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Ade Goal Punishes Impotent Pompey

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Manchester City

Fratton Park

Sunday 30th August 2009, 1.30pm

Attendance: 17,826


Manchester City made it three wins out of three while Adebayor made it three goals in three games against a struggling Portsmouth side at Fratton Park.

The Togo international powered a header past Pompeys stand-in keeper after a Gareth Barry corner to give the visitors another win and crucially, another away win which equals the total of City's away wins last season already.

Micah Richards should have killed the game off with his goal but another terrible decision by a linesman cost him his glory. Unfortunately for Richards, he hobbled off in the second-half with what looked like a knee injury to add to his woe.

With Portsmouth's recent takeover completed, Sulaiman Al-Fahim- the man who initially headed ADUG's takeover of City, was at the match to see his newly aquired Pompey side take on the club headed by his United Arab Emirates counterparts, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Khaldoon Al Mubarak respectively.

Manchester City came out onto the pitch wearing their brand new third-kit, keeping Manchester at the hub of fashion for another year. There was just time for a warm handshake between Al-Fahim and Garry Cook before the whistle blew and the match had begun.

It is fair to say that in the opening spell of the game, City struggled to find their rhythm, Portsmouth able to maintain posession for long spells, although never really threatening the opposition back-line.

On loan Lyon man Frederic Piquionne had the first and only real opportunity of the half for the home-side, his shot harmlessly smashing into the side netting.

As the game approached the half-hour mark, City were settling down and looked comfortable in posession. On the 30 minute mark Adebayor broke the deadlock, heading home from a set-piece to cap a wonderful start to the strikers new career.

The impressive Gareth Barry took the credit for the assist, floating in a perfectly weighted ball from the corner flag, Adebayor losing his marker easily to rise above the Pompey defence and power a header past Begovic to give City the lead.

Paul Hart's side responded well to the goal and had a brief spell of posession, unable however to penetrate the opposition back line.

City settled down again and right-back Micah Richards should have doubled the visitors' lead after slotting home a low cross from Welsh international Craig Bellamy.

The goal was ruled out for offside, although replays showed that Richards was a good few yards on-side. On another day, that poor decision by the linesman could have cost us vital points.

The first-half fizzled out to a close, neither side able to create any further opportunities.

Half-time: Portsmouth 0 Manchester City 1

After half-time, Portsmouth managed to get themselves further into the game while Manchester City looked a little drained after their midweek Carling Cup clash.

Adebayor managed to stay lively up-front, his skills causing the south-coast side constant problems throughout the day. The imposing front-man almost carved out a second goal in the 53rd minute, Begovic making a diving save to deny him yet another.

As the game approached the hour mark, Richards went down with an knee injury to cause concern to Hughes. He was replaced by no-nonsence Argentine Pablo Zabaleta, the quality of City's bench undeniably good.

After that, City's rhythm was broken and Paul Hart's side looked to get back into the game as they attempted to break down the visitors. Chances for Hayden Mullins and Younes Kaboul signalled Pompey's intent, but the quality was lacking.

In the 77th minute, Hughes replaced Ireland with De Jong in a bid to combat the home sides increasing dominance.

Kanu had a chance wide of the post and late in the game David Nugent capped of Portsmouth's pityful attack with a shot which really should have hit the back of the net.

Nugent cut inside a City defender to have a clean strike on goal, his effort finding the big frame of Shay Given to deny a point, the Irishman City's saviour once again.

Mark Hughes' side were certainly not at their best against a depleted Pompey side, but they came away with the right result and an away win can never be taken for granted.

Full-time: Portsmouth 0 Manchester City 1

Goals: Adebayor 30' (Manchester City)

Portsmouth: Begovic, Kaboul, Vanden Borre, Belhadj, Mokoena, Mullins, Brown, Kranjcar, Hughes, Piquionne, Smith.

Subs: Ashdown, Hreidarsson, Ward, Utaka, Basinas, Nugent, Kanu.

Manchester City: Given, Richards, Bridge, Lescott, Toure, Ireland, Wright-Phillips, Barry, Adebayor, Tevez, Bellamy.

Subs: Taylor, Onuoha, Zabaleta, Petrov, De Jong, Weiss, Robinho.

Referee: Howard Webb

Star Player

Gareth Barry: The former Villa man was at his best again today and crucially helped a lacklustre City side maintain their lead.

Barry held his own in front of his sides new centre-back partnership of Kolo Toure and Joleon Lescott, breaking up Portsmouth attacks with some superb intercepions.

Going forward, the England international was just as effective, his corner kick the assist for Adebayor's winner.

Date:Sunday August 30 2009
Time: 3:39PM

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I thought Barry was outstanding. Has to be one of the worst Pompey sides we've seen in a good few years, but disorganised as they were, they still had to be contained. City did enough, and despite not exploring all our options, it's another important away win at a place we have often failed at.
Johnny Baguette
30/08/2009 15:46:00
Three wins on the bounce -- Fourth in the Premiership -- and seven and a half hours of football since Shay Given conceded a goal. Great!
30/08/2009 15:50:00
We won but we need to start being more decisive in front of goal as this will cost us sooner rather than later. Probably against Arsenal or United in the next 2 games unless we improve in front of goal.
30/08/2009 16:01:00
Well played fellas. I thought you were very industrial and clearly geared up to play differently away from home. If we had any kind of threat in us, I could see us sneaking a goal but otherwise it's another 3 points for you on the road and it helps to build the confidence. Good luck for the rest of the season.
30/08/2009 16:23:00
P.S. Loved the kit. Best dressed Premiership team by far.
30/08/2009 16:24:00
Thanks stillthewhizz, Pompey did well to snub out our danger men and although you lost you showed that Fratton Park is a difficult place to come and take a point from- something which will stand you in good stead for the remainder of the season. Belhadj and Vanden Borre looked impressive although you probably need a few more players in before the window shuts if you want to finish mid-table again. Hope theres still time- good luck.
30/08/2009 17:10:00
Thoroughly enjoyed the game. Not taking anything away from you, but I thought we were unlucky not to take a point from the game. Ah well, hope you break the top four this year and good luck to you.
30/08/2009 17:20:00
Gandor 1 - What about our goal that the linesman incorrectly flagged offside and we also had 2 strong penalty shouts turned away.
30/08/2009 17:32:00
We won today, in a game that that in years gone by we would most probably have lost, which is something that normally happens at Fratton pk... so lets enjoy the win be it only marginal as a 1-0 is just as good as 5-0 or 6-0 as you still only get cheer up blues...
30/08/2009 18:56:00
As you know our team has been stripped apart in the last 8 months. Congrats on your win and start to the season. With what team we had we gave a spirited performance,just lacked the punch to bother your defence. Adebayor was a problem for us throughout the game and will be a problem for most prem defences. Good luck with your season we will improve ours.
30/08/2009 20:15:00
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