English FA Cup

April 11, 2010


Tottenham Hotspur

0 - 2


English FA Cup

15:00 +00:00, April 11, 2010

Wembley Stadium, London, England

Referee: A Wiley

  • 120'

    Relegated and in the final of the FA Cup - May 15 is a red-letter day for Portsmouth. Spurs fans may choose to take a weekend away.

  • 120'

    Good lord, Porstmouth are back in the final. The crisis club will take on the rich kids of Chelsea, giving Avram Grant a chance to gain some revenge on his old club.

  • 120'

    The whistle looms and soon arrives. Half the ground erupts while the other half is empty.

  • 120'

    Utaka nearly made it a third. Dindane gave it Utaka who then fired a shot that Gomes could only palm behind. The ball is then held in the corners.

  • 120'

    Into the last minute. Spurs are in ruins. Arsenal await on Wednesday.

  • 119'

    Finnan is fouled by Bassong, who is rightly booked for smashing the ball away if only for the pointlessness of the gesture. .

  • 118'

    Spurs have a corner. It barely matters.

  • 117'

    A Bale free-kick is wasted. Spurs look beaten, their fans have headed off to Wembley Park tube station and perhaps that pub I saw them outside this afternoon. Luckily for me, I will not be passing by on my way home tonight.

  • 117'

    Portsmouth, the season's paupers, are in the FA Cup Final and a team that will never play together again will line up in the final.

  • 115'

    Boateng's penalty was beautifully taken and that is that. Spurs' season is in ruins.

  • 115'

    And scores. Pompey are into the final! What a story!

  • 115'

    Boateng steps up...

  • 115'

    Yellow card only for Palacios.

  • 115'

    Dindane bursts through and Palacios looked to get the ball and the referee has given a penalty.

  • 114'

    Corluka took too long as the ball dribbled to him from a blocked Bale effort.

  • 113'

    Pompey back in serious numbers. Bale hit the ball in and Finnan's back clears it. "Handball" cry the Spurs fans.

  • 113'

    Spurs will surely get one chance.

  • 112'

    ...which Gomes carries out his own with a pumped goal-kick straight at James.

  • 112'

    Pompey have another sub left. No doubt that will be used for time-wasting.

  • 110'

    On comes Papa Bouba Diop to plant the wardrobe in the way of Spurs. Off comes Piquionne.

  • 109'

    Dawson blazed over under pressure. Pompey everywhere.

  • 109'

    Spurs could have been caught out but the pitch stopped Utaka and Dindane's passing.

  • 109'

    Kranjcar back on. Gudjohnsen had a shot blocked by Rocha.

  • 108'

    Brown tackles Kranjcar and looked for a foul. The Croat is hurt. All subs made. More woes for Spurs. Oh dear.

  • 107'

    Bale lifts out a leg but fails to control a lofted ball from Palacios. Unlucky from a young man who has been his team's best player.

  • 107'

    Rocha comes across to stop a Palacios surge. Gudjohnsen finds himself offside. Time ticks on...

  • 106'

    Bale on the charge and his ball hits its target of Roman Pavlyuchenko but his poke is easy for James to claim.

  • 106'

    Back underway we go. Desperate times. Crouch and Bale both have shots blocked by desperate defending.

  • 105'

    In olden days there used to be no time between the halves. Now the bosses both have a chance to chat to their players.

  • 105'

    Half-time in extra-time? No, a free-kick to Pompey. Which Boateng drifts over. It is HT in ET now.

  • 105'

    Redknapp looks impassive. Grant nervous, those sagging dulaps wracked by tension.

  • 104'

    Kranjcar looked as though he'd get through there but his work was eventually thwarted. Pavlyuchenko offside.

  • 103'

    Palacios fails to find Corluka.

  • 103'

    Spurs must feel aggrieved. Denied by the pitch and the ref? You bet they'll mention it.

  • 102'

    Spurs going for it. They have to. But Utaka on the charge.

  • 101'

    Gudjohnsen on for Huddlestone.

  • 100'

    James knew that was a bad decision and has a smile to himself.

  • 98'

    Spurs had the ball in the net. David James flapped horribly as a Bale cross came in. Kranjcar was run into and a free-kick is given after Crouch bundled home.

  • 98'

    Roman Pavlyuchenko goes close almost immediately. Spurs fans desolate. They thought it was going to be easier than this.

  • 98'

    Amazing. Just amazing. We're in for a grandstand finish.

  • 98'

    Wilson hits in a free-kick. Boateng bundles Piquionne seizes on it after Dawson slips on, yes the pitch. Pompey have the lead...

  • 97'

    Wilson climbed highest but too high and misses the header. Pavlyuchenko seizes on a Rocha error and shoots wildly.

  • 96'

    Long ball from Piquionne to Boateng. Good ball in and Bale has to put it behind with Dindane lurking.

  • 95'

    Mokoena smashes away as the chances build up. Kranjcar tries a shot from long range.

  • 94'

    Off go Spurs in numbers. Palacios granted the freedom to shoot but takes too long and chips an aimless ball over the bar. Wasted.

  • 93'

    Piquionne falls in a heap and looks somewhat dazed.

  • 92'

    Pavlyuchenko flicks to Crouch but the move breaks down.

  • 92'

    Piquionne fires wide. The side-netting billowed but not the back of the netting.

  • 91'

    Boateng is stopped in his tracks. Pavlyuchenko penalised for a nudge.

  • 91'

    Rocha volleys away. Dindane holds the ball up for Utaka.

  • 91'

    Spurs mount the first attack but Wilson stops Bale in his tracks.

  • 91'

    Spurs get us back underway. The atmosphere continues to ring out. The 5-0 is yet to materialise.

  • 90'

    The thighs have been massaged and the Churchillian speeches delivered. We are back for more.

  • 90'

    Honestly though, it's been a far better game than yesterday's and the nerves that both sides must be suffering may make this an enticing next 30.

  • 90'

    Pompey stage a late attack. And it's extra time. 0-0 so far and 30 minutes more. Drat.

  • 90'

    The next period of play was comedic. Pompey were all over the show but the ball squeezed through to James.

  • 90'

    Modric creates a chance by sliding in Bale who surges through. Crouch on the end of it but a fine reaction save by James.

  • 90'

    Just two minutes to be added on here. Time for heroes. And villains.

  • 89'

    Crouch's swinging foot hits Rocha and it's a free kick.

  • 89'

    Corner ball comes to nothing. But Utaka has it again. Boateng swings a shot miles over.

  • 89'

    Utaka charges into the box and Michael Dawson knocks it behind.

  • 88'

    Is Avram Grant, the old devil, going for it? No, Utaka sits in midfield.

  • 87'

    On comes John Utaka for Yebda, who was very very tired indeed.

  • 86'

    Kranjcar's attempt at a cross produced a prodigious swerve but only troubled the advertising hoardings.

  • 85'

    Long ball played through to Piquionne and nothing comes of it as it is overhit. Portsmouth may fear their tired legs will fail them.

  • 85'

    Spurs building up the pressure.

  • 84'

    Another corner is taken the same way but Yebda, looking leggy, can get it away.

  • 83'

    Corner to Spurs. Kranjcar took it long to Crouch. Nodded over to Pavlyuchenko and Boateng clears. The same pattern is repeated for the ensuing corner.

  • 82'

    The kiss of death has been placed.

  • 82'

    Rocha clears well from a Corluka cross. Both central defenders for Portsmouth have been excellent.

  • 81'

    Tiring legs now. Nerves on edge too. A mistake now and it's no return visit to Wembley.

  • 80'

    A booking in the offing. Michael Brown to be talked to.

  • 79'

    Pompey have another free-kick opportunity. They waste it. Palacios goes clear. Kranjcar booed now - do they like any of their former players?

  • 78'

    Off comes Bentley and on will come Kranjcar - another former Pompey boy.

  • 78'

    Boateng's ball in is cleared by Bale who atones for his lying.

  • 77'

    Bale concedes a free-kick for a foul on Dindane. Innocence expressed but no dice.

  • 76'

    Bentley's ball went to Crouch and is a wasted chance to get a shot in. Off Pompey go.

  • 75'

    Bentley wins a corner from Mullins, who disputes the decision.

  • 74'

    Extra-time looms in fifteen minutes. Hard work beckons for tiring fingers...but what's this? Crouch nods a Bale ball behind the goal and clips the edge. Getting closer?

  • 72'

    Pompey's massed numbers get the ball clear.

  • 72'

    Steve Finnan looked in danger of an own-goal but he managed to miss the goal when dealing from a Bentley cross.

  • 72'

    Boateng fires over after a weak Huddlestone header.

  • 71'

    Ball gets stuck in the turf as Piquionne and Dindane try to create another chance.

  • 71'

    Boateng's long run resulted in a weak shot. Again, a wasteful effort considering Pompey's plight.

  • 70'

    Huddlestone jabs it through to Corluka who stabs it across. Mokoena came across to knock it behind.

  • 70'

    Pavlyuchenko tries another shot. Blocked again.

  • 69'

    Mokoena's slip let in Pavlyuchenko but his shot was not the right idea with men over.

  • 68'

    Bale's ball across goal was headed for Crouch. Mokoena came across to stop a certain goal. Pompey hanging on, as does James when Bentley's corner comes in.

  • 67'

    Huddlestone nearly lost the ball to a looming Piquionne.

  • 67'

    Pompey try to regain a foothold by passing the ball between them. Finnan's speculative ball in is cleared and Spurs try to mount an attack.

  • 66'

    Bentley makes a pacy run and makes a fine cross that Crouch's extended limb cannot get on the end of. Bale's ball to Pavlyuchenko is nodded back across goal but over.

  • 64'

    James flapped horribly but Peter Crouch climbed and looked to close his eyes. The best chance of the game. Missed.

  • 63'

    Corner to Spurs. Up goes Dawson.

  • 62'

    Bale makes an energetic surge but Portsmouth are really holding very firm.

  • 62'

    Yebda on the right makes an advance down the right and gets the ball slapped in his face for his troubles.

  • 61'

    Spurs perhaps in the ascendancy. Big shout for a handball from Finnan but nothing doing. Corluka drizzles one wide.

  • 59'

    Bentley does a Becks-esque cross but only only at David James.

  • 58'

    Off comes Defoe, who has only just returned from injury. Pavlyuchenko on to present a different danger to Pompey.

  • 57'

    And the Russian is on very soon. Clive Allen gives him a cheeky slap to the bum to gee him up.

  • 57'

    Roman Pavlyuchenko looms on the bench. One of the former Pompeyites will surely be asked to leave the field.

  • 56'

    Crouch nods down for Defoe. The England man fails to direct it anywhere other than into James' arms.

  • 55'

    Dindane on the burst and played in a cross to Piquionne but the header was somewhat tame. Quite a chance. He's had a couple of them. Gomes happy to be able to catch that.

  • 53'

    Spurs need to assert their superority in both finance and league position but are having a tough afternoon.

  • 53'

    Bassong clears as Pompey get another attack underway.

  • 52'

    Gomes had to step out to hack a loose pass from Bale away from danger.

  • 51'

    Headed clear by Bale. Long ball from Corluka aimed for Defoe. Modric muscled out by Dindane.

  • 50'

    A dispute about a quickly-taken free-kick. Pompey get another chance. Finnan's ball in. Gomes has to palm behind.

  • 49'

    This game seems to be lacking in the pace of the first half. Perhaps there were aching limbs in the dressing room. And they might have seized up.

  • 49'

    Yebda's loose ball nearly found Bentley but his burst through came to naught. Boateng ends up being the recipient of a Dindane ball before belting miles over.

  • 47'

    Modric robs Yebda. Crouch's long legs failed to keep the ball in and now he's targeted by boos and jeers by the Pompey fans.

  • 46'

    Rocha put in a heroic block as Defoe was set to pull the trigger on a Crouch knock-down. David James already looked beaten.

  • 46'

    Free-kick to Spurs. Dawson headed Bentley's ball back across and it was slashed away.

  • 45'

    Off we go again to the unsightly view of the Club Wembley suits who have not bothered to come back for the game.

  • 45'

    Half-time. Pompey under some pressure there but they've had plenty to be happy with. Some might say they've been able to concentrate on this game. Spurs began brightly but Avram Grant will be the happier boss.

  • 45'

    Modric slides through. Crouch's shot drifts to Bentley who gets two attempt, both of which are knocked away by Wilson. Stout defending there.

  • 44'

    Corluka's cross is aimed at Crouch who fell over and claimed a foul. Defoe meanwhile is lying down. He seems to be doing rather too much of that.

  • 43'

    Boateng's free-kick is poor, very poor. Gomes claims it with ease.

  • 42'

    Dindane on the dance. And is fouled by Huddlestone. Yellow for the Spur which looks unfair.

  • 40'

    Crouch seizes on a Bale throw. Then Corluka looked to keep the ball in - he did too - but the linesman bottles it to quite honest. These men have the bravery of Walter Softy in these circumstances.

  • 39'

    Hayden Mullins has cramp after 38 minutes. It's been a fierce game but surely a pro can last this. I know I couldn't but still.

  • 38'

    Crouch climbs high and untouched and nods over. More chances.

  • 37'

    Huddlestone's shot hit with minimum backlift and James can only knock it behind. This is a great game.

  • 37'

    Pompey too deliberate with a promising attack. Yebda's pass is blocked. Bale bursts away. His crossed pass is behind everyone.

  • 36'

    Gomes did well there but Piquionne's shot was just a little bit too tame.

  • 35'

    Piquionne had a golden chance. Superb ball through and he can only fire at Gomes. Pompey look the better team to these eyes.

  • 33'

    They have become rarer and rarer. Bale's cross is volleyed but the technique is just off. Nice idea though.

  • 33'

    Taken short to little effect. But Pompey are back on the attack. Bassong hurriedly clears and Gomes releases Bale for a Spurs attack.

  • 32'

    Back underway. Pompey force a corner.

  • 31'

    Blood bin stuff as an injury is sustained to Wilson. Nasty cut. Avram Grant takes the time to regroup. Harry sits very still, give or take a twitch or two.

  • 29'

    Bentley's cross aimed at Crouch and David James claims though with a hint of previous Wembley's calamities past.

  • 28'

    Marc Wilson shows coolness in setting up an attack. Dindane on the right plays in a ball that was promising but had no recipient. Yebda fluffed the return ball.

  • 26'

    Great cross from Huddlestone and Crouch hangs in the air to nod goalwards. James makes a save for TV purposes - needlessly dramatic.

  • 25'

    Pompey have a free-kick chance. Boateng fancies it somewhat. Gomes may be unsighted by the sun. Hit across the face of goal. Boateng has a rather unsightky neck tattoo that looks even worse when drenched in sweat.

  • 25'

    Modric turns and slices a volley on to the roof of the net. No-one has quite gone close to a golden chance yet but this is a more enjoyable game than Saturday's semi - and, go on, better than last night's rather dull clasico.

  • 24'

    Looped ball from Mullins and Piquionne's slash at the ball was unnecessary when he had time to take it down. That was a decent chance.

  • 23'

    Dindane forces a corner. Bassong's shin deflected it behind.

  • 22'

    Late flag catches Defoe offside from a Modric dink.

  • 21'

    Dindane looking angry as he is missed out by a Pompey attack. Yes, there has been one.

  • 20'

    Pompey corner. Hooked clear by Bentley.

  • 20'

    Defoe is caught out by yes, the pitch as a slipped Palacios pass runs away from him.

  • 18'

    Modric held back. Free-kick taken quickly and Defoe slips on his own posterior. The pitch debate continues. Boateng loses his footing when a ball is aimed at him.

  • 17'

    Ref Wiley's rump takes a slapping from a Modric pass. Bale gets the ball off his posterior but Pompey again clear. Plenty of defending from them, perhaps too much for comfort.

  • 16'

    Dindane fouls Palacios. And is booked. Silly tackle.

  • 16'

    Dawson's header loops over and time for a breather. Gets hot at Wembley. The sun seems to beat down on one half of the pitch - the Spurs end - which seems to these eyes - been a few times - to be something of a design fault.

  • 13'

    Defoe being booed but not Crouch. Another corner to Spurs.

  • 13'

    Crouch on the dribble. And it goes off for a throw. To Pompey. Oh.

  • 12'

    Piquionne again causes trouble and Dindane is crowded out. Spurs did not look so safe there. At the other end - yes, it's being played at quite a pace - Modric smashes over after a neat burst.

  • 12'

    Piquionne bursts through as Pompey finally get on the move. Deflected but Gomes claims. Spurs go again and Bale's cross is cleared by Yebda. End to end.

  • 11'

    Crouch heads towards Defoe, misses him and James can only claw the ball away.

  • 10'

    Bentley's ball in finds David James clashing with Piquionne. Corner result.

  • 9'

    Bently weaves but Rocha gets it away. Spurs dominating possession and Pompey yet to get into the other half. Mokoean heads behind. Another corner.

  • 8'

    Defoe gets a knock in a tussle with Ricardo Rocha. Mirror, signal, manouevre from the Pompey man? Looked like he knew what he was doing.

  • 7'

    Two Spurs players fall on the turf - Bale and Palacios. More talk about that rubbish surface may result. Perhaps someone will attempt a JT legbreaker.

  • 6'

    Huddlestone fouled by Yebda. Free-kick to Spurs.

  • 5'

    Headed down by Corluka to Defoe. Mokoena steals in and knocks away. A vital interception. The next corner results in another clearance. Crouch was the target for another chipped ball but can only deflect it behind.

  • 4'

    Hayden Mullins concedes a corner. Bentley to take.

  • 3'

    Crouch climbs up and is baulked by Michael Brown. Looked nasty as he fell but the stringbean one is OK.

  • 3'

    Came to nothing. Huddlestone had a chance on the rebound but blazed under pressure from Yebda.

  • 1'

    Modric is fouled by Dindane. Bentley to take a free-kick from a dangerous position.

  • 1'

    Defoe booed by the Pompey fans and then jeered as he's dispossessed.

  • 1'

    Spurs retaining possession. Gareth Bale on the charge, with Finnan struggling. But Pompey clear.


    Off we go...Harry Redknapp twitches in anticipation. Avram Grant grimaces in expectation. The huddles are splitting up. Alan Wiley the ref gives Spurs the chance to start the game.


    The teams are out to the usual Wembley PA system blaring out a racket. Last year's matches were similarly played in warm conditions. British summer has begun - and will be gone by the end of May.


    And of course, there is Harry Redknapp, who is ever defensive about his days at Portsmouth. Two years ago he led Pompey to their finest day in half a century though a win here would probably even surpass that.


    Some have called this Pompey's last game and indeed they were relegated on Saturday. And many of their players are also bound into deals that mean they may not play again. Aruna Dindane is one of those.


    Both teams share a number of personnel that have played for both clubs. Spurs boast a strikeforce of Crouch and Defoe while sending-off specialists Ricardo Rocha and Michael Brown line up for Pompey.


    Wembley is baked with sunshine and is probably full of the fans your correspondent ran into during his tube ride into work. The beery anthems I heard from the Spurs fans seemed to suggest they fancy a 5-0 win. There's confidence for you; Dutch courage may also be applicable here.


    Join us at 1600 BST for the other FA Cup semi-final, as Tottenham take on crisis-club Portsmouth.