Mar 022020
 

Match Report

Highlights

FA Cup 5




Pompey’s Emirates FA Cup run was finally ended by Premier League giants Arsenal at a packed Fratton Park.

For much of the first half it looked like a shock could possibly be on the cards, with the hosts proving more than a match for their illustrious opponents.

But Sokratis Papastathopoulos fired the Gunners ahead just seconds before the interval to deflate most of those inside the ground.

Eddie Nketiah then added another goal soon after the restart and the Londoners were able to see the contest out with relative ease.

Kenny Jackett made six changes from the side that eased past Rochdale in the league three nights earlier.

Gareth Evans returned to captain the side, while Ellis Harrison was brought in up front and Marcus Harness on the left wing.

Ben Close was recalled to the midfield engine room and there were starts at the back for Steve Seddon and James Bolton, with the latter handed a rare central role.

Andy Cannon, John Marquis, Ronan Curtis, Tom Naylor and Sean Raggett dropped to the bench, with Lee Brown missing out completely.

But Arsenal were not at full strength either and there was little to separate the sides throughout the first half.

Emiliano Martinez flapped at the ball when Seddon’s deep cross was nodded back into the middle by Harrison.

Marcus Harness was also causing problems with his trickery, although was unable to test the Gunners keeper.

The visitors were forced to make an early change when a robust Bolton challenge left Lucas Torreira writhing on the turf.

He eventually had to be stretchered off the pitch, with Dani Ceballos chosen as the man to replace him.

Harness then had an effort deflected past the post by Pablo Mari after twisting and turning on the edge of the box.

A quickly taken free-kick gave the Blues a chance to break the deadlock, but Evans could only nod wide after racing in to meet Seddon’s delivery.

Arsenal soon had an opportunity of their own, with Gabriel Martinelli unable to guide Reiss Nelson’s firmly-hit centre on target.

There was an amusing moment when Matteo Guendouzi was told to move the ball back for a free-kick.

He theatrically placed the ball down on the turf, but referee Mike Dean was not amused and promptly showed the midfielder a yellow card.

Cameron McGeehan soon followed him into the notebook for an agricultural challenge on Joe Willock.

That earlier injury to Torreira – and the lengthy treatment received – meant there were five minutes added on at the end of the first half.

And Arsenal broke the deadlock in the fourth of them, with Sokratis bursting forward to slam home Nelson’s low cross.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Arsenal 1


Pompey were first to threaten when the action restarted, but Ryan Williams was only able to drag a shot narrowly past the post after escaping a challenge in the box.

But their opponents soon doubled their lead, with Nketiah doing well to find the roof of the net after bundling his way through following good work from Nelson down the right.

Arsenal were looking comfortable and content to keep possession in the centre of the park with a series of intricate passes.

It meant that there was a lot less intensity in the contest, with the Blues struggling to regain possession.

Jackett made a double substitution on 67 minutes, as Harrison and Harness made way for Marquis and Curtis.

And the latter was soon in the action, cutting onto his right foot and drilling in a low shot that was gathered by Martinez.

Pompey then made their third and final change of the night, as stand-in skipper Evans made way for Cannon.

Alex Bass had not been given much to do, but he got his fingertips to Bukayo Saka’s drive and tipped the ball over.

There was still plenty of huff and puff on show from the hosts, as they tried to find a route back into the tie.

Cannon did have an opportunity to reduce the deficit when the ball fell to him inside the box, but could not keep his effort down.

And Arsenal saw the closing stages out with relative ease to book their place in the draw for the quarter-finals.

But it failed to dampen the mood inside Fratton Park, with the home faithful singing about their forthcoming trip to Wembley.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; McCrorie, Bolton, Burgess, Seddon; McGeehan, Close; Williams, Evans (c) (Cannon 74), Harness (Curtis 67); Harrison (Marquis 67)
Booked: McGeehan
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Whatmough, Raggett, Naylor

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Martinez; Sokratis, Luiz (c), Mari, Saka; Guendouzi, Torreira (Ceballos 16); Nelson (Maitland-Niles 90+1), Willock (Xhaka 87), Martinelli; Nketiah
Goals: Sokratis 45+4, Nketiah 51
Booked: Guendouzi
Subs not used: Leno, Holding, Pepe, Lacazette

Referee: Mike Dean

Attendance: 18,839 (2,206 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Dec 042018
 

Match Report

Highlights

Checkatrade Trophy




Pompey booked their spot in the last 16 of the Checkatrade Trophy with a dominant display against Arsenal under-21s.

Brett Pitman gave the Blues an early lead at Fratton Park, but their quest for a healthier advantage was denied three times by the woodwork.

The skipper and, on two occasions, man-of-the-match Adam May were both left frustrated before Bukayo Saka impressively brought the scores level.

But the hosts got the victory their impressive performance deserved thanks to a second goal in three days from Andre Green.

Kenny Jackett made 11 changes from the side that progressed in the FA Cup at Rochdale on Sunday.

He handed debuts to youngsters Matt Casey and Freddie Read, while May was back from a loan spell at Aldershot.

There was also a return for skipper Pitman up front, flanked by Green and Louis Dennis in the Pompey attack.

Arsenal handed a start to 33-year-old former French international Laurent Koscielny, who added plenty of experience to an otherwise youthful side.

One of his highly-rated team-mates was the first to threaten, although after spinning neatly in the box, Saka fired straight at Luke McGee.

The Blues soon took control and after collecting a pass from Casey, Anton Walkes saw his shot cleared from the line by Danny Ballard.

Brandon Haunstrup then had a fierce effort well saved by Deyan Iliev, but the hosts forged ahead from the resulting corner.

Dennis’ delivery was headed back by Walkes at the far post and PITMAN acrobatically flicked the ball home from close range.

It was a lively display from Dennis, who had a chance of his own by nodding Green’s cross wide on 15 minutes.

May came a lot closer to doubling the advantage, stealing possession from James Olayinka and hitting a 25-yard shot against the post.

And Dennis then tried his luck with a long-range effort that dipped narrowly over as Pompey continued to dominate.

Arsenal looked neat on the ball, but were not really troubling their hosts, who seemed the more likely to add to the scoring.

An angled attempt from Christian Burgess was blocked by Ballard, while Pitman sent a free-kick into the Gunners wall.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Arsenal U21 0


A corner from Dennis led to some pinball in the visitors box once the action restarted, with the ball eventually hacked to safety.

McGee was still not being overworked at the other end and an effort from Charlie Gilmour was well off target.

But May came close to scoring for the Blues, neatly controlling the ball 25 yards out and sending the ball crashing against the crossbar.

That came after Read left the pitch to warm applause, with a fit-again Joe Mason on to replace him and provide some more firepower.

The hosts appeared to be cruising, only for the Gunners to level against the run of play. It was a fine effort from Saka, though, who cut in from the left before firing into the top corner.

And the Londoners might have gone ahead soon after, with Burgess throwing himself in front of Tyreece John-Jules’ effort.

Pompey tried to restore their advantage, but were denied by the woodwork for an incredible third time on 76 minutes.

Pitman met a cross from the right by Walkes, only to see his header come back off the inside of the post and be cleared by the Arsenal defence.

The hosts were starting to move through the gears again and Dennis was sent through on goal by Mason. He lifted a shot over Iliev, but the ball flew agonisingly wide.

It was Green who was next to have a go just a few seconds later and this time the keeper saved with his feet.

And the on-loan Aston Villa winger finally made the pressure count by restoring Pompey’s lead on 83 minutes.

It was a lovely move, with Dennis playing a neat one-two with Pitman before arrowing the ball across the face of goal for GREEN to emphatically fire into the roof of the net.

And the Blues comfortably saw out the final few minutes to seal the win that ensures their place in Saturday’s third round draw.

Pompey (4-3-3): McGee; Walkes, Casey, Burgess, Haunstrup; May, Rose, Read (Mason 58); Green, Pitman (c), Dennis
Goals: Pitman 10, Green 83
Booked: Dennis, Walkes
Subs not used: L.Pitman, Mnoga, Johnston, Flint, Smith, Maloney

Arsenal U21 (3-4-3): Iliev; Ballard, Koscielny (Tormey 85), Medley; Osei-Tutu, Omole (Coyle 65), Gilmour (c), Bramall; Saka, John-Jules, Olayinka
Goals: Saka 66
Booked: Omole
Subs not used: Hein, Bola, Olowu, Thompson, Zelalem

Referee: Thomas Bramall

Attendance: 3,109 (188 away fans)

Portsmouth FC