The Premier Leagues Greatest Games #1

Portsmouth F.C. 7–4 Reading F.C.

Article By Ross Bell 

All the pre-match signs pointed to a home win, with Pompey unbeaten at Fratton Park that season and the Royals yet to win on the road and without a win over Portsmouth in 10 years.

It took just 7 mins for Pompey to get of the mark here with a strike from Zimbabwean striker Benajni who acrobatically turned the ball home unchallenged from a Sully Muntari Centre. The second goal of the came came after only 13 mins when again Benjani struck for the home side after a great run cutting in from the wing and rifling home a shot past the disparing dive of  Marcus Hahnemann in the Reading goal. As Half time approached Reading pulled a goal back to make it a respectable 2-1 at half time the goal came from a Stephen Hunt close range header.

No one could of predicted what happened next 

Reading started the second half with the ball and soon made Portsmouth pay after a defensive mix up between David James and Sol Campbell which left future Pompey hall of famer Dave Kitson the chance to score into the unguarded net 2-2 , GAME ON ! 

Defender Herman Hreidarsson raced forward to outjump the struggling Brynjar Gunnarsson and reach Sylvain Distin's left-foot cross, flicking home a header as Hahnemann was left grasping at thin air. 3-2 David James then made up for his earlier error by saving a Nicky Shorey penalty after Papa Boubba Diop had hand balled a Dave Kitson Pass right in front of Referee Mark Halsey, just 5 minutes later Pompey striker Benjani sealed his hat trick as he rounded Hahnemann and rolled the ball into the empty net 4-2 and surely game over.

It seemed that neither team had finished with the goals 

Portsmouth made it 5-2 in the 75th minute through Croatian midfielder Niko Kranjcar who somehow bundled the ball home from a Sean Davis cross 5-2 , but Reading came back yet again to make it 5-3 in the 79th min thanks to young striker Shane Long who had only been on the pitch for 2 mins after he deflected in James Harpers left footed volley that left just enough time for there to be 2 Own Goals and another Penalty the first of these own goals came from Reading defender Brynjar Gunnarsson who had a absolute stinker of a game that made the score 6-3 to Pompey , Sully Muntari finished the scoring for Pompey in the 92min with a drilled left foot penalty past the Reading Goalkeeper to finally end his miserable day and all that was left for Reading was to score a 4th consolation goal after Nicky Shorey's shot was deflected in off of Sol Campbell 

Full Time Score Portsmouth 7 Reading 4

Portsmouth coach Joe Jordan said after the game "The first half was probably our best 45 minutes this season, but to come in having conceded in the last minute of the half allowed them back in, Even at 2-2 I don't think anyone expected the score to be exaggerated to 7-4 but overall I think the best team won"

While Reading manger Steve Coppell had a hard time trying to explain what happened "It's difficult to analyse a match like that and if you try you will be there a very long time, We scored four goals away from home and had a chance for another with a penalty. We played a full part in the game - I don't think many teams will come here this season and score four."

Portsmouth -
GK1England David James
RB5England Glen Johnson
CB23England Sol Campbell
CB15France Sylvain Distin
LB7Iceland Hermann Hreiðarsson
RCM8Senegal Papa Bouba Diop
CM28England Sean Davis
LCM11Ghana Sulley Muntari
RW17Nigeria John Utaka
CF25Zimbabwe Benjani MwaruwariSubstituted off in the 80th minute 80'
LW19Croatia Niko Kranjčar
GK13England Jamie Ashdown
DF16France Noé Pamarot
MF14England Matthew TaylorBooked
MF30Portugal Pedro Mendes
FW10England David NugentSubstituted on in the 80th minute 80 

GK1United States Marcus Hahnemann
RB2Scotland Graeme MurtySubstituted off in the 77th minute 77'
CB29England Michael DuberryBooked
CB28Iceland Ívar Ingimarsson
LB3England Nicky Shorey
RM19England Liam Rosenior
CM6Iceland Brynjar GunnarssonSubstituted off in the 77th minute 77'
CM15England James Harper
LM10Republic of Ireland Stephen Hunt
CF9Republic of Ireland Kevin Doyle
CF12England Dave Kitson
GK32Australia Adam Federici
DF22Cameroon André Bikey
MF20Ivory Coast Emerse FaéSubstituted on in the 77th minute 77'
FW24Republic of Ireland Shane LongSubstituted on in the 77th minute 77'
FW8England Leroy Lita