The relief was obvious, not least for Aruna Dindane. In the home defeat against Tottenham a fortnight ago, the Ivory Coast international had spurned a number of chances that could have earned Portsmouth at least a point. On Saturday he scored a hat-trick, his first Premier League goals of the season, and secured Pompey's first home league win of the season. Upon scoring his third, he knelt down on the pitch and crossed himself in thanks. The home fans – and his manager, Paul Hart – were just as grateful.
Defender Younes Kaboul summed it up. He said: "Finally we won at home, but it's hard when you're bottom. Every day is hard. But when you win like this, 4-0, you are simply happy. We just have to continue like this."
Although Pompey are still bottom, Blackburn Rovers are now catchable as the first team just outside the relegation zone. Portsmouth's next opponents on Saturday are Sam Allardyce's vulnerable-looking side.
Pompey's chances of staying up have improved steadily over the past four weeks. They have now lost just one of their past four league matches. Having strikers that can score certainly helps and finally Dindane and Frédéric Piquionne lived up to their job description.
The pair are on loan, from French clubs Lens and Lyons respectively, although prior to this last week the quality of their misses had been higher than that of their finishing. But all that changed, first for Piquionne in the Carling Cup win against Stoke and on Saturday for Dindane. He broke his duck with a neat curled shot around Chris Kirkland. It was the first league goal scored at Fratton Park this season by a forward. On Halloween night, that was a truly shocking statistic.
While it has been a season to forget, up to now, for Portsmouth, Saturday saw the culmination of Wigan's week of woe. First, Roberto Martinez was quoted as saying some managers were ganging up on Rafael Benitez, of Liverpool. The Wigan manager said some of his quotes were "made up", and he "will be taking advice." Then Marlon King, the Wigan striker, was jailed for assault.
Martinez tried to ignore the possible effects of those incidents on his team, who collapsed in the second half, after Piquionne's well-taken goal on the stroke of half-time.
Dindane, 29 later this month, then tapped home Kanu's pass at the far post and he was handed the ball for his hat-trick after Kanu had been tripped. Dindane coolly sent Kirkland the wrong way. Portsmouth, on the other hand, look to be on the right direction at last.
Portsmouth (4-4-2): James; Finnan (Belhadj, 57), Kaboul, Wilson, Ben Haim; Yebda (Mullins, 85), Brown, Boateng, O'Hara; Piquionne (Kanu, 57), Dindane Substitutes not used: Ashdown (gk), Mokoena, Webber, Smith.
Wigan Athletic (4-2-3-1): Kirkland; Melchiot, Bramble, Boyce, N'Zogbia; Diame, Thomas; Sinclair, Scharner (Gomez, 59), Rodallega (Kapo, 59); Scotland Substitutes not used: Pollitt (gk), Amaya, Cho, De Ridder, McCarthy.
Referee: A Wiley (Staffordshire).
Booked: Wigan Thomas.
Man of the Match: Dindane.
Attendance: 18,212Reuse content