Writer: Mike Field
Date:Saturday September 19 2009
Martin O'Neill was overjoyed to see the team Pompey by the scruff of the neck and stamp our authority on what was pretty much a dull game.
Villa came out of today's match with all 3 points and another 2 goals to our name, one being a Milner penalty and the other yet another goal from Gabby Agbonlahor.
Not a bad day at the office to be fair, although the game was reasonably lacklustre and we never really got into second gear - although to be fair, despite Pompey eclipsing us in the 'shots' department we didn't really need a second gear. We were in control enough, and whilst I like many others wish we would take this sorts of opportunities to really murder a team and kill them off with a scoreline that is embarrassing, the bottom line is we were very unlikely to ever lose this match once the first goal went in for us.
Speaking on the official site Monny was obviously delighted to see us follow up the Fulham win with the home victory, I think we all agree last season whilst our away form in terms of victories was exciting, our home form was dire.
If we can rectify that and get back to the good old days of 'Fortress Villa Park' there's no reason why we shouldn't be laughing our way into the Top 6 this year, if not slightly higher.
'To win with a bit of momentum was very, very important. It was vital for the fans and important for us to win in front of them. It was a game we were expected to win.'
Despite that Monny acknowledges that Pompey in no way made it easy for us, they gave their all and although it was a relatively easy match for us once we had the cushion, we certainly couldn't afford to fall asleep.
'Portsmouth came here with no points on the board while we had a bit of momentum and expectation was high.
'They gambled everything. They enjoyed decent possession, won a lot of second balls and were playing through us a bit.
'But we won the game and I accept we can play much better.'
Playing through us was relatively easy to do again when we reverted to 442. We do not have the quality of a midfield general to protect the defence with that formation, we need the extra number, but fortunately it didn't backfire on us today.
There are times to take risks, and with Pompey's form today was a good day for it.
Let's not get carried away though, it was hardly a performance worthy of watching on a replay but we got the result. There's a lot of work left to do though.
To view the Official Site's match report please Click Here
To view a selection of photos from today's match please Click Here
All the Match Stats - Click Here
Date:Saturday September 19 2009
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