Wigan had scored just five times on their travels, a reminder to Paul Jewell and his men that, despite a fine start to the season, improvements were needed. Portsmouth had made their worst start to a Premiership season, and were still without a win at home. Despite last week's 4-1 away win over Sunderland they urgently needed a resilient display to settle the agitated nerves of their fans. Against a side looking for their fourth consecutive away win, little was expected.
Both managers, however, would have been unimpressed by a distinct lack of effort from their respective sides in a drab first half devoid of any real action. The Uruguayan international Dario Silva, playing in a lone striking role, had Portsmouth's best chance, nearly looping his header over John Filan on 13 minutes after a long ball from the wing-back Gregory Vignal. The ball, however, landed just over the crossbar.
Wigan, too, were looking sluggish and uninterested, and clearly in need of a creative outlet. At times they were out-muscled by Portsmouth, at others outplayed. The home side grew in confidence and played some attractive football with the intelligent Silva at the heart of much of it.
Two minutes into the second half, however, all of Portsmouth's hard work unravelled as Jimmy Bullard's inswinging corner found Pascal Chimbonda, who scored with a powerful header.
Portsmouth wilted and on 80 minutes, Wigan sealed the points. Chimbonda set up Jason Roberts, who coolly slotted underneath Jamie Ashdown in the Portsmouth goal.
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