Portsmouth 0-1 Manchester City: Emmanuel Adebayor Settles It For City

Tevez Man City

Portsmouth slipped to their fourth consecutive Premier League defeat as Manchester City continued their 100 percent start in the league.

Portsmouth showed promise with long balls on the counter in the first half, with Frederic Picquionne exhibiting a good turn of pace in the channels. But it was Manchester City that took control of the game after a slow start, showing quality on set pieces.

After opening the scoring in the first half, City became increasingly dominant in the second. Portsmouth created a few chances towards the end of the game, the best of which was a solo effort by John Utaka. Despite a few Pompey chances at the end, the three points always looked safe for City.

It was Portsmouth who had the first attack of the game with a long ball forward from the back chased by Picquionne in the 6th minute. The New Caledonian forward was quicker than the defenders but the ball was a little heavy and rolled through to Shay Given. The ex-Newcastle ‘keeper was forced to clear under Picquionne’s pressure.

Picquionne was involved in the next meaningful action in the 11th minute, as he latched onto a pass from midfield. He showed got movement and let the ball run across his body, shooting from the edge of the box he hit the side-netting at the right-hand post. He was put under good pressure by captain Kolo Toure.Richard Hughes gave the ball away sloppily as his pass was intercepted by Stephen Ireland. The Citizen skipped past Hughes and was brought down, winning a free-kick 30 yards from goal. Carlos Tevez stepped up and curled a shot just wide of the left post.

Emmanuel Adebayor was fouled on the right flank in a dangerous position and the ball was crossed into the box from the resulting free-kick. Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic came to collect but collapsed under a challenge from Joleon Lescott. The floored ‘keeper managed to recover and claw the ball away from the feet of a Citizen, and the ball was cleared.

Manchester City opened the scoring goal from a corner on the right. Gareth Barry crossed towards the six yard box, as

Adebayor strolled past his marker Aaron Mokeona. The Togoan was allowed to get a running jump unchallenged and scored easily with his header from close range, 1-0 to the Citizens with half an hour played.

City had the ball in the net a second time before the half was finished. Carlos Tevez fed Craig Bellamy into the channel on the left and the Welshman slid the ball across the face of the box at pace. Micah Richards arrived and smashed the ball into the net at the back post.

The goal didn’t stand, as the assistant incorrectly flagged for offside. Gareth Barry was stood in an offside position at the back post, but didn’t interfere with play. Still 1-0 to Manchester City.

The second half started with Michael Brown winning a ricochet in midfield and then running at the Manchester City defence. He cut inside the last defender and hit the ball towards the middle of the goal and rippled the back of the net.

Unfortunately for Brown he had won the ball through a hand ball, with the ball being kicked off his arm to release Brown on his run. The referee had blown multiple times before Brown put the ball in the net, still 1-0 to City.

The Citizens then won a free-kick on the left, just outside the box, after a foul on Adebayor. Bellamy hit a stinging shot towards goal and Younes Kaboul did well to direct the ball over the cross-bar with his head. Begovic cleared the danger from Barry’s resultant corner.

Adebayor was clearly enjoying himself, showing a wonderful piece of skill to pass two Portsmouth defenders and advance into the left-hand side of the box. The Togoan then struck the ball powerfully but his shot was straight at Begovic and the ‘keeper saved easily.

Bellamy almost engineered an opening in the 63rd minute, driving in from the left flank he exchanged passes with Adebayor and charged into the penalty area. The ex-Arsenal forward’s pass was loose and over-hit, allowing Begovic to come off his line and collect comfortably.

Portsmouth created a decent chance at the other end, Tommy Smith found space in the right-hand channel and floated a ball towards the back post. Toure did well to provide a clearing header at the far post with Niko Kranjcar lurking.

Bellamy became increasingly prominent, breaking with pace on multiple occassions down the left flank. He was robbed in possession in the 74th minute, and the ball fell to Kaboul who tried his luck from range. The Frenchman’s shot was powerful but it was watched over the cross-bar by Given.

Substitute John Utaka had a sensational effort on goal 3 minutes later. Picking the ball up in the right-hand side of the box, he cut back onto his left foot and unleashed a rasping drive that flew inches past the far top-corner and beyond the outstretched fingertips of Given.

Hughes had a snapshot on goal for Portsmouth, the ball was knocked down in the penalty area by Mokeona but the Scottish midfielder lashed at the shot and sent it high over the bar. It capped off a poor performance by the Glaswegian.

David Nugent had a glorious opportunity to win a point for his side, moments after coming off the bench for his side. The Englishman did well to control on his chest after a ball over the top of the City defence, but Nugent hit his shot into the ground and it bounced straight into the chest of Given from close range. Nugent should have scored.

In the end, Portsmouth couldn’t get the equaliser they needed and Manchester City maintained their 100 percent record, with three wins and three clean sheets in as many games.


~ by footballdirecta on August 30, 2009.

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