Dindane treble raises the dead at Portsmouth

Portsmouth 4 Wigan Athletic 0
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The Independent Online

Trick or treat? This season has been one long horror show for Portsmouth but a look at the scoreline tells you this was pure delight for all concerned on the south coast. Wigan simply took fright at the pace and power of the Portsmouth forwards, Frederic Piquionne and the on-loan Aruna Dindane, with the latter scoring a hat-trick, his first goals of the season.

This was also Pompey's first win at home in the Premier League this season. Clearly, it helps when you get paid.

The club's latest owner, Ali al-Faraj, arranged a loan on Friday with a Hong Kong businessman for £15 million to cover the wages for October but he did not witness the latest step forward in Pompey's revival. Maybe he should stay away for good, as he also missed the 4-0 thrashing of Stoke in midweek that put the club into the last eight of the Carling Cup – and a home tie with Aston Villa.

For those interested in the slightly ghoulish at this time of year there was Sulaiman al Fahim in attendance – he of the failed takeover in September – but even his presence couldn't take the gloss off the occasion.

By their own standards Portsmouth enjoyed a relatively quiet week. It was Wigan feeling the heat, after quotes emerged from an interview in Spain by Roberto Martinez, where the Wigan manager said that a clique of his peers was ganging up on Rafael Benitez, the Liverpool manager. Added to that, their striker Marlon King was jailed for assault.

Martinez did not want to use any of that as a reason for this embarrassing collapse. He said: "There was no distraction with the interview and Marlon going to jail – that's not ideal, nor an excuse for the way that we performed."

It took until 10 minutes before the interval for the dam to break when Dindane, 28, ran on to Michael Brown's pass and curled his shot around Chris Kirkland. The second came on the stroke of half-time when Dindane, a strike partner for Didier Drogba with the Ivory Coast, found Piquionne, who drilled his shot between Kirkland's legs.

The third killed off Wigan's feeble challenge, with an example of hard work that Wigan should learn from. Hassan Yebda stopped the ball from going out of play and found Jamie O'Hara who passed to Nwankwo Kanu. His pass was tapped in by Dindane, who is on loan for the season from the French club Lens.

Paul Hart, the home manager, was not surprised by Dindane's contribution. He said: "His performance has been just the same as other days but he turned it into goals. He's strong and causes untold problems for their defenders."

The rout was complete when Kanu lured Emmerson Boyce into tripping him and Dindane converted the penalty for his personal Halloween treat.

Attendance: 18,212

Referee: A Wiley

Man of the match: Dindane

Match rating: 6/10

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