Palace hand Pompey win
By Patrick Goss
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Crystal Palace twice gave Portsmouth a helping hand as they lost 3-1.Crystal Palace twice gave Portsmouth a helping hand as they lost 3-1 at Fratton Park.
Danny Granville had cancelled out an early Ricardo Fuller goal to send the sides in at the break level, but goalkeeper Julian Speroni inadvertently diverted a rasping Patrik Berger drive into his own net, Andy Johnson missed a penalty and Tony Popovic scored a bizarre own goal late on to end hopes of an equaliser.
Portsmouth deserved their victory, but Ian Dowie will be bemused at the manner in which his side lost out.
Portsmouth's failure to learn from Crystal Palace's early misses had let the visitors level late on in the first half, with Granville left unattended for the umpteenth time from a set-piece, and converting with a fine header.
Portsmouth had come out of the blocks quickly, and taken the lead through new singing Ricardo Fuller just three minutes into the game.
Nigel Quashie was fouled in the build-up, but Eyal Berkovic picked out Fuller and he slotted home with aplomb.
Granville had a headed opportunity drift wide, and the defender then rattled the woodwork with a wonderful dipping free-kick that had Shaka Hislop well beaten.
At the other end Steve Stone blazed over after cutting inside and Dejan Stefanovic had a headed goal rightly ruled out for offside.
But with Pompey looking to take a slender lead into the break, a Palace corner picked out Granville and he headed home with aplomb to level matters up.
Palace again conceded within minutes of kick off in the second half.
Berger's long range effort looked set to hit the post, but Speroni was unlucky that he got a hand to the ball and deflected it inside his upright to the delight of the partisan crowd.
Andy Johnson had a goal ruled out for a close offside, the linesman earning credit for getting the decision right.
The turning point of the match occurred when Linvoy Primus clumsily hauled down the boisterous Sandor Torghelle in the penalty area.
Johnson took the penalty but opted for power and Hislop got down to block the effort.
Quashie brought a fine save from Speroni, and it was Popovic that finally ended Palace's hopes.
The Australian defender scored his second own goal of the season when he stuck out a heel to deflect Stone's cross into the far corner of his own net.
Portsmouth have proven their Premiership credentials, but they will rarely be handed the game, almost literally, in the manner of this victory.
|Team Name||Portsmouth||Crystal Palace|
|Shots on target ( Inc Goals )||4||2|
|Shots off Target (inc woodwork)||9||3|
|Total Fouls Conceded||15||21|
| || || |
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