Saturday, 19 March 2011

Conclusions from Portsmouth

Leicester0-1Portsmouth
(HT 0-1)

Nugent 13

Att: 26,645
BBC Match Report



  • Show some conviction! It was almost a confidence thing - the Foxes seemed unable to attempt an actual shot on goal in the first half of this game, with chances limited mostly to headers and the odd rash attempt from Mr Yakubu. Leicester were frustrated by a Portsmouth side pressing high up the pitch and, even when breaking through the midfield like Yuki Abe did in the closing stages of the first forty-five, were unable to convert a half chance into a real attempt on goal. It was... odd.
  • A golden opportunity, wasted. Almost every result went Leicester City's way today. Every result, that is, except their own. A last-ditch equaliser in a game such as this can change a season. As it is, only the true optimists will be looking for the promotion push to continue now. It's nearly time to give up, focus on rebuilding for next season and look to the future. Whatever went wrong today, we were poor against a Portsmouth side that pushed forward and pressurised our back line to great effect.



Winners
Yuki Abe
Another sound performance under what must be terrible circumstances for the only Japanese player in the Football League. Abe was once more here, there and everywhere as he found himself covering for absent defenders as well as, increasingly, pressing forward.



Losers
Sol Bamba
Guilty of two poor headers, the first leading to a chance that was dealt with well by a sliding Ricardo, the second leading to the opening goal. Under little pressure the Ivorian's defensive header was flat and fell easily to David Nugent who made no mistake in slotting the ball past a flapping goalkeeper. Pompey should have sealed their victory with ten minutes left after Bamba stood waiting for an offside flag that never came, the defender's blushes only saved by the Portsmouth striker's poor finishing.

Yakubu
Despite putting in more of a shift than usual, Yakubu's technique was way off this afternoon. His shooting was erratic and control, at times, questionable. Shooting wide on more than one occasion when one-on-one and firing way, way over as the Foxes looked to grab a late point... this just isn't good enough for a player of his supposed calibre.

Mr Paul Tierney, Lancashire
Some very bizarre calls from the referee resulted in a hostile atmosphere this afternoon. He kept his cards in his pocket for far too long as Portsmouth defenders hacked away at The Yak as they committed six fouls in the first twenty-five minutes. It took an injury to Ben Mee after a horrendous tackle before a Pompey player saw yellow. His worst decision, however, came as the visitor's Hreidarsson laid injured off the pitch and, from a Foxes throw-in that led to Yakubu bearing-down on goal, blew for play to be stopped. There is nothing in the Laws of the Game to say that was a correct decision and, much as referees should be respected and given the benefit of the doubt, there has to be consistency if footballers - and fans - are to have any faith in them.
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