Jerome's goals lifted Birmingham up to eighth in the Premier League table
By Harry Reekie
Birmingham gained revenge for their FA Cup exit on Saturday and brought Portsmouth back to earth with victory in the Premier League at Fratton Park.
Cameron Jerome ran on to a Chucho Benitez ball and drilled under David James to give the Blues an early lead.
A delightful backheel from Benitez then sent the striker clear to drive a second under James before the break.
Substitute Kanu headed home Jamie O'Hara's cross to ensure a tight finish but Pompey could not grab an equaliser.
Portsmouth, in administration and near certainties for relegation, had gone into the game at least buoyed by Saturday's 2-0 win over Alex McLeish's side which secured a place in the FA Cup semi-finals.
But the reality of their plight came back into focus four days later as Birmingham claimed a victory which takes them above Everton into eighth place in the table.
Tiredness was a factor in defeat - Grant
Avram Grant's Portsmouth side huffed and puffed throughout but some clinical finishing from the Blues ultimately proved the difference between the teams and Grant's defiant weekend statement that "no-one will take our spirit" will now be put to the test.
The defeat leaves Pompey four points behind second-bottom Burnley, having played a game more, and with a further nine points set to be docked from the total after entering administration, relegation seems assured.
Not that you would have guessed their plight from the atmosphere on the south coast. The passionate home fans cheered their stricken side from beginning to end, despite the visitors never looking back after taking an early lead.
Benitez picked up the ball on the edge of the Portsmouth area and an attempted pass to Keith Fahey fell perfectly into the path of Jerome, who drove low past James.
It was harsh on the hosts, who had dominated the opening stages. And the home supporters were infuriated still further when a cross from Aruna Dindane hit Roger Johnson on the arm - only for referee Mike Jones to turn down appeals for a penalty.
Far from being disheartened though the hosts continued to surge forward, helped in no small part by tremendous support from the Fratton Park terraces.
But the clear-cut chances only seemed to be arriving at the other end and Benitez was guilty of a shocking miss just before the break.
The Ecuadorian striker was clearly offside when he received a flick-on from Jerome, but managed to get into a hopeless tangle when attempting to round James and ended up on his backside.
The Portsmouth crowd laughed at the mistake but they were not smirking for long as the chunky striker quickly made amends.
A backheel on the edge of the area rolled perfectly into Jerome's path and the striker bagged his second with a finish under the sprawling James.
For all their toil, and the tireless work of O'Hara in midfield, the closest Portsmouth came to a goal in the first half was that penalty claim and they were to see another appeal waved away after the break.
McLeish plays down talk of Europe
Quincy Owusu-Abeyie, on as a substitute for Marc Wilson, broke into the area and fired a shot that appeared to strike Craig Gardner's lower arm - but the home appeals again fell on deaf ears.
Birmingham seemed happy to sit back and break on the counter attack, as has been their way in an impressive campaign. Scott Dann blasted over and substitute Sebastian Larsson shot straight at James but the visitors hardly threatened in a tame second period.
The same could have been said of Portsmouth, in truth, until Kanu's late goal set up a tense final few minutes.
O'Hara was inevitably the creator with a swinging cross from the right and a nodded close-range header looked like it might spark a comeback.
But the Blues held on and will believe that European qualification is still a possibility. For the Portsmouth fans, chants of "Wembley, Wembley" throughout showed where their thoughts are.
Portsmouth manager Avram Grant: "I think there was a physical effect because players had to play because we are short in the squad. But the players did a great job on Saturday and they tried to do it again.
"We started the game very well. The first goal was from their first attack. But we played very slowly and let them organise very easy.
"It's a very difficult situation. It's just become more and more difficult. We try to do everything to keep the spirit of the club. But many things happen off the pitch. I don't know because that's not my area. But many things are happening off the pitch and that makes it difficult.
"It's not a secret that the financial situation is not good. We fight for the club.
"I hope we will not be docked the points. I hope football decisions will be made on the pitch.
"When you punish something you punish the people who did something wrong. You need to punish the right people."
Birmingham manager Alex McLeish: "We were well up for it. We freshened things up and the lads were back in form.
"We spoke before the game about how Pompey might have thought our confidence has dropped and that we didn't have much more to play for this season - and we responded brilliantly.
"The first half was fantastic; we could have been four or five up. Although I was relieved at the final whistle as there was a bit of an onslaught. But we should have been out of sight by then.
"It was a disappointing goal to concede and the defenders are actually gutted because they're so proud of their clean sheets."
90:00+4:28 The final whistle is blown by the referee.
90:00+3:29 Centre by Jamie O'Hara.
90:00+2:35 Nwankwo Kanu gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Scott Dann. Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.
90:00+1:16 Jamie O'Hara provided the assist for the goal.
90:00+1:16 GOAL - Nwankwo Kanu:Portsmouth 1 - 2 Birmingham Nwankwo Kanu grabs a headed goal from close range. Portsmouth 1-2 Birmingham.
90:00+0:40 Aruna Dindane takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart. Short corner worked by Jamie O'Hara.
89:17 Roger Johnson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Aruna Dindane. Angelos Basinas shoots direct from the free
kick, blocked by Roger Johnson.
87:51 Sebastian Larsson takes a shot. Save made by David James.
87:09 Aruna Dindane challenges Roger Johnson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.
86:44 Tal Ben-Haim fouled by James McFadden, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by David James.
83:13 Hermann Hreidarsson challenges Cameron Jerome unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Barry Ferguson.
81:31 James McFadden takes a shot. Save by David James.
80:56 Steve Finnan delivers the ball.
79:57 Substitution James McFadden joins the action as a substitute, replacing Christian Benitez.
79:45 The ball is crossed by Nadir Belhadj.
78:49 The official flags Cameron Jerome offside. Free kick taken by Tal Ben-Haim.
78:16 Barry Ferguson takes the direct free kick.
78:16 Booking Nadir Belhadj is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
78:05 Sebastian Larsson fouled by Nadir Belhadj, the ref awards a free kick.
77:33 The ball is crossed by Frederic Piquionne, clearance by Scott Dann.
76:13 Substitution Sebastian Larsson replaces Michel.
76:13 Frederic Piquionne produces a left-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.
75:25 Free kick awarded for a foul by Keith Fahey on Aruna Dindane. Steve Finnan takes the direct free kick.
74:47 The ball is sent over by Steve Finnan.
74:22 Free kick awarded for a foul by Craig Gardner on Jamie O'Hara. Jamie O'Hara takes the free kick.
72:29 Aruna Dindane fouled by Scott Dann, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Angelos Basinas.
70:06 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Keith Fahey, Scott Dann produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and
misses to the right of the goal.
69:56 A cross is delivered by Liam Ridgewell.
68:43 Nwankwo Kanu fouled by Barry Ferguson, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Angelos Basinas.
67:40 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Keith Fahey by Steve Finnan. Free kick taken by Christian Benitez.
65:48 Free kick awarded for a foul by Nwankwo Kanu on Michel. Direct free kick taken by Barry Ferguson.
64:53 Substitution Nwankwo Kanu is brought on as a substitute for Michael Brown.
62:13 Foul by Michael Brown on Michel, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Barry Ferguson. The referee blows for offside. Michael
Brown takes the free kick.
61:40 The ball is sent over by Jamie O'Hara, save by Joe Hart.
61:21 Foul by Michel on Aruna Dindane, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Jamie O'Hara.
61:00 Christian Benitez is ruled offside. Direct free kick taken by David James.
60:18 The official flags Frederic Piquionne offside. Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.
59:30 Nadir Belhadj crosses the ball.
58:28 Nadir Belhadj produces a cross.
58:16 Steve Finnan crosses the ball, Roger Johnson manages to make a clearance.
Correction - 56:55 Cameron Jerome gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Michael Brown. Michael Brown restarts play with the free
56:55 Free kick awarded for a foul by Cameron Jerome on Nadir Belhadj. Free kick taken by Michael Brown.
56:31 The ball is delivered by Keith Fahey.
55:33 Effort on goal by Keith Fahey from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
54:21 Angelos Basinas fouled by Barry Ferguson, the ref awards a free kick. Angelos Basinas takes the direct free kick.
53:29 Liam Ridgewell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Aruna Dindane. The free kick is delivered left-footed by
Jamie O'Hara from right wing, save by Joe Hart.
51:51 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Craig Gardner, clearance made by Tal Ben-Haim.
51:51 Substitution (Birmingham) makes a substitution, with Teemu Tainio coming on for Stuart Parnaby.
Correction - 51:17 The ball is swung over by Jamie O'Hara, Quincy Owusu-Abeyie takes a shot. Blocked by Scott Dann.
51:17 Centre by Jamie O'Hara, Effort from the edge of the box by Aruna Dindane goes wide of the right-hand upright.
Correction - 49:52 Steve Finnan produces a cross, Header from close range by Aruna Dindane misses to the right of the goal.
49:52 Centre by Steve Finnan, Close range headed effort by Aruna Dindane misses to the right of the goal.
47:48 A cross is delivered by Keith Fahey, Frederic Piquionne makes a clearance.
47:15 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Keith Fahey from the left by-line, clearance by Hermann Hreidarsson.
45:48 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Keith Fahey, Hermann Hreidarsson makes a clearance.
45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
45:01 Substitution Danny Webber leaves the field to be replaced by Angelos Basinas.
45:01 Substitution Quincy Owusu-Abeyie replaces Marc Wilson.
45:00+1:20 The whistle is blown to end the first half.
45:00+0:55 Foul by Aruna Dindane on Stuart Parnaby, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.
44:32 The ball is delivered by Steve Finnan, Jamie O'Hara takes a shot. Scott Dann gets a block in.
41:41 Assist on the goal came from Christian Benitez.
41:41 GOAL - Cameron Jerome:Portsmouth 0 - 2 Birmingham Cameron Jerome fires in a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Portsmouth 0-2 Birmingham.
40:45 Aruna Dindane takes a shot. Barry Ferguson gets a block in. Corner from the right by-line taken by Jamie O'Hara, save made
by Joe Hart.
40:13 Steve Finnan crosses the ball, Liam Ridgewell gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Jamie O'Hara from the
right by-line, save by Joe Hart.
Correction - 38:12 Nadir Belhadj delivers the ball, clearance by Scott Dann.
38:12 The ball is delivered by Nadir Belhadj, clearance made by Roger Johnson.
36:26 Danny Webber sends in a cross, save by Joe Hart.
34:59 Cameron Jerome takes a shot from long range which goes wide of the right-hand post.
33:31 Effort from outside the penalty box by Nadir Belhadj goes wide left of the target.
33:07 Jamie O'Hara decides to take the corner short.
33:00 Nadir Belhadj produces a cross, Barry Ferguson manages to make a clearance.
32:00 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Jamie O'Hara played to the near post, clearance made by Craig Gardner.
31:16 Jamie O'Hara delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left wing, Roger Johnson makes a clearance.
31:16 Booking Michel booked for unsporting behaviour.
31:05 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Nadir Belhadj by Michel.
30:57 The ball is swung over by Nadir Belhadj, clearance by Roger Johnson.
30:38 The ball is swung over by Danny Webber, Barry Ferguson makes a clearance.
29:01 Nadir Belhadj produces a cross.
28:16 The ball is sent over by Nadir Belhadj, Jamie O'Hara takes a shot. Joe Hart makes a save.
27:17 Craig Gardner produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.
26:22 Cameron Jerome fouled by Hermann Hreidarsson, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Michel
from right channel, Tal Ben-Haim manages to make a clearance.
25:01 Michel gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Danny Webber. Free kick crossed left-footed by Jamie O'Hara, save
by Joe Hart.
24:47 Aruna Dindane delivers the ball, Roger Johnson gets a block in.
22:57 Foul by Michel on Jamie O'Hara, free kick awarded. Jamie O'Hara takes the free kick.
22:00 Frederic Piquionne produces a cross, Scott Dann makes a clearance.
21:35 Centre by Liam Ridgewell, save by David James.
20:37 Craig Gardner fouled by Tal Ben-Haim, the ref awards a free kick. Shot on goal comes in from Craig Gardner from the free kick,
blocked by Hermann Hreidarsson.
19:29 Booking Christian Benitez receives a caution.
Correction - 18:27 Stuart Parnaby delivers the ball, David James takes the free kick.
18:27 The ball is crossed by Stuart Parnaby, David James takes the direct free kick.
16:13 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Keith Fahey from the left by-line. Keith Fahey produces a cross, Tal Ben-Haim manages
to make a clearance. Craig Gardner takes a shot. Frederic Piquionne gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken right-footed
by Keith Fahey, Hermann Hreidarsson makes a clearance.
15:01 Assist on the goal came from Christian Benitez.
15:01 GOAL - Cameron Jerome:Portsmouth 0 - 1 Birmingham Goal scored by Cameron Jerome from inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Portsmouth 0-1 Birmingham.
13:51 Cameron Jerome sends in a cross, Tal Ben-Haim makes a clearance.
12:27 The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.
11:17 Danny Webber produces a cross.
9:43 Steve Finnan delivers the ball, Michel makes a clearance.
6:47 Jamie O'Hara takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.
5:05 The referee blows for offside against Christian Benitez. Free kick taken by David James.
4:39 Liam Ridgewell fouled by Frederic Piquionne, the ref awards a free kick. Joe Hart takes the direct free kick.
3:36 Free kick awarded for a foul by Tal Ben-Haim on Christian Benitez. Barry Ferguson restarts play with the free kick.
3:13 The ball is crossed by Aruna Dindane, Michel makes a clearance.
Correction - 1:27 Aruna Dindane delivers the ball, clearance by Roger Johnson.
1:27 Frederic Piquionne produces a cross, Roger Johnson makes a clearance.
0:00 The referee gets the match started.
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