• Date: Tue 09 March 2010
  • Venue: Fratton Park
  • Ref: Jones, M
  • Attendance: 18,465
Portsmouth

Portsmouth

Kanu (90)

1 - 2
Birmingham City

Birmingham City

Jerome (16)

Jerome (42)

Portsmouth vs Birmingham City

Team Lineups

Portsmouth

David James
Hermann Hreidarsson
Steve Finnan
Tal Ben Haim
Nadir Belhadj
Jamie O'Hara
Michael Brown (Nwankwo Kanu, 66)
Marc Wilson (Quincy Owusu-Abeyie, 46)
Frederic Piquionne
Danny Webber (Angelos Basinas, 46)
Aruna Dindane

Birmingham City

Joe Hart
Liam Ridgewell
Roger Johnson
Scott Dann
Stuart Parnaby (Teemu Tainio, 52)
Craig Gardner
Barry Ferguson
Miguel Marcos Michel (Sebastian Larsson, 78)
Keith Fahey
Cameron Jerome
Christian Benitez (James McFadden, 81)

Match Report
Cameron Jerome's double clinched a 2-1 victory for Birmingham City at Fratton Park, just four days after Portsmouth had dumped the Blues out of the FA Cup. Jerome notched his sixth and seventh goals of the season in the first half to lift his side into eighth and leave Pompey further cast adrift at the foot of the Premier League despite Kanu's late consolation. Pompey may have earned themselves a glamorous FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham or Fulham at Wembley in April, but after their triumph over Blues on Saturday looked to be suffering a hangover. Jerome's first arrived on 16 minutes as Christian Benitez, one of four players brought into the first eleven in light of the cup defeat, was Birmingham's creator as he slipped a pass clear of the home defence. Former England Under-21s striker Jerome bounded into space before sending a low drive past David James and in off the far post. In a half short on incident Pompey's best chance ended up not really being a chance at all. Jamie O'Hara sent Nadir Belhadj free down the left-hand-side and the Algerian's cross was stood up for Aruna Dindane, but just as the Ivory Coast striker clenched his neck muscle to head goalwards, Barry Ferguson made a vital interception. Benitez should have made it two moments later as he beat the offside trap but as he dropped his shoulder to round James, Steve Finnan retreated to make a vital last-ditch challenge and rob the Blues striker. The Ecuadorian atoned for that miss minutes later when, with his back to goal, his delicate back-heel sent Jerome free to double his and his team's tally for the night, placing his finish under James. Frustrated Pompey boss Avram Grant made a double substitution at half-time introducing the erratic Quincy Owusu-Abeyie and the experience of Greece captain Angelos Basinas to try and breathe some life back into his team. But it proved another largely lifeless 45 minutes of football with Belhadj's cross just after the hour mark zipping across the face of goal and narrowly missing the outstretched leg of Frederic Piquionne, who dived in vain toward the ball. Birmingham substitute James McFadden tested James with a low, near-post drive ten minutes from the end, but Kanu set up a nervy final few moments for Alex McLeish's side with a close-range header for his first Premier League goal of the season.
Live Text Commentary
Full time
 

The final whistle goes. Pompey finished well but did not do enough to earn a share of the points.

90

Quincy Owusu-Abeyie has a shot blocked as the action becomes frantic at Fratton Park.

90
Goal
 

Kanu bundles home from the corner - City will have a nervous couple of minutes to survive.

90

Dindane unleashes a firm goal-bound effort that Joe Hart does well to get to - the best save of the game.

90

Four minutes of stoppage time will be added.

89

James McFadden does well to find Sebastian Larsson, but the shot is straight at David James.

87

The game is fizzling out as Birmingham continue to keep hold of the ball well.

85

Pompey seem to have run out of steam and it is Birmingham who are finishing stronger.

83

Teemu Tainio releases James McFadden, who forces David James into a neat one-handed save.

81
Substitution
 

Christian Benitez makes way for James McFadden.

79
Yellow Card
 

Nadir Belhadj hacks down Sebastian Larsson and can have no complaints about going in the book.

77
Substitution
 

Sebastian Larsson comes on for Michel.

75

Frederic Piquionne has a snap-shot from distance that drifts well wide.

72

Portsmouth are struggling to raise the tempo as they seek to break down a well-organised Blues defence.

70

Dindane tries to get the ball off Ferguson to take a quick throw and a tussle ensues, but no cards are shown.

67

Jerome wins a corner off Tal Ben Haim and Scott Dann fires over from 12 yards out.

65
Substitution
 

Avram Grant makes his final change, Nwankwo Kanu replacing Michael Brown.

62

City have weathered the Pompey storm at the start of the second half, with Michel and Barry Ferguson again to the fore in midfield.

59

Nadir Belhadj flashes an inviting cross across Joe Hart's goal, but no one is on hand to convert.

56

Portsmouth's defence goes missing and Jerome is left free in front of goal, but Keith Fahey's cross evades him.

54

Pompey have started the second half well, with no choice but to go on the attack.

52

Quincy Owusu-Abeyie finds himself in space in the Blues' box and his fierce shot is deflected behind by Gardner.

51
Substitution
 

Teemu Tainio comes on for the injured Stuart Parnaby.

50

Steve Finnan crosses for Aruna Dindane, who heads over from 10 yards.

48

Stuart Parnaby is injured in a challenge and looks unlikely to continue.

46

A half-time double change by Avram Grant reflects the dramatic change in fortune that Pompey need in the second half.

Second half
 

The second half gets underway.

45
Substitution
 

Marc Wilson is replaced at the break by Quincy Owusu-Abeyie.

45
Substitution
 

Danny Webber is replaced at the break by Angelos Basinas.

Half time
 

The half-time whistle goes. City gradually took control and should perhaps be further ahead.

42
Goal
 

Cameron Jerome doubles City's lead, again converting a Christian Benitez pass.

41

Roger Johnson heads behind, but O'Hara's corner is cleared.

39

Cameron Jerome releases Christian Benitez, who should make it 2-0, but he takes too long to round David James and the defence gets back to clear. A bad miss.

37

Birmingham are protecting their lead relatively easily, as Pompey struggle to get Dindane and Piquionne into the game.

35

Nadir Belhadj whips in a dangerous cross that Aruna Dindane looks set to nod in, but Barry Ferguson intervenes to head clear.

33

Pompey win a corner down the Blues' right, but the ball is headed clear by Craig Gardner.

31
Yellow Card
 

Michel is booked for a poorly-timed challenge on Belhadj.

29

Jamie O'Hara tests Joe Hart from a Nadir Belhadj cross, but the shot lacks power.

28

Craig Gardner drags a shot wide from distance.

27

Michel, making his first league start for City, delivers a poor free-kick from a decent position.

25

The more fluent passing is coming from the away team, who are testing Pompey with their movement.

23

The corner is cleared and Pompey try and break quickly, but they do not have sufficient numbers to sustain the attack.

22

Craig Gardner unleashes a fierce shot from 20 yards, but it is deflected behind for a corner.

20
Yellow Card
 

Christian Benitez is booked for diving in the Pompey box.

16

The Blues have been boosted by that early goal and are now in charge of possession.

14
Goal
 

Cameron Jerome gives City the lead, finishing well after good work by Christian Benitez.

12

City are finding their feet in midfield with some improved passing.

10

Cameron Jerome nearly latches onto a Barry Ferguson pass, but the ball runs away from him with the Pompey defence closing-in.

8

The away team have not properly settled yet as Pompey's midfield continues to dictate terms.

6

Jamie O'Hara has the first shot of the game, forcing Joe Hart into a regulation low save from the edge of the area.

4

Aruna Dindane is causing the visitors' defence plenty of problems with his direct running.

2

Pompey have started well, enjoying the early possession.

Kickoff
 

Referee Mike Jones gets play underway at Fratton Park.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

City have gone off the boil slightly recently but will fancy their chances against a Portsmouth that has lost 13 of its 14 matches against top half opposition this season.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Alex McLeish makes four changes, bringing in Michel, Stuart Parnaby, Craig Gardner and Christian Benitez.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Portsmouth and Birmingham meet in the league three days after their FA Cup quarter final showdown. Pompey make one change from the team that won that clash, Aruna Dindane replacing John Utaka.