For seventy minutes at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke City and Portsmouth football clubs were getting very close to contending for my ‘worst match ever watched’ title. The last twenty minutes redeemed it.
When it’s all said and done we will remember one thing from today’s match between Stoke City and Portsmouth, the penalty that should have never been given.
Just minutes after the incidental one-two Niko Kranjcar played with David Nugent to put Portsmouth ahead, Michael Jones calls a ridiculous penalty on Glen Johnson. Sol Campbell’s flick on put Johnson just out of position, but when he went to control the hand was never used, only the chest. The eyes deceived Jones and Stoke City were level, for all the wrong reasons.
Let me make one thing perfectly clear, this game deserved to end level. However in the events leading up to the goal, Portsmouth were edging their way into the ascendancy. Pompey were the ones who looked like they were going to steal three points. Only Everton, Chelsea and Manchester United have gotten the max at the loud and vocal Britannia.
How Portsmouth allowed Danny Pugh to get in that much space after Stoke went level is just beyond me. Even more so, how did James Beattie head that slow bouncing shot in? While I think Portsmouth were in the ascendancy in the build up to their first goal, they allowed one bad call to nearly give Stoke City another three points at home. Portsmouth in the end, were lucky to get a share of the spoils thanks to a poor Hermann Hreidarsson shot that ended up deflected in by Ryan Shawcross.
Michael Jones called an extremely soft game, one that a Premier League referee should not call. He left a card too many in his pocket, but didn’t leave the whistle down when he should have done so.
Other Thoughts From Today
I do feel sorry for Aston Villa. They deserved something from their game with Chelsea. If Arsenal wasn’t doing everything in their power to not climb into fourth, Aston Villa’s home form would be a worrying sight heading down the stretch.
For being unbeaten in twelve, would you want six of those to be draws? Would you want the last three to be nil draws? Then again when looking at the lineup, the only two names that struck fear were Andrei Arshavin and Robin Van Persie. Arshavin I feel was subbed off too soon (maybe over cautious by Wenger after what happened to Eduardo on Monday), Robin Van Persie was kept in check all afternoon.
Bolton will have a few weeks to breathe away from the relegation zone after getting two quick goals in the first half, putting West Ham away. West Ham though looked like they could have went a month without getting an equalizer.
So Manchester United have finally given up a goal in the league. However with Edwin Van der Sar not in goal, how soon will we grow old of hearing about ‘Van der Sar’s streak’ instead of the one Manchester United had for so long? Cristiano Ronaldo’s free kick that proved the difference was simply sensational.