Ben-Haim for unsporting behaviour.
    • 35:40 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Wayne Rooney by Tal Ben-Haim.
    • 34:55 Dimitar Berbatov has an effort at goal from close range which goes wide right of the goal.
    • 34:47 The ball is delivered by Luis Nani, Richard Hughes manages to make a clearance.
    • 33:18 Shot from inside the area by Nadir Belhadj clears the bar.
    • 33:03 Nadir Belhadj takes a shot. Blocked by Jonathan Evans.
    • 32:02 Wayne Rooney produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty area that goes harmlessly over the target.
    • 30:01 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Luis Nani from the left by-line to the near post, Danny Webber manages to make a clearance.
    • 29:10 Free kick awarded for a foul by Marc Wilson on Dimitar Berbatov. Luis Nani delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel, clearance by Ricardo Rocha.
    • 28:05 Wes Brown restarts play with the free kick.
    • 28:05 Booking Booking for Jamie O'Hara for unsporting behaviour.
    • 27:41 Jamie O'Hara challenges Wes Brown unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 23:30 Free kick taken by Patrice Evra.
    • 23:30 Booking Booking for Danny Webber.
    • 23:29 Danny Webber challenges Jonathan Evans unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 22:37 Short corner taken by Luis Nani from the left by-line, The ball is swung over by Patrice Evra, Anthony Vanden Borre makes a clearance.
    • 22:24 Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Richard Hughes gets a block in.
    • 21:43 Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Blocked by Marc Wilson.
    • 20:53 Effort from deep inside the area by Antonio Valencia misses to the right of the target.
    • 19:44 Luis Nani sends in a cross, Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Clearance by Marc Wilson.
    • 19:22 The ball is swung over by Antonio Valencia, clearance by Marc Wilson.
    • 18:48 A cross is delivered by Gary Neville, Richard Hughes manages to make a clearance.
    • 18:22 Outswinging corner taken by Antonio Valencia from the right by-line, clearance made by Hayden Mullins.
    • 18:17 The ball is crossed by Darren Fletcher, clearance by Marc Wilson.
    • 18:03 The ball is crossed by Antonio Valencia, clearance by Marc Wilson.
    • 17:30 Frederic Piquionne concedes a free kick for a foul on Jonathan Evans. Jonathan Evans takes the free kick.
    • 15:42 Luis Nani produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the net.
    • 15:22 A cross is delivered by Gary Neville, clearance made by Tal Ben-Haim.
    • 15:01 Michael Carrick takes a shot. Blocked by Ricardo Rocha.
    • 13:04 Nadir Belhadj takes a shot. Save by Edwin Van der Sar.
    • 12:40 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Jamie O'Hara from the right by-line, Wes Brown manages to make a clearance.
    • 12:27 Anthony Vanden Borre takes a shot. Save by Edwin Van der Sar.
    • 11:43 The ball is sent over by Gary Neville, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Jonathan Evans misses to the right of the goal.
    • 11:26 Antonio Valencia decides to take the corner short.
    • 11:21 The ball is swung over by Wayne Rooney, clearance by Marc Wilson.
    • 10:23 Wayne Rooney produces a cross, Effort from deep inside the area by Dimitar Berbatov misses to the right of the target.
    • 9:05 Jamie O'Hara takes a shot. Blocked by Antonio Valencia.
    • 7:01 The ball is delivered by Luis Nani, save made by David James.
    • 5:50 Centre by Dimitar Berbatov.
    • 4:24 Marc Wilson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Michael Carrick. Luis Nani delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, save by David James.
    • 3:52 Luis Nani takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Frederic Piquionne.
    • 3:03 The ball is crossed by Darren Fletcher, Ricardo Rocha gets a block in. Free kick awarded for a foul by Jamie O'Hara on Darren Fletcher. Free kick crossed right-footed by Luis Nani from right wing.
    • 1:59 Corner crossed in by Luis Nani, Ricardo Rocha makes a clearance.
    • 1:53 Antonio Valencia crosses the ball, blocked by Ricardo Rocha.
    • 1:04 Antonio Valencia crosses the ball, save made by David James.
    • 0:00 The match gets underway.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Premier League table snapshot

    As it stood on 6 Feb 2010 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Man Utd 25 41 56
    2 Chelsea 24 38 55
    3 Arsenal 24 32 49
    4 Liverpool 25 17 44
    5 Tottenham 25 20 43
    6 Man City 23 13 41
    7 Aston Villa 24 13 41
    8 Birmingham 23 -1 34
    9 Everton 24 -2 32
    10 Fulham 25 -1 31
    11 Stoke 23 -4 29
    12 Blackburn 25 -18 28
    13 Sunderland 24 -10 25
    14 Hull 25 -25 24
    15 Burnley 24 -22 23
    16 Wigan 23 -23 23
    17 Bolton 23 -15 22
    18 West Ham 24 -10 21
    19 Wolves 23 -21 21
    20 Portsmouth 24 -22 15

    see also
    Saturday football as it happened
    06 Feb 10 |  Football
    Saturday's football photos
    06 Feb 10 |  Football



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