Ronaldo off as United stall
Tevez makes debut as United stutter
Last Updated: August 15, 2007 11:30pm
On a night in which Cristiano Ronaldo saw red and Carlos Tevez made his debut, Manchester United could only manage a 1-1 stalemate from their trip to Portsmouth.
Paul Scholes' thunderbolt, from Tevez's lay-off, gave a strolling United a deserved first half lead but after the interval, Portsmouth were much improved.
Substitute Matthew Taylor proved the architect of their leveller, when his deep cross was powered in by the head of Benjani.
In what was a frenetic second half, Ronaldo joined Sulley Muntari in taking an early bath, when he put his head into the face of Richard Hughes, in the dying embers of what was a disappointing performance from the champions.
Just two minutes earlier, Muntari had received his marching orders for picking up a second booking, courtesy of a reckless and entirely unnecessary challenge on Michael Carrick.
Pompey had an early escape when Ronaldo stayed on his feet in the penalty area when Hermann Hreidarsson clumsily clattered into the back of him following a corner.
Nani and Tevez were both involved in the action when United took a 15th minute lead with Scholes' powerful drive.
The goal inevitably galvanised United into more positive action after a fairly pedestrian start and Pompey were happy to see Ronaldo's shot deflected into the side-netting for a corner soon afterwards.
Although David James had to make thrilling saves at the start of the second half to defy both Nani and Tevez, Pompey stormed back into the game with Benjani's dramatic equaliser seven minutes after the break.
United still made the better chances and Pompey hung on bravely at times with Redknapp forced to make another change when Noe Pamarot limped off in the 66th minute, switching Hreidarsson from left-back to the centre with Distin.
They held out somehow as the pace grew and were grateful to see Tevez slide in just too late to touch home a rebound from Ronaldo's 74th-minute shot.
Muntari was then sent off after he clattered into Carrick before last season's Player of the Year, Ronaldo, was shown a red card after appearing to head-butt Hughes.
The late dismissals scarred what was a much better second half but Pompey finished celebrating another against-the-odds triumph.
|Portsmouth||Team Statistics||Manchester United|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|4||Shots on Target||7|
|1||Shots off Target||7|
Barclays Premier League
|13||West Bromwich Albion||14||15|
|17||West Ham United||14||13|