Ten-man Pompey hang on to delay the drop
Portsmouth 0 Blackburn Rovers 0
Sunday 04 April 2010
Portsmouth live for another day, but Anthony Vanden Borre's sending-off means their manager, Avram Grant, has even fewer players to choose from for their FA Cup semi-final date with Tottenham next weekend.
It was Hull City's loss to Stoke that ensured Portsmouth's survival until at least when West Ham take on Everton, where a win for the east London side will confirm relegation for Grant's team. Not that he cares when it happens. He said: "It doesn't matter. We knew we were down once they took the nine points from us. The Premier League made the decision in January but they did not tell us until four weeks ago. But we fight another day and today was another fight."
In a game played in heavy rain Portsmouth should have finished proud of their efforts. Jamie O'Hara was indispensable, first clearing Phil Jones's early effort off the line before being denied a goal of his own by Rovers' goalkeeper Paul Robinson.
Grant will miss the Tottenham loan midfielder in next week's FA Cup semi-final as he is unable to play against his parent club, and the Portsmouth manager's frustration at being unable to field the best player left at the club – plus the 11 he has out injured – is made worse by the fact that Vanden Borre ruled himself out of the Wembley match with his silly sending-off. Even here Grant was unable to field a full complement of substitutes, with Frédéric Piquionne the only senior player among the six on the bench.
On the red card Grant called for "common sense" to prevail, although the Belgian looked to have handled the ball having been booked for a vicious challenge on Steven Nzonzi.
Portsmouth dealt with Rovers admirably, with Aaron Mokoena, in an unfamiliar central defensive role, doing a great job of frustrating Jason Roberts and El-Hadji Diouf in front of goal. Not that Portsmouth had many sights of the opposition goal. Aside from O'Hara's effort, Kanu's late attempt was their only notable chance.
The Blackburn manager, Sam Allardyce, admitted his side may already be in holiday mode, as they are guaranteed safety, rueing the fact that they had many chances to win the game. He said: "It was very much the order of our season, that we had that many chances against a side with a lot of injuries and down to 10 men. It is still a point, but throwing away two points was a real disappointment."
Referee: Steve Bennett
Man of the match: O'Hara
Match rating: 6/10
Latest in Sport
Pornhub: Cheeky Liverpool fan uploads Philippe Coutinho wonder-goal video to adult website
Liverpool injury news: Brendan Rodgers could be without up to seven players for Burnley game... as Jordon Ibe posts picture of knee brace
Arsenal shareholders Stan Kroenke, Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri appear on Forbes' rich list - with a combined net worth of £14.9bn
Watch the moment a basketball player reassures a small boy after a mass brawl erupted on court
Jon Stewart brings The Daily Show to WWE Raw as Seth Rollins pays the price for feud with TV presenter
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin