• FT

    Birmingham

    0

    Chelsea

    1

  • FT

    Blackburn

    1

    Middlesboro

    1

  • FT

    Fulham

    0

    Arsenal

    3

  • FT

    Portsmouth

    3

    Derby

    1

  • FT

    Reading

    0

    Man Utd

    2

  • FT

    Tottenham

    2

    Sunderland

    0

  • FT

    Newcastle

    0

    Bolton

    0

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

Fratton Park, England

Referee: M Dean | Attendance: 19401

* Local time based on your geographic location.

Portsmouth

  • Benjani Mwaruwari 38'
  • Benjani Mwaruwari 42'
  • Benjani Mwaruwari 55'

3 - 1

FT

Derby County

  • Lewin Nyatanga 4'

Portsmouth 3-1 Derby: Benjani ends hoodoo

Home fans were beginning to think their team's official name was Portsmouth Nil until Benjani ran riot to end Pompey's incredible home goal-drought with a hat-trick ad Derby were downed 3-1.

After six goalless home Premier League games in a row, the popular Zimbabwean ended a barren spell that had lasted 578 minutes, with a crashing shot on the turn, quickly followed by a thumping header near the end of the first half.

And eight minutes after the break he completed his treble - to go with the one against Reading in September when Pompey last scored at home in the league - with as a sweet a finish as you are likely to see.

• Benjani earns Redknapp praise

The hard-working striker, given extra support up front now by £6million signing David Nugent now that Kanu, Sulley Muntari, John Utaka and Papa Bouba Diop are away at the African Nations Cup, now has a dozen goals for the season.

It also looks like a matter of time for sad Derby, surely doomed to immediate relegation after 18 games on the spin without a win.

And yet they gave Pompey a mighty scare when Lewin Nyatanga, the teenage Wales international recalled from a loan to Barnsley by desperate new manager Paul Jewell, struck in only the fifth minute.

You could almost sense the sharp intake of breath by Pompey boss Harry Redknapp as he surely must have thought: ``Here we go again''.

He was already without skipper Sol Campbell, a back injury cited as the reason for the former England giant's poor display at Sunderland last week

And until the second half, new £5million buy Lassana Diarra suffered a a tricky debut, the Frenchman lucky to escape at least a booking for a studs-up late challenge on Darren Moore in the first minute, and missing a free header from Glen Johnson's cross before Benjani struck.

Pompey were in a state of shock when Derby went in front after a free kick by former Fratton Park winger Laurent Robert.

The Frenchman bent the ball in from the right and when Moore won it at the far post, Kenny Miller's header was turned against the bar by David James.

It looked as if it might have crossed the line but Nyatanga left nothing to chance by following up and driving home the rebound.

Pompey were stunned and almost fell further behind within a m minute when Miller was allowed free passage into the penalty area before James came out to block the Scottish striker's advance.

In a blink of eye, though, the ball was up at the other end where Benjani appeared to hustle it through for Nugent who blazed a golden opportunity over the crossbar from 12 yards.

Pompey were almost the victims of frenetic endeavour but they looked finally to the skill of Niko Kranjcar for inspiration and he almost came up trumps on 18 minutes when a vicious long-range drive from out on the left whistled fractionally over the bar.

There were no more real clear-cut chances though until Benjani took the first on 39 minutes. Distin's long ball was back-headed by Nugent to find Pedro Mendes who laid it square for Benjani to hold off Moore as he turned to drill into the roof of the net.

Four minutes later, it was that man again from another Nugent assist, this time after Derby failed to clear a corner and the former Preston man, desperate to score himself, lofted the ball back in from the left right onto Benjani's head.

Derby, whose line-up has been massively restructured in the latest transfer window by Jewell had Tyrone Mears and the suspended Claude Davis missing in defence and looked like strangers to each other much of the time.

But in the sometimes dubious talents of Robbie Savage and the hard-running of Miller had one or two commendable assets.

They were split wide open, though for Benjani's hat-trick goal on 53 minutes. He swept through the middle after a wonderful exchange of passes with Pedro Mendes and clipped a craftsman's shot past Lewis Price and just inside the far post.

What an ovation they gave him when he came off a few minutes from the end, but there were other Pompey heroes - notably Kranjcar who panicked Derby every time he took possession and nearly had a hat-trick himself, with two fierce blasts and a free kick just wide.

  • Benjani earns Redknapp praise

    Harry Redknapp thanked hat-trick hero Benjani Mwaruwari and the Pompey fans for finally ending Portsmouth's six-match goal drought at Fratton Park.

    The Zimbabwean struck a memorable hat-trick - just as he did the last time Pompey scored in a home league match, the 7-4 rout of Reading on September 29 - to win 3-1 against Derby.

    Since the Reading romp Pompey have drawn scoreless with West Ham, Manchester City, Everton and Arsenal and lost 1-0 to Tottenham and Middlesbrough.

    A delighted Redknapp said: 'We pushed on after a bad start today and got the result we needed.'

    Pompey went a goal behind when Lewin Nyatanga struck after just five minutes and Redknapp added: 'Benjani got three great goals but it was the crowd that lifted us.'

    The manager, who turned down Newcastle's mouth-watering offer to join them in place of sacked manager Sam Allardyce last week, added: 'The fans could have got frustrated and moaned and turned against the team after so long without a goal but they don't do that here.

    'The crowd's great, always has been for me, and that's one of the reasons I'm happy here. I've said Kevin Keegan is the right appointment for Newcastle - certainly their fans - and I wish him luck.'

    Benjani, who now has 12 goals this season, finally levelled with a shot on the turn on 39 minutes and then put Pompey ahead with a header four minutes later.

    A sweeping move in combination with Pedro Mendes brought his third eight minutes into the second half.

    Redknapp said: 'When he first came here two seasons ago he couldn't score to save his life but he's getting them now.

    'His strike rate used to be diabolical and that's being kind to him. He had 15 or 16 games after we signed him before he scored against Wigan when Paul Jewell was manager there in the last but one match of the season.

    'But he covered all that with hard work and non-stop running. He's a smashing lad and the fans love him.

    'Today he scored three different types of goals and you'll struggle to see a better one than the last one. He's come up the hard way. He's hard as iron, takes a knock and plays with injuries that most players would not.

    'It was (Arsenal boss) Arsene Wenger who first put me on to him. We'd heard Benjani was available in France at Auxerre and I asked Wenger's advice. He said I should get on the next flight and go and get him.'

    Redknapp was also delighted with new signing Lassana Diarra.

    The Portsmouth manager said: 'He's a class act, no doubt about that. I was delighted with his debut. I spoke to Alex Ferguson at Reading last week and he couldn't believe we were getting him.'

    Derby boss Jewell saw his side extend their run without a win to 18 games and admitted: 'It's the same old story I suppose. We gave them goals after taking the lead.

    'But I love the job and I'm determined to bring some success to the people who keep coming to watch us. We had 1200 fans follow us toady and they never stop cheering.

    'Our problem was that we defended too deep and let too many crosses come into the box.'

    Derby, minus suspended Claude Davis and injured Tyrone Mears, also lost Danny Mills.

    One of Jewell's raft of new signings in the January transfer window, Mills could be out for several weeks.

    The former England defender appeared to damage a hip in a collision with Pompey's Niko Kranjcar and will have a scan tomorrow.

  • Scoring Summary

    • Portsmouth
    • Derby County

    Match Stats

    • Portsmouth
    • Derby County
    20(8) Shots (on goal) 8(5)
    14 Fouls 9
    6 Corner kicks 2
    2 Offsides 5
    56% Time of Possession 44%
    1 Yellow Cards 2
    0 Red Cards 0
    4 Saves 2

    Teams

    • Portsmouth
    • Derby County
    Substitutes
    Substitutions
    Yellow Cards