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Portsmouth   1 - 2   Stoke

Belhadj of Portsmouth clashes with Andy Wilkinson of Stoke
Nadir Belhadj clashes with Wilkinson

By Ian Hughes

Salif Diao's injury-time winner struck a devastating blow to Portsmouth's hopes of emerging from their crisis still with their Premier League status.

Pompey, facing a winding-up order and a possible nine-point deduction, remain eight points adrift of safety.

Frederic Piquionne tapped in to put Pompey in front but Robert Huth equalised with a free header.

Stoke had Andy Wilkinson sent off but Diao compounded Pompey's woes when he tucked in from Ricardo Fuller's pass.

The result is hugely damaging to Pompey's chances of avoiding relegation - they are rooted to the bottom of the table with only 12 matches to play.

But a more significant result could come after 1 March, when they will contest a winding-up order.

Should they lose the case in court and go into administration, they will automatically lose nine points.

Grant glum after last-minute defeat

And that may make this defeat seem irrelevant as relegation would appear almost certain - and the club could even become extinct.

But the loss is another heartbreaking episode in a chapter of Pompey's history that is already horrific.

Yet judging by this display on the pitch, it is clear the club's players - who have regularly had to wait for their wages - will continue to fight as hard as possible.

And that is despite five of the starting line-up against Stoke being on-loan players.

Nor was there any doubting the loyalty of the home side's supporters, who were in fine voice throughout.

After overcoming the initial nervy 15 minutes, where Stoke delivered countless crosses and Rory Delap throw-ins, Pompey look determined to record what would have been only their fifth victory of the season.

Portsmouth's Jamie O'Hara showed quality in midfield, while Quincy Owusu-Abeyie's pace and direct running gave them some attacking edge.

Pompey were unlucky not to take the lead when Piquionne applied to a superb finishing touch to Owusu-Abeyie's pass but the goal was harshly ruled out for offside.

606: DEBATE
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But the pair when involved again when Pompey did open the scoring - Thomas Sorensen unable to hold Owusu-Abeyie's low shot and Piquionne tucked in the loose ball.

Stoke's best chances of the first half fell to Tuncay but he hit a shot straight at David James and also directed a free header well wide.

But the visitors went into the game on a six-match unbeaten run and they showed their resilience when they equalised only five minutes after the break.

And it was as basic a goal as you could see, Huth given the freedom of the penalty area to power home a header from Glenn Whelan's corner.

Stoke came close to doubling their lead when Delap's low shot brought a fine stop from James after a breakaway by Tuncay.

Perhaps feeling that attack is the best form of defence, Pompey boss Avram Grant sent on John Utaka, having already brought on Kanu for Piquionne at the start of the second half.

Playing with a four-pronged attack might have been seen as throwing caution to the wind, but these are desperate times for Pompey.

Pulis praises Stoke spirit

But good fortune appeared to smile on the hosts as Wilkinson was unfortunate to be sent off after two quick bookings - which sandwiched a Delap shot that was deflected with James stranded.

However, there was little urgency or quality on display from Pompey, and certainly no sign that they may find a winner.

Instead it was Stoke who came up with the final word when Fuller raced away down the right, before pulling the ball back for Diao to score his first goal in eight years.

It had been 67 years since Stoke had achieve a league 'double' over Pompey - Diao's goal may just mean they never get the chance to repeat the feat.


Portsmouth manager Avram Grant:
"Everything is going wrong.

"We played with many strikers because they had 10 players and a point was like zero for us so we wanted to win the game.

"But then they made a goal from a counter-attack.

"We tried everything to score the second goal, unfortunately it didn't go like we wanted.

"Everybody is unhappy. We were at home, we could have won, we were 1-0 up."

Stoke manager Tony Pulis:
"It's a tough place to come and Portsmouth were full of confidence after beating Southampton last week.

"But we have some resilience about us and we came here to win the game.

"After we went down to 10 men, the lads kept going like they did against Manchester City and we ended up getting a winner - we showed great spirit."

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Portsmouth 1-2 Stoke FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Piquionne 35
  • Huth 50
  • Diao 90+1

Portsmouth

Substitutes

Stoke

Substitutes

Ref: DeanAtt: 17,208
PORTSMOUTH
STOKE

Possession

  • Portsmouth 54%
  • Stoke 46%

Attempts on target

  • Portsmouth 12
  • Stoke 7

Attempts off target

  • Portsmouth 3
  • Stoke 7

Corners

  • Portsmouth 7
  • Stoke 7

Fouls

  • Portsmouth 10
  • Stoke 10
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+6:32 The referee brings the game to a close.
  • 90:00+5:49 Dave Kitson decides to take a short corner.
  • 90:00+5:30 Booking Hermann Hreidarsson goes into the referee's book.
  • 90:00+4:08 Glenn Whelan decides to take a short corner.
  • 90:00+4:08 Substitution Ricardo Fuller goes off and Dave Kitson comes on.
  • 90:00+2:55 Papa Bouba Diop takes a shot. Ryan Shawcross gets a block in.
  • 90:00+2:19 Jamie O'Hara takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Ryan Shawcross gets a block in.
  • 90:00+0:46 The assist for the goal came from Ricardo Fuller.
  • 90:00+0:46 GOAL - Salif DiaoPortsmouth 1 - 2 Stoke Salif Diao gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the six-yard box high into the middle of the goal. Portsmouth 1-2 Stoke.
  • 88:35 The ball is crossed by Quincy Owusu-Abeyie, clearance by Ryan Shawcross.
  • 88:09 Centre by Danny Webber, Rory Delap manages to make a clearance.
  • 87:02 Jamie O'Hara takes a shot. Save made by Thomas Sorensen.
  • 86:46 Danny Webber takes a shot. Blocked by Danny Collins.
  • 86:33 Jamie O'Hara takes a shot. Glenn Whelan gets a block in.
  • 85:08 Substitution (Portsmouth) makes a substitution, with Danny Webber coming on for Steve Finnan.
  • 83:29 Effort on goal by Ricardo Fuller from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.
  • 82:01 Centre by Nadir Belhadj.
  • 80:11 Quincy Owusu-Abeyie produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that goes wide left of the target.
  • 79:52 John Utaka decides to take a short corner.
  • 78:53 Free kick awarded for a foul by Dean Whitehead on Jamie O'Hara. Strike on goal comes in from John Utaka from the free kick, blocked by Ryan Shawcross.
  • 77:08 Steve Finnan takes a shot. Robert Huth gets a block in.
  • 76:05 Ricardo Fuller is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by David James.
  • 75:20 Substitution Salif Diao on for Tuncay Sanli.
  • 73:20 Jamie O'Hara takes the outswinging corner, Glenn Whelan manages to make a clearance.
  • 73:14 Centre by Nadir Belhadj, Glenn Whelan manages to make a clearance.
  • 72:38 Sent off Andy Wilkinson dismissed for second bookable offence.
  • 72:07 Foul by Andy Wilkinson on Aruna Dindane, free kick awarded. Jamie O'Hara takes the direct free kick.
  • 71:35 The offside flag is raised against Ryan Shawcross. Indirect free kick taken by David James.
  • 70:53 Hermann Hreidarsson challenges Ricardo Fuller unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Dean Whitehead.
  • 70:19 Quincy Owusu-Abeyie sends in a cross, clearance made by Robert Huth.
  • 69:35 The ball is crossed by John Utaka, Ryan Shawcross manages to make a clearance.
  • 68:49 Rory Delap takes a shot. Blocked by Ryan Shawcross.
  • 68:29 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Glenn Whelan from the right by-line, save made by David James.
  • 67:44 Papa Bouba Diop gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dean Whitehead. Glenn Whelan takes the direct free kick.
  • 66:44 Booking Andy Wilkinson receives a caution.
  • 66:32 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Aruna Dindane by Andy Wilkinson. Direct free kick taken by Jamie O'Hara.
  • 65:48 Substitution John Utaka on for Hassan Yebda.
  • 65:39 Effort on goal by Ricardo Fuller from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.
  • 65:10 Glenn Whelan takes the inswinging corner, Nadir Belhadj manages to make a clearance.
  • 64:34 Papa Bouba Diop challenges Ricardo Fuller unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Glenn Whelan.
  • 64:12 Centre by Steve Finnan, save made by Thomas Sorensen.
  • 61:52 Foul by Aruna Dindane on Andy Wilkinson, free kick awarded. Thomas Sorensen takes the direct free kick.
  • 59:53 Booking Jamie O'Hara shown a yellow card.
  • 59:16 Papa Bouba Diop challenges Mamady Sidibe unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Glenn Whelan.
  • 58:41 Nadir Belhadj crosses the ball.
  • 56:34 Ryan Shawcross challenges Aruna Dindane unfairly and gives away a free kick. Strike on goal comes in from Jamie O'Hara from the free kick.
  • 56:06 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Hassan Yebda by Tuncay Sanli. David James restarts play with the free kick.
  • 54:57 Effort from just outside the area by Jamie O'Hara goes over the target.
  • 54:03 Rory Delap takes a shot. Fantastic save by David James.
  • 53:00 Inswinging corner taken by Jamie O'Hara.
  • 52:44 Hassan Yebda crosses the ball, blocked by Ryan Shawcross.
  • 50:53 Unfair challenge on Aruna Dindane by Rory Delap results in a free kick. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Jamie O'Hara.
  • 49:36 Assist on the goal came from Glenn Whelan.
  • 49:36 GOAL - Robert HuthPortsmouth 1 - 1 Stoke Robert Huth finds the back of the net with a headed goal from close range. Portsmouth 1-1 Stoke.
  • 49:18 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Glenn Whelan from the right by-line.
  • 49:07 Ricardo Fuller takes a shot. Blocked by Hermann Hreidarsson.
  • 47:50 Dean Whitehead takes a shot. Blocked by Papa Bouba Diop.
  • 47:18 Outswinging corner taken by Glenn Whelan from the right by-line.
  • 46:30 The ball is crossed by Nadir Belhadj, save made by Thomas Sorensen.
  • 45:41 Corner taken left-footed by Jamie O'Hara to the near post, Rory Delap makes a clearance.
  • 45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
  • 45:01 Substitution Nwankwo Kanu comes on in place of Frederic Piquionne.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+2:11 The referee calls an end to the first half.
  • 45:00+1:06 Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Tuncay Sanli misses to the left of the goal.
  • 45:00+0:35 Papa Bouba Diop challenges Mamady Sidibe unfairly and gives away a free kick. Danny Collins restarts play with the free kick.
  • 44:40 Unfair challenge on Papa Bouba Diop by Mamady Sidibe results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by David James.
  • 43:36 The referee blows for offside against Quincy Owusu-Abeyie. Free kick taken by Ryan Shawcross.
  • 42:20 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Jamie O'Hara.
  • 42:01 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Jamie O'Hara, clearance made by Rory Delap.
  • 41:46 The ball is delivered by Steve Finnan, Tuncay Sanli gets a block in.
  • 39:43 Jamie O'Hara takes a shot. Blocked by Ryan Shawcross.
  • 39:29 Tuncay Sanli takes a shot. Save by David James.
  • 35:57 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Glenn Whelan, David James makes a save.
  • 34:12 Save by Thomas Sorensen. Assist by Quincy Owusu-Abeyie.
  • 34:12 GOAL - Frederic PiquionnePortsmouth 1 - 0 Stoke Frederic Piquionne scores a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Portsmouth 1-0 Stoke.
  • 34:06 Quincy Owusu-Abeyie takes a shot.
  • 32:40 The ball is swung over by Nadir Belhadj, clearance by Robert Huth.
  • 30:05 Short corner worked by Jamie O'Hara.
  • 27:37 Foul by Mamady Sidibe on Papa Bouba Diop, free kick awarded. Papa Bouba Diop takes the direct free kick.
  • 25:48 Foul by Hassan Yebda on Dean Whitehead, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Danny Collins.
  • 24:55 Shot from outside the box by Nadir Belhadj misses to the left of the goal.
  • 23:18 Handball decision goes against Aruna Dindane. Indirect free kick taken by Robert Huth.
  • Correction - 20:46 Rory Delap crosses the ball, Close range header by Ricardo Fuller misses to the right of the goal.
  • 20:46 The ball is sent over by Rory Delap.
  • 19:48 Frederic Piquionne is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Thomas Sorensen.
  • 16:16 Mamady Sidibe produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the target.
  • 15:46 Unfair challenge on Tuncay Sanli by Papa Bouba Diop results in a free kick. Glenn Whelan takes the direct free kick.
  • 14:09 Ricardo Fuller is flagged offside by the assistant referee. David James takes the indirect free kick.
  • 13:21 Hassan Yebda challenges Tuncay Sanli unfairly and gives away a free kick. Robert Huth takes the direct free kick.
  • 10:22 Glenn Whelan takes a shot from inside the box clearing the bar.
  • 7:35 Andy Wilkinson concedes a free kick for a foul on Nadir Belhadj. Jamie O'Hara restarts play with the free kick.
  • 6:34 Aruna Dindane produces a cross, clearance by Ryan Shawcross.
  • 4:04 Header by Ryan Shawcross from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.
  • 3:32 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ricardo Fuller by Steve Finnan. Glenn Whelan restarts play with the free kick.
  • 0:27 Unfair challenge on Jamie O'Hara by Dean Whitehead results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jamie O'Hara.
  • 0:00 The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 20 Feb 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 27 41 61
2 Man Utd 27 39 57
3 Arsenal 27 33 55
4 Man City 25 15 45
5 Liverpool 26 16 44
6 Tottenham 26 19 43
7 Aston Villa 25 13 42
8 Everton 26 1 38
9 Birmingham 25 -2 37
10 Fulham 26 2 34
11 Stoke 26 -3 34
12 Blackburn 26 -17 31
13 West Ham 26 -5 27
14 Sunderland 26 -12 26
15 Wigan 25 -23 25
16 Wolves 26 -23 24
17 Hull 27 -29 24
18 Bolton 25 -17 23
19 Burnley 25 -25 23
20 Portsmouth 26 -23 16

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


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