- Venue:Fratton Park
- Referee:Probert, L
FULL TIME PORTSMOUTH 1-2 ASTON VILLA: A hard working win for Villa who keep alive their European qualification hopes alive thanks to John Carew and 19-year-old Nathan Delfouneso's goals after Michael Brown put Pompey ahead.
Michael Brown plays in the corner and the ball falls to Joel Ward who gets a shot at goal but Brad Friedel shows good reflexes to make the save.
Almost spoke too soon as Joel Ward puts a low ball right across the face of goal which is put out for a corner.
There will be three minutes of injury time to play here as Villa are looking comfortable with this lead.
Another change for Pompey as 20-year-old Matt Ritchie is getting a chance in the final minutes in place of Papa Bouba Diop.
Richard Dunne does well to block Michael Brown's run and shot after he was played in by John Utaka. Michael Brown plays the corner in from the left but Brad Friedel punches it clear in commanding fashion.
Joel Ward has a header from a corner saved by Brad Friedel before Villa break up the field and Ashley Young's overhead kick in the area drops just wide of the post.
An inspired substitution by Martin O'Neill as Nathan Delfouneso had only been on the pitch two minutes when he got that goal.
PORTSMOUTH 1-2 ASTON VILLA: Villa win a free kick wide out on the left. Ashley Young plays it quickly to James Milner who chips it into the box from the left and Emile Heskey flicks it on for NATHAN DELFOUNESO to stick out a leg and put Villa ahead.
Martin O'Neill also opts to make another switch as young striker Nathan Delfouneso is on in place of Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Joel Ward is coming on for Pompey with Kevin-Prince Boateng the man to make way.
Pompey almost get a goal here as Richard Dunne plays the ball off the referee and it falls to John Utaka who hammers his effort wide.
Stiliyan Petrov goes past David James in the area and leaves his foot in before going to ground. It looked like another penalty but again the referee says no.
Michael Brown's throw is flicked on by Papa Bouba Diop to Tommy Smith who heads over inside the Villa area.
Villa are getting plenty of balls in from the flanks but Pompey are still holding firm to combat the aerial threat Villa have.
Michael Brown picks out the run of Tommy Smith but Richard Dunne gets across to see the ball out of play which amazingly results in a goal kick despite the defender getting a clear touch.
Ashley Young whips a cross in from the right which Stewart Downing cannot direct into the net at the back post under pressure from Anthony Vanden Borre.
As predicted a change for Villa as Emile Heskey is coming on to replace John Carew in a like-for-like switch.
Villa put the ball out when John Utaka goes to ground a little to easily under pressure from James Collins when they should have played on.
Martin O'Neill might be thinking about making a change soon as Villa appear to be running out of ideas in pursuit of a goal.
Kevin-Prince Boateng has a shot at goal from around 30 yards but it is a routine catch for Brad Friedel.
Papa Bouba Diop gets a sight of goal from outside the area but hammers his effort over the Villa bar.
Tommy Smith, who is wearing a mask to protect his broken nose, is coming on for a tired looking Nwankwo Kanu.
Villa are still enjoying most of the possession as Stewart Downing over hits another pass out of play from the left.
Ashley Young lifts a corner in from the right which sees Kevin-Prince Boateng go down in the area with a knock to his head which sees play held up.
David James does well to deny James Milner who lets fly with a stinging drive while the offside Gabriel Agbonlahor hits the rebound wide of the post.
Villa continue to keep Pompey penned into their own area here but they cannot get that second goal.
It is still Villa having the lion share of possession as they desperately need the three points, but Pompey are holding them up.
Villa have another good penalty shout turned down as Ashley Young goes down under a tackle from Anthony Vanden Borre.
Michael Brown has another effort on goal and his shot deflects out for a corner down the left. It is played in quickly but Papa Bouba Diop cannot get his head to it.
Ashley Young does get a brilliant ball in from the left flank on his right foot but Gabriel Agbonlahor can only direct his header from close range straight at David James.
James Milner gets forward and creates an opening but he cannot find the sufficient power in his shot to trouble David James.
Ashley Young whips a dangerous looking ball into the area but it turns out to be neither a cross or shot and Pompey get a goal kick.
Like in the first half Pompey do look dangerous when they break and James Collins does well to block John Utaka's ball intended for Kevin-Prince Boateng.
Villa are enjoying a great spell here with five crosses in succession getting played into the Pompey area but the hosts survive.
James Milner plays in the overlapping Stephen Warnock down the left but the full-back's cross is poor and drops behind for a goal kick.
Stewart Downing whips the corner in from the left which is headed away by Aaron Mokoena.
Stewart Downing puts a cross in from the left which Marc Wilson heads away. His return ball is blocked for a corner.
The second half is underway and hopefully it will be as good as the opening 45 minutes in terms of chances created. Hopefully both sides will convert a few more of them this time.
HALF TIME PORTSMOUTH 1-1 ASTON VILLA: An entertaining first half comes to its conclusion with Michael Brown's first Pompey goal cancelled out by John Carew, who then missed a penalty and should have had a hat-trick.
Pompey break again and the ball runs across to Michael Brown whose effort is wide of the upright on this occasion.
Pompey win a corner down the left which is played out to Michael Brown who lifts it into the area but Kevin-Prince Boateng is stood in an offside position.
We are approaching the break and Villa must be wondering how they are not in front after dominating large spells of this half.
The Pompey fans are buzzing after that save, but Martin O'Neill will not be impressed at John Carew's timing to miss his first spot-kick in English football.
David James to the rescue in front of the watching England coach Fabio Capello as John Carew hammers his penalty at the goal but the Pompey keeper stands up well to beat it away.
Papa Bouba Diop foolishly tries to play his way out of his own area, before losing it and then he brings down John Carew trying to win it back as a penalty is awarded this time.
Villa are buzzing all over Pompey at the moment with some good build up play as Ashley Young pulls the ball back from the right by-line which is cleared by a blue shirt.
Anthony Vanden Borre looks to have brought down Gabriel Agbonlahor inside the penalty area but the referee opts to give Pompey a free kick.
Stewart Downing plays in the free kick which is just too high for James Collins and David James opts to punch it clear rather than risk making the catch.
Leonard Sowah fouls Ashley Young in a decent spot for a free kick to be whipped into the area.
Richard Dunne appears to go through the back of Kevin-Prince Boateng inside his own penalty area but nothing is given to Pompey.
The corner by Michael Brown is whipped into the heart of the Villa box but Stephen Warnock gets up high to head clear.
From the subsequent free kick Kevin-Prince Boateng whips the ball in and Brad Friedel finger tips it past his own post.
Amazingly we are half an hour into the game and we have the first foul by Richard Dunne on Kevin-Prince Boateng.
John Utaka gets in behind the Villa defence on the end of a good ball forward by Kevin-Prince Boateng but Brad Friedel does well to come out and get in a timely block.
Nwankwo Kanu is okay to continue and the action is back up and running.
Referee Lee Probert gives both sides time to draw breath as Nwankwo Kanu has taken a knock and needs treatment.
It has been a crazy opening quarter of this game going from end-to-end at a frenetic pace with both sides having decent chances to add to their tally.
Another dangerous ball into the Pompey area sees Nwankwo Kanu coolly chest the ball back to David James from close range.
Ashley Young whips another cross into the Pompey area and Marc Wilson is lucky to see the ball rebound off his shins and on to his own post as opposed to ending up in the net.
Nwankwo Kanu bursts into the area but he is blocked and the ball falls to John Utaka who weaves in an out of several challenges before Villa finally clear.
PORTSMOUTH 1-1 ASTON VILLA: Villa come forward and equalise as JOHN CAREW is given the time and space in the area to go past Marc Wilson then pick his spot and hit a shot high into the Pompey net past David James.
John Carew hits an effort from outside the area which David James acrobatically dives to save.
Gabriel Agbonlahor does very well down the left side of the area as he hits a shot which falls perfectly for John Carew whose first time shot hits an unkowing David James before rebounding clear.
Stewart Downing cuts inside Michael Brown and hits a low shot with his favoured left-foot which David James gets down well to save.
There were suggestions of a foul on Villa player Gabby Agbonlahor in the build up to that goal but the home side won't mind. Martin O'Neill will not be impressed though.
PORTSMOUTH 1-0 ASTON VILLA: A great goal by Pompey as Anthony Vanden Borre crosses from the right by line, Kevin-Prince Boateng lets it go through his legs and MICHAEL BROWN hammers a low shot beyond Brad Friedel for his first goal for the club.
Carlos Cuellar gets forward from defence with Marc Wilson clearing his first cross and then Anthony Vanden Borre doing like wise moments later.
A lively opening few minutes here and, bearing in mind it ended up 4-2 to Villa in the League Cup here earlier in the season, we could be in for some goals again today.
Pompey almost score now as a cross from the right lands at the feet of Kevin-Prince Boateng but Brad Friedel rushes out to make a great save. The loose ball is knocked towards the goal by Nwankwo Kanu and Villa hack it clear.
Gabriel Agbonlahor wins a corner off Papa Bouba Diop. It is taken quickly by Ashley Young but Pompey cut out the ball across the edge of the area. It's been a good start by Villa.
Michael Brown makes a mess of a clearance and it hands a chance to Stewart Downing whose effort is blocked for a very early corner. Ashley Young plays it in but David James makes the catch.
The action is underway at Fratton Park with FA Cup finalists Pompey playing for pride following confirmation of their relegation from the Premier League last weekend. Villa are still in the hunt for European qualification so this is a must-win game.
Aston Villa starting XI: Friedel, Cuellar, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Ashley Young, Milner, Petrov, Downing, Carew, Agbonlahor.
Aston Villa boss Martin ONeill sticks with the same team that drew 2-2 with Everton on Wednesday. Nigel Reo-Coker has shaken off an ankle injury to make the bench for the first time since January.
Portsmouth starting XI: James, Vanden Borre, Mokoena, Wilson, Sowah, Diop, Yebda, Brown, Boateng, Kanu, Utaka.
Pompey boss Avram Grant also hands a first start to 18-year-old academy defender Leonard Sowa. However with Frederic Piquionne the latest to join the injured list, there will be just six players on the bench.
David James, Aaron Mokoena, Hassan Yebda, Kanu and FA Cup semi-final hero Kevin Prince Boateng all return to the Portsmouth side for the visit of Aston Villa to Fratton Park.
Portsmouth face Aston Villa at 4pm on Sunday, April 18th.
Portsmouth have endured what can only be described as an horrific season, both on and off the pitch, but despite their relegation to the Championship, Avram Grant's side will still finish the season off in style courtesy of an FA Cup final appearance against Chelsea.
However, before that, they still have to play out their league engagements, and on Sunday Pompey host Aston Villa, a side who have seen their form fade since the turn of the year.
Indeed, Martin O'Neill's side have drawn eight of their last 13 league fixtures and have managed just one win in five. The Villans do boast a solid backline, however, and have kept an impressive six clean sheets in their last nine away matches in the league.
Pompey's own recent form has also been poor, with the south coast side failing to score in each of their last four league games and enjoying just one win in seven.
The sides have already met at Fratton Park this season, when the visitors won 4-2 in a Carling Cup quarter-final game back in December and Pompey's form in recent league clashes won't fill them with confidence either.
Indeed, the Solent side have failed to score in their last three Premier League games against Villa while they have enjoyed only two wins in six league encounters with the Villans at Fratton Park.
Pompey will face Villa without the services of the long-term injured Danny Webber and Hermann Hreidarsson, while Nadir Belhadj and Tal Ben Haim remain doubts.
Pompey boss Grant defended his team selection in the midweek draw against Wigan, in which he named only four subs and gave debuts to two teenagers.
"The Premier League need not say anything about Portsmouth," he said. "They need to give us an award because we are playing as we play with a lot of injuries - it is not ideal for us."
Villa, on the other hand, should travel south with a fully fit squad but after their midweek draw with Everton, manager O'Neill feels that European qualification will be a big ask.
Super sub Nathan Delfouneso came off the bench to bag his first Premier League goal and lead European hopefuls Aston Villa to a crucial 2-1 win at bottom club Portsmouth.
Delfouneso struck eight minutes from time as Villa came from behind to keep alive their faint hopes of grabbing a Champions League place and moved further clear of Europa League rivals Everton.
FA Cup finalists Portsmouth, without 12 senior players, could have taken the lead after only four minutes.
Kevin-Prince Boateng was given too much freedom to bring down John Utaka's cross and Brad Friedel did superbly to spread himself and keep out the close-range shot with his chest.
Already relegated Pompey did find themselves in front four minutes later.
Anthony Vanden Borre got the better of Stephen Warnock down the right and his cross found its way to Michael Brown, who fired into the left corner from 15 yards out for his first goal in nearly six years.
John Carew drew Villa level just six minutes later when he was allowed to run on to Warnock's long through ball and brush aside Marc Wilson, before firing into the roof of the net from six yards.
Villa came agonisingly close to taking the lead soon after as Wilson headed against his own post in trying to clear Ashley Young's teasing centre.
Friedel then made another terrific save to fingertip behind Boateng's free-kick curler 14 minutes before half-time.
Carew passed up the chance to score a second four minutes before half-time when his penalty was saved by David James, after the Norwegian had been bundled over by Papa Bouba Diop.
James thwarted his old club once more in the 55th minute, flying to his right to keep out Gabriel Agbonlahor's header from another Young cross.
Villa could have had a penalty when Stiliyan Petrov looked to be tripped by James after rounding the England goalkeeper, but referee Lee Probert waived away their appeals.
Just as it looked like Martin O'Neill's side were losing more ground on their European rivals, Delfouneso popped up to poke home Emile Heskey's flick-on from James Milner's cross.
Shots off target