• Date: Sat 03 April 2010
  • Venue: Fratton Park
  • Ref: Bennett, S
  • Attendance: 16,207

Portsmouth vs Blackburn Rovers

Team Lineups

Portsmouth

Jamie Ashdown
Ricardo Rocha
Anthony Vanden Borre
Aaron Mokoena
Jamie O'Hara
Hayden Mullins
Michael Brown
John Utaka (Frederic Piquionne, 72)
Richard Hughes (Leonard Sowah, 64)
Angelos Basinas
Nwankwo Kanu

Blackburn Rovers

Paul Robinson
Christopher Samba
Gael Givet
Martin Olsson
Michel Salgado
Phil Jones
David Dunn (Nikola Kalinic, 80)
Morten Gamst Pedersen
Steven N'Zonzi (Vince Grella, 64)
Jason Roberts
El Hadji Diouf (David Hoilett, 76)

Match Report
Portsmouth clung onto their Premier League status for at least another 24 hours as they held Blackburn Rovers to a goalless draw despite having to play for 30 minutes with ten men. Anthony Vanden Borre was dismissed on the hour-mark for a second bookable offence following a deliberate handball and the Belgian will now miss nest weekend's FA Cup semi-final with Tottenham. Blackburn, comfortable in mid-table, should have emerged victorious but for some slack finishing from Chris Samba and some decent goalkeeping by Jamie Ashdown. A patchwork Pompey team began with some confidence as the fit-again John Utaka burst into space but his finish was straight at Paul Robinson. Blackburn though battled back as Ashdown's weak punch landed at the feet of Samba but, in the first of two poor first-half attempts for the big Congolese defender, his shot on the turn was kept out by the recovering goalkeeper. Four minutes later and David Dunn's deep cross had Ashdown back-peddling across his goal only to see Jason Roberts' looping far post header cleared of the line by Ricardo Rocha. Jamie O'Hara then cleared off the line from Phil Jones' header as Blackburn piled on the pressure. The hosts were continuing to struggle to play on an increasingly poor surface which was suiting more to Blackburn's direct style and Dunn went close as his 18-year-strike clipped the outside of the post. Moments before the break, Samba wasted the best opportunity of the half when he found himself a yard ahead of the home defence and from Morten Gamst Pedersen's free-kick placed his header against the post. As the rain teemed down the football began to wash away as neither side seemed capable of breaking the tedious stalemate in a dreadful second half. Vanden Borre needlessly earned his marching orders as following a lunge on Martin Olsson in the first half he then collected his second yellow by sticking a limb out to stop a pass getting to the Swede. With the hosts reduced to ten there was only likely to be one winner but Ashdown was equal to first Olsson's burst and strike and then Roberts' attempt on the turn in a truly substandard Premier League encounter.
Live Text Commentary
Full time
 

Full Time: Portsmouth 0-0 Blackburn. Portsmouth hold out for half an hour with ten men to earn a hard fought point against Blackburn.

92

Pedersen delivers a corner from the right and the ball drops for Jones, he strikes it towards goal but it is blocked and eventually Portsmouth scramble the ball clear.

90

Three minutes of stoppage time to be played.

86

O'Hara has been kept out of the game in the second half as Portsmouth struggle to work the ball to him but he gets the chance to get to the byline and cut back for Kanu but he fires well over.

84

Portsmouth are fighting hard to keep this at level. The team and the fans can be proud of the levels of effort from a side that are all but doomed to relegation.

81

A dangerous cross is fizzed across the Portsmouth goal and with Roberts and Kalinic bearing down on it Ashdown gets a crucial fingertip touch to the cross to divert it away from the strikers.

79
Substitution
 

Kalinic replaces David Dunn as Allardyce looks for a winning goal.

77

David Dunn rises to meet a cross from Pedersen to head the ball towards goal but he skews it well wide of the mark.

75
Substitution
 

Hoilett is on for Diouf.

72
Yellow Card
 

Michael Brown makes an unceremonious challenge on Olsson and is duly cautioned by Mr Bennett.

72
Substitution
 

Utaka is replaced by Piquionne as Grant looks to provide some fresh legs upfront.

69

El Hadj Diouf picks up the ball on the right hand side and crosses towards Roberts who turns smartly and strikes at goal but only finds the arms of Ashdown.

66

Blackburn look to take control and work a neat passing move in midfield before a threaded pass sets Olsson into the channel but his effort is saved by the legs of Ashdown.

64
Substitution
 

Pompey youngster Sowah enters the game as Hughes makes way.

64
Substitution
 

Nzonzi is replaced by Grella.

62

The sending off could change the game and swing it in Blackburn's favor however we have seen several times in the past that the side with ten men can emerge victorious.

60
Red Card
 

VANDEN BORRE is off! A deliberate handball earns Vanden Borre a second booking and a very cheap red card.

55

Kanu and Utaka link up on the left hand side and create a crossing opportunity for the latter but Samba uses his enormous frame to block.

52

Blackburn are perhaps dominating play at the moment but the service to Roberts so far has been poor. The conditions are somewhat accountable as they are providing difficult passing conditions for the two sets of midfielders.

50
Yellow Card
 

David Dunn picks up the first booking of the game for a Blackburn player after he brings down Hughes.

49

The second half makes somewhat of a false start as play is delayed for treatment to Jason Roberts. The striker appeared to take a blow to the knee but seems to be okay now.

46

Blackburn make a strong start to the second half as Pedersen and Olsson both cross from the left hand side but Rocha and Vanden Borre are on hand to clear their lines.

Second half
 

The second period is underway, and yes, its still raining on the sunny South Coast.

Half time
 

Halftime: Portsmouth 0-0 Blackburn. The first half draws to a close on a miserable afternoon. Both sides have created chances and are playing with the freedom of a team all but down and a team all but safe.

44

Pedersen breaks down the left hand side and crosses from wide but this time Ashdown handles the ball with confidence.

43
Yellow Card
 

Vanden Borre is booked following a trip on Steven Nzonzi.

41

The weather has again worsened but the teams are trying to continue to play attractive football. Kanu nods the ball down into the path of Mokoena who strikes it first time but the effort flies over the top.

36

The wet conditions are causing problems for Ashdown as another cross is unconvincingly dealt with by the Portsmouth stopper.

32

Van den Borre comes forward from defence and looks to take advantage of the slippery surface with a skimming drive but it is well blocked.

30

Blackburn respond with an attack of their own as the game opens up. The ball is tossed into the Pompey area and the ball takes a couple of ricochets before falling for Dunn but his shot clips the outside of the post and goes behind.

28

Portsmouth keep the ball well in midfield and work it right to Utaka who beats two players before crossing and finding O'Hara. O'Hara rises to head the ball towards the corner but Givet clears off the line.

26

Blackburn continue to look threatening from set plays. This time Samba rises at the back post to head the ball back across goal but Mokoena makes a crucial interception with Roberts lurking.

22

Mullins thunders a shot goalbound after a positive Portsmouth move but the effort is blocked by a Rovers defender and the attack comes to nothing.

19

More last ditch stuff from Pompey. Blackburn's Pedersen whips in a corner and Phil Jones heads it goalbound but it is somehow hacked away from the line.

18

Ashdown has started in unconvincing fashion. He ends up in no mans land as he comes for a cross from Dunn and leaves Roberts with an unguarded goal to aim at but his header is cleared by Rocha on the line.

13

Pedersen has the opportunity to test the Portsmouth defence with a free-kick from the right hand side. The ball in is weakly punched away by Ashdown and Samba is almost there to convert the rebound.

11

Jamie O'Hara picks the ball up and cuts inside before sliding a beautiful pass into Utaka in behind the defence. The Nigerian races through before rolling a tame effort straight at Robinson in a way that much sums up the winger's season.

8

Mokoena appears to be okay. There is very little happening in the game as of yet as both sides struggle to settle into the game with the rain really coming down in Portsmouth.

6

Avram Grant will have his heart in his mouth once again as Aaron Mokoena goes down in some discomfort. Surely not another Portsmouth player will be on the injury table.

5

The early moments are a little scrappy and neither side are able to keep the ball and possession is changing hands frequently.

2

Kanu's early effort takes a slight deflection wide of the post and wins the home side an early corner. Basinas delivers it from the left hand side but Pedersen heads it clear from the near post.

Kickoff
 

Steve Bennett takes charge of this encounter and let's hope he doesn't become the key talking point come the end of the game.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Sam Allardyce opts to start Jason Roberts alone in attack with support from wide coming in the form of Diouf and Pedersen. David Dunn will provide the craft in midfield and the young Phil Jones partners Samba in defence with Salgado at right back.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Jamie O'Hara is inelidgible to feature against his parent club Spurs next week and will probably start in a free role today. Kanu will lead the line supported by Utaka with Brown, Hughes and Basinas holding the midfield. Rocha returns in defence.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Blackburn: Robinson, Salgado, Samba, Jones, Givet, Diouf, Nzonzi, Pedersen, Olsson, Dunn, Roberts

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Portsmouth: Ashdown, Vanden Borre, Rocha, Mokoena, Mullins, Basinas, Brown, Hughes, O'Hara, Kanu, Utaka

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Hello and welcome to Fratton Park where Portsmouth, no doubt with one eye on next week's trip to Wembley, take on a Blackburn side that could condemn their opponents to relegation this afternoon.