City spoil Harry's party
By James Pearson. Last Updated: 20/11/04 7:10pm
Manchester City spoiled Harry Redknapp's 900th game in management with a fully-deserved 3-1 success over Portsmouth at Fratton Park.
Shaun Wright-Phillips put the visitors in front after six minutes, however Gary O'Neil equalised just two minutes later.
Kevin Keegan's side dominated the second half and goals from Antoine Sibierski and Paul Bosvelt sealed City's second away win of the season.
The contest was exciting from the off with both sides looking for the early breakthrough and it was not long before the first goal arrived.
Wright-Phillips cut onto his right foot in the box, sending Dejan Stefanovic to the floor in the process, and with just Jamie Ashdown he slotted the ball home at the near post.
Pompey responded in fine fashion and were level within minutes from the feet of O'Neil, his first goal of the Premiership season.
David Unsworth did superbly to dig out a cross down the left and O'Neil arrived unmarked in the middle to side-foot home past the helpless David James.
City suffered a blow before the half hour mark when Nicolas Anelka was forced off the field with an injury, but that allowed Robbie Fowler an extended run out.
Amdy Faye forced James into a fine reflex save moments later from Patrik Berger's pin-point free kick into the danger area.
Fowler had a chance to give City the lead before the interval, but after eluding his marker at the back post failed to test Ashdown with a header.
The visitors came out all guns blazing after the break and Wright-Phillips was inches from netting his second of the contest moments after the restart.
The England international latched onto a superb Richard Dunne pass before skipping past a couple of defenders, however he could not hit the target once inside the box.
Bosvelt was close to netting his first ever goal in The Premiership after 55 minutes, but after collecting Jonathan Macken's lay-off saw his effort saved.
Ashdown continued to impress as the contest progressed and he was at his best to keep Fowler's stinging volley out of the net after 66 minutes.
Despite being the home side, Pompey were being penned in their own half and were only able to muster a couple of odd chances on the break.
City finally took the lead their enterprising play deserved when Fowler's back post cross was met superbly by Sibierski to volley into the net.
Unsworth almost atoned for his slack play at the other end when he met Matthew Taylor's free kick in the box; however he was unable to keep his header down.
The visitors should have made it three but after Fowler set Wright-Phillips away the speedster opted to pass it back to the former Leeds striker and the move ended.
City did make it three late on when Bosvelt was on hand to roll the ball into the empty net when Ashdown did well to save Wright-Phillips' initial effort.
Click here for Portsmouth v Man City player ratings.
|Portsmouth||Team Name||Manchester City|
|4||Shots on target ( Inc Goals )||11|
|2||Shots off Target (inc woodwork)||5|
|8||Total Fouls Conceded||15|
Barclays Premier League
|9||West Ham United||27||39|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||28||30|
|18||Queens Park Rangers||26||22|