David Sommeil saves lacklustre City

Yakubu Ayegbini is congratulated by Teddy Sheringham and Steve Stone
Yakubu's first-half goal looked to be enough for Pompey

Manchester City 1-1 Portsmouth

David Sommeil scored a last-gasp equaliser as Manchester City avoided defeat in their first Premiership match at the City of Manchester Stadium.

The defender struck in injury time to cancel out a first-half goal from Pompey's Nigerian striker Yakubu Ayegbini.

Portsmouth - who beat Aston Villa 2-1 in their opening Premiership match - were again impressive and looked on course for their first win at City since 1973.

In contrast, City were disappointing in front of the 48,000 sell-out crowd and struggled to produce the fluency that saw them beat Charlton 3-0 last weekend.

Get Your Kits Out Fan Comment : Pompey brought a decent following, just short of their full allocation but this was probably due to top Pompey fan John Westwood's mates with their drums. Two large drums which they thumped incessantly for nearly an hour until finally they were ejected along with their owners much to the amusement of the City fans and possibly the relief of a lot of Pompey fans. Why these things are allowed into football stadia I really can't understand and that includes the irritating tuneless Sheffield Wednesday "band" who double up for England. On the subject of fans, we all love the banter, singing and chanting but to listen to "Blue Army" being droned out unremittingly accompanied by drums is like the Chinese water treatment. Use your imagination lads and John Westwood, you don't need drums to be noticed!  Click the picture for an enlargement of John Westwood.

The performance of striker Robbie Fowler summed up the malaise affecting the side and he was replaced by Paulo Wanchope at half-time.

Fowler has scored only twice since his 5m move to City in January and his lack of form must be an increasing concern for City manager Kevin Keegan.

24 mins: Ayegbini rounds Seaman to put Portsmouth ahead.
45 mins: Wanchope comes on for City in place of the ineffective Fowler.
90 mins: Sommeil heads a late equaliser for City.

Keegan started with the side that had beaten Charlton so impressively last Saturday.

And Sebastien Schemmel, making his debut in place of the injured Hayden Foxe, was the only change to the Pompey team that defeated Aston Villa.

The game started scrappily and there was little goalmouth action early on, although Fowler did receive treatment after being caught late by a challenge from Schemmel.

There had been little prospect of a goal before a series of errors gifted Pompey their opener.

Sommeil let the ball bounce beyond him and Yakubu capitalised, gathering before sprinting clear of Sylvain Distin.

City keeper David Seaman was a little slow coming off his and Yakubu rounded him before slotting into an empty net.

Keegan brought Wachope on at half-time in an effort to turn the match and City were more threatening after the break.

Shaka Hislop had to be sharp to save a venomous free-kick from the otherwise ineffective Michael Tarnat and Shaun Wright-Phillips went close with a low drive.

Then Sommeil headed home from a Joey Barton free-kick in injury-time to atone for his earlier error and lift the sell-out crowd.


Man City: Seaman, Jihai, Sommeil, Distin, Tarnat, Wright-Phillips, Barton, Sibierski (Berkovic 64), Sinclair, Fowler (Wanchope 45), Anelka.
Subs Not Used: Weaver, Wiekens, Tiatto.

Booked: Barton, Tarnat.

Portsmouth: Hislop, Schemmel, Zivkovic, Stefanovic, De Zeeuw, Stone, Quashie, Faye, Berger (Harper 82), Sheringham, Ayegbini (Pericard 74).
Subs Not Used: Wapenaar, O'Neil, Primus.

Booked: Faye, Pericard, Zivkovic.               

Attendance: 46,287

Referee: M Messias (N Yorkshire).        Return to Main Page