—END OF LOAD TAG—>
|Edwin van der Sar|
|Jonny Evans, J|
|Luis Carlos Nani|
|Darren Fletcher (Darron Gibson, 66)|
|Luis Antonio Valencia|
|Dimitar Berbatov (Michael Owen, 67)|
|Wayne Rooney (Mame Biram Diouf, MB, 66)|
|Anthony Vanden Borre (Kevin-Prince Boateng, 59)|
|Tal Ben Haim|
|Jamie O'Hara (Hassan Yebda, 75)|
|Frederic Piquionne (Quincy Owusu-Abeyie, 67)|
FULL TIME: MAN UTD 5-0 PORTSMOUTH. An easy afternoon for United that sends them to the top of the table and gives them a huge goal difference boost. But its another bad day for Pompey who stay adrift at the bottom.
Interestingly, that makes own goals United's second highest Premier League scorer this season. Weird and wonderful statistic.
The second goal has now been credited as an own goal to Vanden Borre and the third as an own goal for Richard Hughes. That's three own goals for the day then.
Two efforts from Diouf now, he does look hungry for a goal, but the first is well saved by David James and just when the striker thinks he has found the net Marc Wilson gets in to clear off the line.
The hosts seem to have finally taken their foot off the gas and it looks like the scoring may have ended for the day.
To be fair to Portsmouth they have, generally, defended pretty well today but luck has not been on their side at all - as seems the way in all areas for the South Coast club this season.
He just missed a very good chance and clearly a little frustrated by the miss Mame Diouf fouls Ben-Haim and picks up a booking.
Mame Biram Diouf grabbed his first United goal late on against Burnley a few weeks ago and he perhaps should have had his second here but hit shot is miscued wide.
Kevin-Prince Boateng is the latest to be shown a yellow card for a foul on Michael Carrick.
Darron Gibson has not seen much action in the last couple of months but he is on now here and his shot forces a fine save from James.
Pompey are making their final change now as Jamie O'Hara is replaced by Hassan Yebda.
United still want more, with Diouf and Owen looking to prove a point, and Gary Neville's cross has to be well cleared by Rocha with both strikers waiting to pounce behind him.
What a horrible afternoon for Avram Grant - remember it was goalless after 39 minutes. It's gone all wrong since Rooney opening the scoring.
MAN UTD 5-0 PORTSMOUTH. Only when you are bottom of the league! Evra advances down the left and his relatively harmless cross is deflected into the net by Marc Wilson. Very unlucky.
Frederic Piquionne is now replaced by recent loan signing Quincy Owusu-Abeyie for Portsmouth.
Immediate chance for Diouf as he rises to meet Valencia's corner but his header skims the top of the bar.
Who didn't see that coming? A triple change for Ferguson as Fletcher, Rooney and Berbatov are replaced by Gibson, Owen and Diouf.
Whatever happens this is going to be a very long 25 minutes or so for Avram Grant and his side.
Frederic Piquionne has a chance to grab a consolation for Portsmouth but he fires straight at Van Der Sar.
MAN UTD 4-0 PORTSMOUTH. How many will they get now? Berbatov is on the end of another good move to drive into the bottom corner. He has come alive!
A change for Portsmouth now as Kevin-Prince Boateng replaces Anthony Vanden Borre.
MAN UTD 3-0 PORTSMOUTH. United are out of sight now as another sweeping move ends with Berbatov feeding CARRICK to sweep into the bottom corner.
Valencia now to take the corner from the left and its met well by Jonny Evans in the air but he can't keep his header down.
Luis Antonio Valencia cuts in from the right hand side and unleashes a stinging shot that James has to palm wide.
Good strength from Berbatov to force his way to the byline but his cut back is blasted high and wide by Nani. Decent chance.
A slow start to the second half at Old Trafford with United looking to attack when they went while Portsmouth don't look too willing to push forward.
Lee Mason is our official this afternoon by the way and he gets the second half underway - will United hit a cricket score? Can Pompey get back into it?
HALF TIME: MAN UTD 2-0 PORTSMOUTH. Pompey have a penalty shout turned down right on the whistle and it looks like this game could be beyond them already with United almost rampant now.
MAN UTD 2-0 PORTSMOUTH. Nani tricks his way past Vanden Borre and his deflected cross wrong foots James who can only deflect it into his own net.
United seem to have settled back into complete control now as they begin to pass the ball about at their own pace after Portsmouth's good spell.
Wayne Rooney has probably just got Dimitar Berbatov out of a very big Fergie hairdryer shaped hole at half-time.
MAN UTD 1-0 PORTSMOUTH. He has been quiet so far but now Wayne ROONEY sparks into life as he heads Fletcher's cross into the net.
Tal Ben-Haim goes into the referee's book.
What a miss! Neville and Valencia link up to give Berbatov what looks like a sitter but somehow the Bulgarian drags it wide from six yards with an open goal. Oh dear!
Off the line! Not at the end you might think though as Belhadj unleashes a shot from the corner of the box that beats Van Der Sar but Jonny Evans is on the line to clear. Big escape for the Champions!
Wayne Rooney takes control and shifts the ball away from the defender to give himself an eyeful of the goal .... but blazes it miles over.
United are still enjoying a monopoly of the play but they have been frustrated in the final third with the visiting defence looking well organised.
The second booking of the game goes to Jamie O'Hara.
Frustration starting to show through at Old Trafford now as Nani and Valencia both hit more crosses that fail to find their targets while Berbatov and Rooney are not really in the game.
Danny Webber, a former United trainee, picks up the first booking of the match.
Valencia feeds Rooney and the in form striker fires a shot straight at James.
Piquionne wastes a chance to test Van Der Sar and United counter with Valencia but Rocha gets himself in the way in the nick of time to stop Rooney having a great chance.
Another effort for Pompey with Belhadj advancing to the edge of the box and testing Van Der Sar once more.
Chance for Portsmouth! With their first attack of the game Anthony Vanden Borre gets in behind the defence and forces a smart save from Van Der Sar.
Wayne Rooney has been quiet so far, in fact he has hardly had a touch, and if Portsmouth can keep him quiet all afternoon they may have a chance.
Still 0-0 at Old Trafford with Portsmouth finally starting to get a touch on the ball but they are struggling to keep hold of it.
Nani has been in superb form in recent weeks and another cross from the tricky Portuguese troubles James again but the keeper stands firm.
This is already looking like attack v defence here as Nani wins a free-kick and forces a good claim under pressure from James with the dipping cross.
Is it dangerous to suggest that a goal is already on the way? Darren Fletcher is the latest to test Rocha's defending before Nani's free-kick is headed wide by Brown.
Portsmouth are really on the back foot at the moment with Nani and Valencia whipping more crosses into the box but debutant Rocha stands firm.
Antonio Valencia has returned on the right wing, with Nani switching to the left, and he immediately forces a sharp stop from James.
We are underway at Old Trafford after a minute's silence to mark the 52nd Anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster.
Portsmouth: James, Vanden Borre, Rocha, Wilson, Ben-Haim, Webber, Hughes, Mullins, O'Hara, Belhadj, Piquionne.
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, Brown, Jonathan Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Fletcher, Nani, Berbatov, Rooney.
Portsmouth boss has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons this week and with a fourth new owner of the season their preparations have been far from ideal.
United have hit their stride in recent weeks with the big victories over Hull, Man City and Arsenal displaying their improving confidence - a certain Wayne Rooney is in the goals as well.
Welcome to Old Trafford where in-form Manchester United entertain basement boys Portsmouth as the Champions look to hit the summit.
Its been a fairly predictable season in the Premier League.
Southend United have gained promotion to League One after a tense penalty shootout again Wycombe Wanderers that ended in 7-6.
Clubs across Europe are rubbing their hands together in glee as Sami Khedira has announced hell be leaving Real Madrid at the end of the season.
With the summer transfer window fast approaching, Liverpool will again have the chance to strengthen their squad.
We love football.
Hull and Newcastle will be fighting for their Premier League lives on Sunday in yet another instalment of relegation drama