Manchester City v Portsmouth - as it happened | Barry Glendenning

Goals from Emmanuel Adebayor and Vincent Kompany enabled Manchester City to put Portsmouth to the sword

Good afternoon everybody. It's New Money against No Money at Eastlands today, with Manchester City taking on Portsmouth in a mouth-watering clash many are describing as "seventh in the table against rock-bottom".

Still smarting from the cuffing they got from city neighbours Manchester United in the Carling Cup semi-final during the week, a win for City will enable them to leapfrog Aston Villa and go level on points with Liverpool. An unlikely triumph for poverty-stricken, debt-ridden Pompey will leave them adrift at the foot of the table, but bring them to within two points of their nearest rivals, Hull City.

Some interesting stats

• Pompey have not won away at Manchester City since August 1963, losing 10 and drawing five of the 15 visits in the interim

• Carlos Tevez has scored 10 goals in his last eight league matches, one more than the entire Portsmouth team over the same length of time

• There have been 43 goals scored in City's last 11 league matches

• Portsmouth have won just one of their last 23 league away matches

• City have lost just one and won 16 of their last 20 league matches at home

Team news we've culled from the news wires: Crisis club Portsmouth are at least able to name a full bench of substitutes when they lurch into Manchester City this afternoon.

With players being sold from under Avram Grant's nose, the threat of administration still looming and the player's wages delayed again, only the loan signing of Quincy Owusu-Abeyie offers Grant the option of having seven replacements.

In contrast, City are an oasis of calm despite their midweek Carling Cup exit at Manchester United and Emmanuel Adebayor returns to start a game for Roberto Mancini for the first time as the Blues look to edge closer to a top-four place.

Man City: Given, Zabaleta, Toure, Kompany, Garrido, De Jong, Ireland, Barry, Petrov, Tevez, Adebayor.
Subs: Taylor, Onuoha, Wright-Phillips, Sylvinho, Bellamy, Boyata, Ibrahim.

Portsmouth: James, Vanden Borre, Ben-Haim, Wilson, Hreidarsson, Mullins, Basinas, Jamie O'Hara, Webber, Utaka, Boateng.
Subs: Ashdown, Piquionne, Finnan, Hughes, Owusu-Abeyie, Ritchie, Sowah.

Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

Fantasy football watch: I need a big game from Carlos Tevez today if I'm to achieve the nirvana of mid-table respectability in my friends league. I'm 13th out of 18 at the moment and on the slide.

Interesting story: Portsmouth reserve goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has gone missing from the Marriott Waltham Abbey hotel, where Spurs were apparently putting him up before finalising a deal to sign him today. Apparently he's hightailed it towards Stoke. How much more gas can there be in this Portsmouth explosion? Who'd be a Pompey fan, eh?

Click-clack, click-clack, click-clack. The teams march out of the tunnel and on to the field, with City's players lining up in their usual sky blue kit and Portsmouth in navy, which is quite fitting for a club from a town that's habitually awash with seamen. David James has his hair in corn-rows and is wearing an emetic pink ensemble.

1 min: And they're off. Manchester City keep possession for the first 36 seconds, before Anthony Vanden Borre, who I'd never heard of 20 minutes ago, gets the first touch for Portsmouth.

2 min: Pablo Zabaleta gallops down the right wing before pinging the ball towards Carlos Tevez. Mark Wilson puts the ball out for a corner. Martin Petrov sends the ball into the mixer and Jamie O'Hara clears for Pompey.

3 min: Shay Given comes for a cross and makes a complete pig's ear of it - I suspect the sun may have got in his eyes. He flaps at the ball and Javier Garrido hacks clear.

4 min: Hayden Mullins pings a ball up the centre towards Kevin Prince Boateng on the edge of the City penalty area, but Stephen Ireland intervenes and heads clear.

6 min: Gareth Barry and Martin Petrov combine down the left flank for City, but Danny Webber wins possession from the former and hoofs clear. City are dominating, but without creating in the way of scoring opportunities.

7 min: On TV, they've just shown a replay of an incident where Javier Garrido gave Danny Webber a shove as the pair contested a loose ball in the City penalty area. It should have been a penalty.

9 min: That David James outfit I mentioned earlier isn't pink, exactly. Unless I'm visualising the wrong colour altogether, which is very possible, I think it's magenta.

10 min: Portsmouth win a free-kick just inside their own penalty and the ball is hoofed towards Hermann "The Hermannator" Hreidarsson. There's too much welly on it and it runs out of play and, while chasing it, the Portsmouth skipper pulls up with what looks like a hamstring twinge.

12 min: Zabaleta and Tevez combine well down the right wing, only for Wilson to intervene again and put the ball out of play. At least I thought he had, but the referee signals fopr a goal-kick, not a corner. Zabaleta doesn't complain so I can only assume I got it wrong. No surprise there, then.

13 min: From the right wing, Zabaleta plays the ball into the centre to Gareth Barry. He picks out Stephen Ireland on the edge of the penalty area and the Irishman's shot is deflected out for a corner off the busy Mark Wilson.

15 min: The corner is taken and Portsmouth clear.

16 min: "There's plenty of empty seats here and there were plenty visible on Match of the Day last night," writes Gary Naylor. "Which will be the first club to go to a Ryanair-style pricing structure? Michael O'Leary has shown that stripping out costs (football has already done that - unless you're in the hospitality suites munching on the prawn sandwiches, and there's always an "adminstration fee" when buying a ticket) allied to selling seats priced with the intention of 100% occupancy, can be a successful business model. Season tickets might need re-thinking, but there's plenty of businesses re-assessing old certainties, not least yours Barry. An empty seat is an asset unused, not a pretty sight for the Garry Cooks of this world."

16 min: Is it just me or does anyone else think Gary Naylor would be a better football club chief executive than Gary Cook?

17 min: A long ball is floated into the Manchester City penalty area, but is this much too high for Hreidarsson, who was trying to get on the end of it and head past Given.

19 min: Kolo Toure does well to keep the ball in play on the right touchline, deep in Portsmouth territory, then jink around Jamie O'Hara and win himself a corner. The ball's sent into the penalty area and Observer columnist David James plucks it from the sky.

21 min: From the middle of the field, Martin Petrov sends a diagonal ball towards Nigel De Jong on the left flank. He puts too much leather through the ball and it sails wide.

23 min: Mark Wilson gets booked for pulling Carlos Tevez's shirt as the Argentinian tried to chase the ball into the Portsmouth penalty area. Free-kick for City, about 25 yards from goal, right of centre.

23 min: Petrov stirkes the free-kick, it hits the defensive wall and eventually comes back to the Bulgarian, who then sends a low drive fizzing just wide of the right upright. In the Portsmouth goal, Molly Ringwald looked to have it covered anyway.

25 min: It's all City at the moment - Petrov sends in a cross which Ireland should have headed home, then Teviez sends in another one, which Ireland controls and shoots straight at David James.

26 min: Hermann Hreidarsson is still struggling with that injury he picked up earlier. It looks like he might have a calf-strain. He goes off and is replaced by Steve Finnan.

27 min: Anthony Vanden Borre crosses from the right fkank, but his delivery is too high for Kevin Prince Boateng, who was the only Portsmouth player in the City penalty area.

28 min: "Isn't saying that Gary Naylor would be a better football club chief executive than Gary Cook damning with faint praise?" asks David Wall, among many, many others.

29 min: Portsmouth win a free-kick on the right flank and Jamie O'Hara curls the ball into the City penalty area. Shay Given catches the ball and moments later City have a corner at the far end.

30 min: From the corner, Petrov sends the ball across the edge of the six-yard box. Vincent Kompany gets his head to it and sends a downward header wide. He should have scored.

32 min: Martin Petrov has to get treatment after being caught accidentally by a wayward Kevin Prince Boateng elbow as the pair contested a high ball. He'll live.

33 min: City continue to dominate, with Kompany sending a 50-yard diagonal ball towards the left flank for Javier Garrido to chase up the flank. It sails out of play for a Portsmouth throw-in.

35 min: Adebyaor feeds Tevez on the right touchline and the Argentinian cuts inside, drops a shoulder and tries to burrow his way into the Portsmouth penalty area. Jamie O'Hara intervenes and hacks clear.

36 min: There's pandemonium in the City penalty area, as John Utaka does brilkliantly to back-heel a ball that seemed to be heading wide into the path of Anthony Vanden Borre. His looping shot beats Given all ends up and hits the bar and City eventually clear.

38 min: That was a real let-off for City, who have just lost Pablo Zabaletta, presumably to injury. He's replaced by Nedum Onuoha.

GOAL! Man City 1-0 Portsmouth (Adebayor 39) City go behind after Emmanuel Adebayor sprints between the centre-halves, who were stepping up in a bid to play him offside, to latch on to a 50-yard pass and bury the ball past the hopelessly exposed David James. It was a great finish, but he looked a touch offside, mind.

40 min: That goal could herald the opening of the floodgates, I suspect. It was a soft one for Portsmouth to concede and it will almost certainly help City's players relax after a fairly disjointed performance thus far.

42 min: Portsmouth embark on one of their increasingly infrequent sorties into the Manchester City half. A promising looking move breaks down when Niggel De Jong intervenes for City. He's fouled by Angelos Basinas, who gets booked for his troubles.

GOAL! Manchester City 2-0 Portsmouth (Kompany 45) City win a corner, the balls swung in from the left and Vincent Kompany scores with his head. Tal Ben Haim was supposed to be marking him, but was too busy trying to pull his shirt to leap in the air and contest the header.

45 + 3 min: The corner from which City just scored came about on the back of good work from Carlos Tevez, who'd shot at David James. It should have been a straightforward save, but the Portsmouth goalkeeper spilled the ball and let it go out for a corner. He'll be seething over that.

Half-time City go in 2-0 up, despite not playing particularly well in the first half. I can fairly confidently predict that Portsmouth have no chance whatsoever of pulling this one out of the fire.

An email from Paul Sumner, who also fancies himself as a football club chief-executive: "Further to Gary Naylor's mail, I am surprised none of the clubs that regularly sell out (forgive the pun) have but 10% of their tickets up for auction each game, or at least some stock marketesque plan to pander to the Johnny Come Latelies with more money than sense," he writes. " They could set a high price which would decline nearer the game but increase sharply when availability of tickets became scare. It is similar to the pricing models of Lego on the internet before Christmas, and beer in bars full of utterly insufferable ****s."

A topical email from Ahmed Bilal: "Would you lose your job if you were outed as having an extra-marital affair?" he asks. "Not that I think you should." Well Ahmed, I'm not married, but am fairly sure I'd lose my testicles if I was outed as etc, and so on. Holding on to my gig would probably be the least of my worries in such a scenario. Anyway, besides the incumbent Lady Baz, who'd have me?

Second half: The teams emerge for the second half, with Emmanuel Adebayor stopping for a quick pray, before looking heavenwards and pointing to the sky, much like he's doing in the photograph up the page. There's no prizes for guessing who those prayers are being offered up to. City kick off.

47 min: Portsmouth win a free-kick about 30 yards from the City goal, in the left channel. Jamie O'Hara takes it, but there's nowhere near enough welly on his shot to trouble Shay Given, who gathers comfortably.

48 min: City win a free-kick over by the left touch-line, about halfway inside the Portsmouth half. Garrido floats the ball into the penalty area, where it hits the back of Kevin Prince Boateng's head and bounces. A moment of Pompey panic ensues, before the ball is hacked clear.

49 min: John Utaka gallops down the left wing, cuts inside and makes his way into the City penalty area, where Kolo Toure relieves him of possession with a well timed tackle. Portsmouth win a corner, which Javier Garrido clears.

51 min: "Re: your reply to Ahmed's mail," writes Peter Walker. "Fishing for some compliments?" I was, yes. But none have been forthcoming!

52 min: Portsmouth attack, with John Utaka pinging the ball out to Anthony Vanden Borre on the right touchline. They end up winning a corner. The ball is flated across the edge of the six-yard box, bounces and hits Kolo Toure's hand before he hoofs clear. Pompey's appeals for a penalty are ignored by the referee.

54 min: Good link-up play between John Utaka and Jamies O'Hara enables the latter to shoot from distance from about 25 yards. His low drive is a couple of feet wide of the right upright.

55 min: Portsmouth win another corner, which Angelos Basinas takes. Hayden Mullins contests the high ball, but is beaten in the air by Kolo Toure. City clear. Portsmouth are doing OK in this half and haven't let their heads drop. I thought they might roll over and ship a terrible hiding.

57 min: "I noted your remark concerning Adebayor's prayers at the start of the second half," writes David Hilmy. "Perhaps I have missed the blog articles discussing the recent CAF decision to punish Togo for daring to wthdraw from the African Cup after being machine-gunned. What do your regular Man City MBM followers think?" While I wouldn't dare speak on behalf of my readership, I presume, like most people, they probably think it's a totally unsurprising disgrace.

59 min: Manchester City substitution: Kompany hobbles off with an injury of some sort and is replaced by Dedryck Boyata. That's a straight swap - a Belgian for a Belgian.

60 min: City win a throw-in deep in Portsmouth territory and play keep-ball down by the right touchline. Nedum Onuoha eventually drives the ball across the Portsmouth penal;ty area, forcing Mark Wilson to clear.

62 min: Nigel De Jong slides into a challenge on Hayden Mullins and gets booked. That was a fairly vicious tackle - I've seen players get sent off for less. Mullins is OK, though.

64 min: Gareth Barry plays the ball out to Carlos Tevez on the left flank and he runs practically the width of the pitch before winning a free-kick about 40 metres out from the Portsmouth goal. Petrov curls the ball around the wall but straight into the chest of David James.

65 min: I'm still waiting for those compliments in the wake of that fishing expedition.

66 min: John Utaka charges down the left flank, before sending the ball into the Man City penalty area. There's nobody there to get on the end of it.

65 min: Basinas shoots from distance, bringing a smart save out of Given. The ball breaks to Danny Webber, who completely miskicks from five or six yards with the goal at his mercy and the crowd erupts with laughter. That was a terrible, terrible miss.

67 min: "Don't be so hard on yourself re: marriage prospects," writes Glenn Moran. "If Brian Cowen has a wife, there's hope for biffos everywhere." For those not in the know, I should probably point out that in Ireland, a Biffo is an acronym that's short for Big Ignorant F**ker From Offaly. I'm one, as is our glorious leader Brian Cowan.

70 min: City attack and Martin Petrov tries to pick out Emmanuel Adebayor with a cross. Tal Ben Haim heads clear.

70 min: Sarcastic wolf-whistles greet the sight of Craig Bellamy removing his trackie-bottoms and getting ready to come on. At least I'm presuming they're sarcastic. Like myself, he's no looker.

72 min: "While Shay Given may not be under enough pressure to prove the point you made about him in the pod the other day, did you happen to hear Ger and Oisinn discuss your point on The Saturday Sports Show on Newstalk yesterday afternoon?" asks Ian McCourt. I didn't hear the show, Ian, but I heard I got monstered for suggesting that Given has some shortcomings as a goalkeeper. I think he's very good, but a bit over-rated, particularly by some in Ireland who think he can do no wrong.

74 min: Kevin Prince Boateng gets booked for a foul on ... somebody. In a more well-informed update, I can exclusively reveal that Craig Bellamy has come on for Martin Petrov.

75 min: Nedum Onuoha crosses from the right flank, but sends the ball high over Bellamy and Adebayor and out for a Portsmouth throw-in.

77 min: Portsmouth substitution: Fred Puiquionne on, Danny Webber off. Steve Finnan wins a corner for Portsmouth off Kolo Toure. Boyata clears.

77 min: Adebayor picks out Bellamy with a diagonal pass to the left-hand side of the Portmsouth penalty area. He squares the ball with a low drive and Jamie O'Hara hacks clear.

79 min: Carlos Tevez rattles the left post with a drive from eight yards after being teed up by Craig Bellamy and doing well to make room for a shot. He should have scored.

81 min: Given-gate rumbles on: "It's not so much that Irish people think GIven does no wrong," writes Hugh Collins. "It's that he has saved the Ireland team from the wrongs of others - O'Shea, McShane, all the way back to the horrifying days of Phil Babb - so many times that he seems like an antidote to footballing idiocy."

82 min: City win a corner, which Craig Bellamy sends into the mixer. Unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box, Gareth Barry skims a header wide. The lad will, as they say, be disappointed with that.

83 min: City win a free-kick for something or other about 45 yards from the Portsmouth goal, out near the right touchline. Garrido curls the ball into the penalty area, where the substitute Piquionne larrups it clear.

84 min: Kevin Prince Boateng tries a shot from 40 yards. High and wide.

85 min: Portsmouth substitution: Quincy Owusu-Abeyie on for his Portsmouth debut, Hayden Mullins off.

86 min: City win a corner, which Bellamy plays short to Tevez. The ball is eventually worked to Javier Garrido, who charges into the penalty area and is blocked by Tal Ben Haim before he can inflict any damage.

87 min: On the subject of Togo being banned from the next two Africa Cup of Nations, Patrick Smith has this to say: "It has to one of the single worst decisions in the history of sport," he writes. "It reminds me a bit of the old 'joke' about apartheid South Africa, about the drunken white man driving into two people of color, one went through the windscreen and was charged with breaking-and-entry and the second, who was rushed away in an ambulance, was charged with failing to report an accident. The 'rules' if you like taken to illogical extremes."

88 min: From a Portsmouth corner, the ball bounces at the feet of Piquionne, who doesn't react quickly enough to trouble Shay Given unduly from four yards out. What amounts to a deflection off the Portsmouth player bounces straight into the goalkeeper's hands.

90 min: There'll be four minutes of added time or thereabouts.

90+1 min: Heroic persistence on the part of Carlos Tevez enables the Argentinian to win a corner off Tal Ben Haim, much to the Israeli's displeasure. Nothing comes of it.

90+2 min: The stadium announcer reveals that Kolo Toure will be accepting the man of the match bubbly in a few minutes' time.

90+3 min: City win a corner, which Craig Bellamy plays short to Garrido in the Portsmouth right-back poition. He swings the ball into the penalty area, it's only half-cleared and then Ireland sends in a cross from the other side. He fails to pick out Adebayor and Portsmouth clear.

Peep! Peep! Peep! It's all over - City take the points and change places in the league table with Aston Villa. Portsmouth remain rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, five points behind Hull City, six points from safety and looking decdiedly doomed.


Barry Glendenning

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Premier League: Portsmouth v Manchester City - as it happened

Minute-by-minute report: Manchester City did just enough to see off an obdurate but toothless Portsmouth side

Barry Glendenning

30, Aug, 2009 @9:53 AM

Article image
Portsmouth 0-1 Manchester City

Emmanuel Adebayor's third goal of the season was enough to send Portsmouth to defeat in their first game under new ownership

David Hytner at Fratton Park

30, Aug, 2009 @3:01 PM

Article image
Three former Premier League managers all expect Manchester City to break into the top four this season| David Hytner

David Hytner: Three former Premier League managers all expect Manchester City to break into the top four this season

David Hytner

12, Aug, 2009 @11:10 PM

Article image
Premier League: Portsmouth 2-0 Manchester City: Goals from Glen Johnson and Hermann Hreidarsson ease relegation worries

Portsmouth eased their relegation worries with a 2-0 victory over Manchester City in their first match since the dismissal of Tony Adams

Amy Lawrence at Fratton Park

14, Feb, 2009 @5:05 PM

Article image
Portsmouth v Stoke City - as it happened | Alan Gardner

Minute-by-minute report: Luckless Pompey squandered a first-half lead as 10-man Stoke stole all three points with an injury-time winner

Alan Gardner

20, Feb, 2010 @4:35 PM

Article image
Wednesday's football transfer rumours: Manchester City want Kaka and Lionel Messi

Chelsea after Podolski and Gomez | City want entire new first XI | Milan target Agger

Mike Adamson

03, Dec, 2008 @9:10 AM

Article image
Premier League: Portsmouth midfielder Sean Davis fears the club will sell top players
Portsmouth midfielder Sean Davis has expressed fears that the club's top names will be sold

Dominic Fifield

30, Dec, 2008 @12:21 AM

Article image
Premier League: Portsmouth 2-0 Manchester City

Portsmouth's caretaker manager discovered that a pre-match quiz helped instil togetherness in a team that unravelled under Tony Adams

Paul Doyle at Fratton Park

16, Feb, 2009 @12:06 AM

Article image
Premier League: Portsmouth: Jermain Defoe reveals threats from fans over transfer rumours

Striker said calls had made him 'sick to the stomach' as transfer rumours continue

04, Jan, 2009 @10:38 AM

Article image
Premier League: Stoke City v Portsmouth - as it happened

Portsmouth's Kevin-Prince Boateng left to rue his first half penalty miss when Ricardo Fuller scored the only goal in the second half

Mikey Stafford

22, Nov, 2009 @11:57 AM