Rovers sink nine-man Pompey
By Peter ORourke. Last Updated: 15/01/05 4:45pm
Blackburn climbed further away from trouble with a bad-tempered 1-0 win over nine-man Portsmouth.
Morten Gamst Pedersen grabbed the only goal of the game in the second half with Tresor Lomana Lua Lua and Amdy Faye seeing red for the home side.
Portsmouth started brightly and Lua Lua had a great chance to score after just four minutes when Gary O'Neil picked him out at the far post with a fine cross, but the striker volleyed his shot well over the top.
Blackburn's Paul Gallagher wasted a good opportunity to gave Rovers the lead on six minutes when he got on the end of David Thompson's clever pass inside the box, but he was unable to get a touch to the pass with only Shaka Hislop to beat.
The young Scot was guilty of more wastefulness on the quarter hour mark when Rovers caught Portsmouth on the counter attack only for Gallagher to give the ball away to O'Neil.
The hosts suffered a blow on 20 minutes when Steve Stone, who passed a fitness before the game, was forced off through injury and had to be replaced by Matt Taylor.
Rovers carved out another fine chance on 34 minutes when debutant Ryan Nelson cut the ball back for Thompson on the edge of the box, but the former Liverpool man curled his shot well over the crossbar.
Rovers new boy Aaron Mokoena was lucky to escape a red card on his debut on 37 minutes when he cynically tripped Diomansy Kamara as he tried to break clear on goal.
Chances were few and far between as half time approached and O'Neil got in a vital clearance to deny Pedersen a sight of goal after Gallagher had brilliantly crossed from the left.
Blackburn were almost gifted a goal right after the restart when Faye's mistake let Paul Dickov through on goal, but Hislop was quickly off his line to block the striker's shot.
Faye was lucky to pick up only a booking on 48 minutes with a dangerous tackle on Thompson as the game threatened to boil over.
Matters did get out of hand two minutes later when Lua Lua was shown a straight red card for an off the ball incident with Andy Todd.
Blackburn made their numerical advantage count on 55 minutes with Thompson playing Pedersen through on goal and the Norwegian winger coolly lifted the ball over Hislop for his second goal in two games.
Kamara wasted a good opportunity two minutes later when he burst clear down the right into the box, but his cross was cleared by Mokoena for a corner.
From the resulting corner Todd got in a crucial block to deny Dejan Stefanovic bundling home O'Neill's delivery.
Stefanovic then got in a vital block of his own to keep out Brett Emerton's goalbound shot on 65 minutes.
Blackburn were causing Portsmouth all sorts of problems when they attacked and Thompson should done better than blaze wildly over after being picked out on the edge of the box by the impressive Emerton.
Portsmouth went close to drawing level on 72 minutes when Patrik Berger played in Kamara who cut inside Todd before firing in a fierce shot which Brad Friedel tipped over the top.
From the resulting corner Arjan De Zeeuw headed just over the crossbar as Portsmouth tried to rally themselves.
Referee Andy D'Urso signalled six minutes of injury time, much to the annoyance of Mark Hughes, and in the dying seconds Faye was sent off for his second bookable offence after kicking out at Friedel.
Click on fixture for player ratings
Portsmouth v Blackburn
|Portsmouth||Team Name||Blackburn Rovers|
|1||Shots on target ( Inc Goals )||3|
|8||Shots off Target (inc woodwork)||6|
|15||Total Fouls Conceded||24|
Barclays Premier League
Barclays Premier League
|15||West Bromwich Albion||15||15|
|17||West Ham United||15||13|