Premier League Era: The Top 25 (10-6)
The best matches, players and goals of Pompey's Premier League era. Thursday promises to be a big day in the modern history of Portsmouth FC, with a CVA to be decided on and maybe even a new manager appointed. Until then, it's time to count down the top 10 of Pompey's best Premier League games, players and goals. It sure is serious business now!TOP 25 MATCHES (10-6)#10: Portsmouth 1 Manchester United 0 (17th April 2004)As Harry Redknapp said: "It's not often you beat Manchester United. They are a special team and a special club."Pompey had just started to gain some momentum on a run to Premiership survival but nobody gave us much of a chance against United, despite them missing a few players.But the Blues dug in, defended for their lives and Steve Stone capitalised on a Gary Neville error in the first half to send Fratton Park crazy. Alex Ferguson's men created plenty more chances and Matt Taylor got away with a handball.It was tense, but Pompey survived and recorded their first big result against the biggest club in the country, virtually securing their Premiership status at the same time. The victory against Liverpool earlier in the season was great, but there aren't too many feelings better in football than beating Manchester United.#9: Portsmouth 2 Aston Villa 1 (16th August 2003)I don't remember Pompey's last time in the top flight as I was only a mere toddler at the time, and growing up I never thought I would see Pompey play in the Premier League.But after that famous 1-0 victory over Burnley, the dream had become a reality and that reality was realised when Pompey walked out side-by-side with an established top flight club in Aston Villa as Fratton Park hosted its first top flight fixture since 1988.It couldn't have gone much better either, as Teddy Sheringham opened the scoring after Sorenson had saved Yakubu's initial shot and then Patrik Berger doubled the lead with a goal of top quality in the second half.Pompey were in control of the game but had to endure a nervy finish after Zivkovic tripped Gareth Barry in the area and he scored the resulting penalty. Barry was sent off for swearing just minutes later and the home side held on for a memorable victory.Jubilant fans left Fratton Park that day knowing that Pompey could mix it with the big boys, but could never have predicted the events of the next seven years to come.#8: Vitoria Guimaraes 2 Portsmouth 2 (UEFA Cup - 2nd October 2008)This one may be slightly higher than it should be due to my own personal experiences, but this is the best away day I have ever had and it will take a lot to beat it.The Portuguese in both Porto and Guimaraes were so welcoming and provided some great entertainment. (I shall never forget the students singing "Stand up if you hate the scum!")As for the game itself, Pompey took a two goal lead to the Estadio D. Afonso Henriques but in typical Pompey fashion, they soon let it slip after Douglas and Joao Alves scored twice in the first half.Pompey improved in the second half but neither side could find a winner and so the game went to extra time where the first half was also goalless. The second half was much different, however...The tie would become the first ever to start on one day and end in the next thanks to the second half of extra time. The Guimaraes fans were celebrating but their goal was ruled out for offside and then Peter Crouch headed in Johnson's cross to send the travelling Pompey fans absolutely mental!Crouch struck a second goal to seal a memorable evening in Portugal, one that no Pompey fan who was there will ever forget.#7: Portsmouth 1 Southampton 0 (21st March 2004)Oh, how sweet this was! Pompey's first home game against their arch rivals since 1987 and it was one we needed to win as we were in some poor form and in the relegation zone at the time.It wasn't a great game as Yakubu missed plenty of chances, but we were up for this, Southampton weren't and the Nigerian made the breakthrough in the 68th minute to spark wild celebrations at Fratton Park.The hearts of every Pompey fan must have leapt out of their throat when Kevin Phillips hit the woodwork with a last-gasp strike but victory was ours and it sparked a run that eventually saw Pompey safe.#6: Southampton 1 Portsmouth 4 (FA Cup - 13th February 2009)All that I've had to say about this game has already been said, so simply treat yourselves to this YouTube video and the memories will come flooding back!TOP 25 PLAYERS (10-6)#10: Pedro MendesPedro may be a cult hero at Pompey for his long range strikes but he had more than that in his locker. He was one of the best technical players I have seen at Fratton Park, could pick out a pass and could even get stuck in when needed.Unfortunately, he wasn't quite the same player after the Ben Thatcher incident, but he still made his contribution to the Pompey cause and will always be remembered for that goal.#9: Nwankwo KanuThere were a fair few fans who were outraged when Harry Redknapp signed the supposed "past it" Kanu. However, after scoring twice on his debut against Blackburn and being the top scorer in the 2006/2007 season, the fans soon saw just how good he was.But King Kanu's crowning moment was obviously his FA Cup winning goal against Cardiff, having scored the semi-final winner at Wembley too. At 62, he still has the skill to make a mockery of Premier League defenders but hopefully he'll stay with us in the Championship.#8: Sylvain DistinMaybe a slightly controversial choice, but despite his rough patch of form in the 2008/2009 season, he was a superb defender for us in the rest of his time at the club, and played an integral part in the FA Cup winning side.Often under-stated, the Frenchman was gifted with pace, tackling ability and an aerial dominance. He struck up a rock solid defensive partnership with Sol Campbell and all Pompey fans wondered why he had never been called up to the national side.He is still doing the business at Everton, though is coming into the twilight of his career now.#7: Matthew TaylorI often wonder if Matty Taylor had his left foot insured. After all, it delivered many a dangerous cross, won many a clean tackle and scored many a outstanding goal.This left boot combined with plenty of effort meant he was instantly established as a fans' favourite and he would be higher on this list if it wasn't for some costly defensive errors he made during his time at the club.#6: Linvoy PrimusI'll probably take some stick for placing a legend such as Linvoy below some of the other players on this list, but if he played more during our time in the Premier League then he would be higher.When he wasn't out of favour or injured, Linvoy was the committed colossus that we were all familiar with and yet never won too many plaudits outside of Portsmouth.He's now Pompey's ambassador and rightfully so, but in my opinion there were five better players to wear the royal blue during Pompey's Premier League era.TOP 25 GOALS (10-6)#10: Lomana LuaLua (2nd Goal) vs Southampton (H) (24th April 2005)The Southampton defence were all at sea, allowing LuaLua to strike the killing blow on the Scummers thanks to this wonderful strike that bounced nicely off the post before finding the net. What made this goal even more remarkable was that Lomana was playing with a hamstring injury at the time and still managed to pull this off!#9: Matthew Taylor vs Arsenal (A) (16th December 2006)The ball had set up nicely for Taylor after David Thompson's shot was blocked, but it still takes incredible technique to time a half-volley to such perfection that it loops over the goalkeeper and into the top corner of the net. The fact the goal put us 2-0 up at Arsenal just made it even sweeter!#8: Sulley Muntari (2nd Goal) vs Aston Villa (A) (8th December 2007)The Ghanian robbed Nigel Reo-Coker of the ball on the halfway line before nutmegging Zat Knight and unleashing another thunderbolt past the helpless Scott Carson. The first of his goals in this game was good but this was simply stunning!#7: Andres D'Alessandro vs Charlton (A) (17th April 2006)I still remember shouting "What are you doing shooting from there!?" at The Valley when the little skilful Argentinian had tricked his way past a couple of Charlton defenders. The angle looked near enough impossible, but the ball sailed into the top corner of the net and I was eating yet another slice of humble pie.#6: Matthew Taylor (2nd Goal) vs Sunderland (A) (29th October 2005)Having scored a ridiculous first goal after a mix up in the Sunderland defence, the second goal was an outrageous half-volley over Kelvin Davis from very long range. Nobody thought Taylor would score a goal from further distance than that. They were wrong.
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