After The Match 


Portsmouth-Liverpool 1-2 (0-2)    29.01.06           FA Cup (4. r)
Goals: Gerrard (36 pen), Riise (40)             Davies (54)
Team: Reina, Warnock, Carragher, Hyypia, Kromkamp, Gerrard, Alonso, Sissoko, Riise, Morientes, Cisse
Subs: Crouch (Morientes 72), Finnan (Gerrard 80),
Kewell (Cisse 83)
Not used: Carson, Traore
Yellow: Sissoko (64)      Pericard (11), Hughes (12), Davies (41)
Red: None
Referee: P Dowd
Attendance: 17,247
Shots on target: 3-2
Shots off target: 4-3
Possession: 49-51
Fouls conceded: 13-12
Corners: 7-7
Offsides: 3-2
Yellow: 3-1


HEADLINES "Portsmouth away is
a very
difficult game..."
   Steven Gerrard

2901: Gerrard pleased with progress
2901: Benitez believed to beat Pompey
2901: Nervous Reds see off Pompey


Gerrard pleased with progress


Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard hopes for a "kinder" draw for the fifth round of the FA Cup after his side beat Portsmouth 2-1 at Fratton Park.

Gerrard put the Reds in front with a penalty before John Arne Riise doubled the lead before the break.

However, Pompey pulled a goal back early in the second period before staging a series of threatening attacks on Jose Reina's goal - but they could not force a replay.

"It was a difficult game, the first 20 minutes are always difficult," Gerrard told BBC1.

"They played a lot of long balls and we knew until we scored it wasn't going to be comfortable."

Gerrard's penalty broke the deadlock and the captain admitted they were more than happy to accept referee Phil Dowd's decision.

"I didn't see it as I was too far away. I'll have to see it again but I can't argue with the ref's decision," he added.

"Portsmouth away is a very difficult game, we have done well getting through here - hopefully the draw will be a bit more kind in the next round."

Benitez believed to beat Pompey

By Steve Hunter - LFC Official Website

Rafael Benitez admitted he was relieved to see Liverpool progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup after the 2-1 win over Portsmouth and felt it was a difficult night for his team.

The Liverpool manager felt his team had to withstand a lot of pressure in the second half and did just enough to progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup.

"It was a difficult match for us and Portsmouth put us under a lot of pressure in the second half but I am happy to go through to the next round," explained Benitez.

"After the first half we were thinking the match was over but Portsmouth did well and it wasn't easy for us. We did create some good chances in the second half but you need to take them to make sure the match is over. We didn't do that but we are pleased to win the game."

Nervous Reds see off Pompey

By Lewis Rutledge - Sky Sports

Liverpool were pushed all the way by a dogged Portsmouth side before coming through 2-1 in the FA Cup fourth round.

Two goals at the end of the first half seemed to have killed the tie as a contest, but Harry Redknapp's side came out fighting and in the end were unlucky not to earn at least a replay.

In a scrappy opening Pompey were determined not to let Liverpool dictate play, and dished out a few meaty challenges early on.

The Reds were not allowed to settle, and looked a shadow of the team that has been playing such attractive flowing football in recent months.

The home side were little better, but Pedro Mendes did test Jose Reina with a well struck volley from outside the area.

The game eventually came to life ten minutes before half time, when a spot kick was awarded against Dejan Stefanovic after the ball bounced up and struck the defender on the hand during a penalty area scramble.

Portsmouth were entitled to feel hard done by, but Steven Gerrard was in no mood for sympathy as he coolly dispatched his penalty into the bottom corner in the 36th minute.

If Harry Redknapp's men were disappointed to fall behind after a below par start to the game, they were left stunned when John Arne Riise doubled the advantage just minutes later.

The ball broke for the Norwegian in midfield, and Riise set off on a run down the left wing. With Pompey struggling to close him down, the 25-year-old rifled a fierce low shot straight into the opposite corner from outside the area, leaving the South Coast side with a mountain to climb.

Portsmouth could have been forgiven for accepting defeat and trying to conserve energy in the second half, but they came out with much more urgency. Svetoslav Todorov was brought on, and they carried much more of a threat.

The deficit was soon reduced, as Sean Davis rose above the Liverpool defence to flick Gary O'Neil's free kick past Reina.

Moments later Riise wasted a golden opportunity at the other end, blasting well over with his right foot when he should have restored Liverpool's two-goal cushion.

In a frenetic period both sides struggled to find any real fluidity, but Pompey's positive intent meant that they were always in the hunt for an equaliser.

Stefanovic curled a free kick narrowly over the crossbar, and Liverpool looked increasingly nervous when dealing with the aerial threat posed by Pompey.

The introduction of Peter Crouch did little to stem the tide, but Portsmouth lacked any real cutting edge and could not find a way to break their opponents down.

Liverpool endured an uncomfortable final few minutes, but held on to book their passage into the next round.

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Thor Zakariassen