Portsmouth clinch crucial three-points
Portsmouth 2 Burnley 0
Saturday 05 December 2009
Portsmouth striker Aruna Dindane made up for a pitiful penalty miss to help his side to a 2-0 Barclays Premier League win over Burnley, as Avram Grant picked up his first points as manager.
Hermann Hreidarsson fired the South Coast club ahead after 65 minutes, thanks to a brilliant ball from substitute Kanu.
Dindane wasted a spot-kick, and a presentable rebound chance, after half an hour but made no mistake when he sealed Pompey's third win of the season from Jamie O'Hara's pinpoint cross after 83 minutes.
Most of Portsmouth's attacking threat came from a free-roaming Kevin-Prince Boateng.
The Ghana international was the first home player to test Burnley keeper Brian Jensen after seven minutes, when he drove in a vicious shot from 25 yards.
The Dane fumbled it but none of Boateng's team mates followed up for the rebound.
Burnley's best early attempt came from a deflected Robbie Blake free-kick after 15 minutes, which was comfortably taken by Asmir Begovic, who covered for the injured David James.
Steven Fletcher had a much better chance to open the scoring for the Clarets three minutes later when Wade Elliott raced forward and crossed from the right.
Fletcher took the ball on the chest beautifully but his shot was scuffed tamely wide.
Portsmouth then blew a huge chance to take charge when they were awarded a penalty after 31 minutes.
Tommy Smith's cross from the right of the box was taken down by Iceland international Hreidarsson, who went down softly under pressure from Burnley midfielder Elliott as he went to shoot.
Referee Phil Dowd harshly awarded a spot-kick and, surprisingly, Dindane stepped forward instead of usual taker Boateng.
The on-loan hitman hit a lacksadaisical effort right at Jensen, who parried it away easily.
Dindane followed up with an equally tame header but the Dane gathered, as the Ivorian was roundly booed for his efforts by the home fans.
Burnley came close to stealing ahead after 54 minutes, when Kevin McDonald's rasping shot from 25 yards out was well tipped over the bar by Begovic.
McDonald nearly slotted in Fletcher a minute later, but the Clarets number nine fired across the face of goal.
Boateng continue to make Portsmouth tick in the Burnley half, but his frustrations boiled over on the hour mark, when he was given a cheap yellow card for dissent after throwing the ball away when caught offside.
A speculative effort from Burnley hitman Fletcher came close to beating Begovic after 63 minutes.
His delightful dipping shot from 25 yards was well turned around the post.
This was before Pompey finally made the most of the dominance after 65 minutes to take charge.
Boateng found substitute Kanu, who came on for Smith, and the Nigerian slotted a clever ball to the onrushing Hreidarsson.
The big Icelander just beat the offside and slotted a cool finish across Jensen.
Kanu's clearly made a huge difference to Avram Grant's side and the former Arsenal forward fashioned a stunning opening for Boateng on the left-hand side of the box after 70 minutes.
But the ex-Spurs midfielder pulled his attempt wide of Jensen's near post.
Burnley never seriously threatened to pull level and Dindane made the points safe with seven minutes remaining.
The striker won his side a free kick on the left of the Burnley box with a slightly theatrical dive under pressure from Tyrone Mears.
After taking a short free kick to Hreidarsson, O'Hara swung the ball deep to the far post and Dindane netted with a beautiful downward header.
That ensured Grant his first win as Pompey boss and left the Clarets with just one point from eight games on the road this term.
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