Newcastle United (1) vs Portsmouth (4)

English Premier League, November 3, 2007
Sol Campbell (15′ o.g) – Pamarot (8′), Benjani (9), Utaka (11), Kranjar (70)

Sam Allardyce makes five changes to the side that was beaten at Reading for Saturday's visit of Portsmouth. Steve Harper coming in for his seventh start to replace the injured again Given (groin).

Interestingly, Big Sam also make a recall to Steven Taylor into the Magpies back-four while Beye are not even made into the bench. In midfield Nicky Butt, Charles N'Zogbia, Joey Barton and James Milner in the starting XI.

Oba Martins give his place Alan Smith for a first start partnering Michael Owen infront. Nicky Butt takes the captain's armband in the absence of Geremi.

The game was a bit shocking for the homeside as the visitor denies to give up the game easily. They get an attacking ways since the kick-off. And, it cause the worst thing for Newcastle United.

The visitors quickly wrapped up 3 goals in the space of three minutes! Two of them are coming in just a minute interval, very disappointing, very bad defensive work.

Cacapa looses out to Muntari on halfway and the visitors break, Benjani tries a speculative shot from 20 yards out but sees his effort deflect wide for a corner.

Portsmouth make a short corner and eventually do a cross only can half cleared to the edge of the area. Noe Pamarot struck an absolute screamer into Harper's top left hand corner. And when United are still shell-shocked by the first Pompey's goal, Boupa Diop punts the ball forward.

Once again Cacapa and Benjani tangle on the edge of the area. This time the Pompey striker gets the better of the Brazilian before curling past Harper to double the lead.

The United defensive sides once again being caught from a long ball forward, something that Big Sam is always trying to applied when Newcastle do the away game un-effectively but proves to be working well for Portsmouth. Utaka added the visitors third goal after (again) win the battle against…Cacapa.

Newcastle United trying all the way to get back into the game. In the 16th minute N'Zogbia shoots from distance only can get parried away by David James into Michael Owen's feet. Owen tries to squeeze it under the Pompey stopper but the ball deflected Sol Campbell into his own net.

Claudio Cacapa accepted his errors that causing three goals and give away his place for David Rozehnal in 18′ minutes. While United then keep searching for the second goals.

The second-half starts as Newcastle United takes the attacking role, but almost being caught in from a counter attack as Muntari breaks down the left. His cross the ball too much of Benjani who had ghosted into the area.

Meanwhile, the homeside trying everything we can with Barton and Butt combine nicely 20 yards to create space. In the 52′ minutes, Butt was stopped in his tracks by Davis and the referee awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position.

N'Zogbia stand over the ball and takes it, but his left-foot curler sails over the crossbar.

Sam Allardyce later make another changing for the host team. Taking off Jose Enrique in 58′ minutes and bring in Oba Martins who gets a warm reception from the Toon Army. A very brave substitution imho, but it was nothing we can do to chase the ball but to added more ammunition up front.

Oba takes the pitch alongside Owen and Alan Smith gets behind them, the game begins to creating some chances for United with Owen have one shot saved, the first real chance for the second-half. Emre later come in as Newcastle last substitution to replaced James Milner.

The killer ball come in 70 minutes by Niko Kranjcar. The results is something way out of my prediction, evenon my wildest dream we will have to face the hummiliation like this.

I was soon remember what our former manager Joe Harvey said about a Newcastle United team, “We never got started, and I'll never understand it to this day”.

Now I understand what it means, instead of the quote was coming after a 1974 FA Cup defeat against Liverpool, but it's clearly mentioned the origine shapes of Newcastle team. Someone will have to give better explanation for today's result.

Team Line-Up:

Newcastle United FC: Steve Harper, Steven Taylor, Jose Enrique (Oba Martins 58′), Claudio Cacapa (David Rozehnal 18′), Abdoulaye Faye, James Milner (Emre 69′), Charles N'Zogbia, Nicky Butt, Joey Barton, Michael Owen, Alan Smith
Subs: Fraser Forster, Geremi.

Portsmouth FC: David James, Sol Campbell, Sylvain Distin, John Utaka, Niko Kranjcar, Papa Bouba Diop, Glen Johnson, Sulley Muntari, Noe Pamarot, Sean Davis, Benjani (Nwanko Kanu, 79′)
Subs: Jamie Ashdown, Matt Taylor, Lauren, Pedro Mendes

Referee: Chris Foy
Attendance: 51, 490

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