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Portsmouth 0 United 1

Firstly please let me apologise for forgetting to write up the Newcastle home game. It started off as a very good day indeed- afterall we were welcoming home the European champions to Old Trafford. But as you all know, it ended with a pretty poor draw and United failing to find a way through the stubborn defence. It was a blow to lose points on the opening day and made the game at Fratton Park all the more important.

It seemed like deja vu playing pompey away as the second game of the season on a windy evening- it was exactly the same as last season which also followed a home draw. But fortunately United’s team was not as weak as it had been the previous week, as Tevez and Anderson both returned. I had a bad feeling about the game as United’s rocky start and lack of fire power has been discussed over and over, whilst Pompey have a very good home record and none of the top four won there last season.

Before the match started the United end was already bouncing. Sometimes Fratton Park is one of the games a lot of regulars will miss - coming down on a Monday night at £35 a ticket with no trains back after the game and work the next day is not exactly enticing- but this year it was full of the usual suspects and the noise was fantastic. It was the first game since Moscow that there was been a real celebration of that night’s events and as the teams warmed up every player had their name sung, as did John Terry of course. “He could have won the cup, but he fucked it up, viva John Terry” could be continually heard throughout the match, and there was a twenty minute period of “Champions of England, and Champions of Europe” emanating from the Red section.

On the pitch United started strongly. It was a fast and furious match and the ball spun around at high tempo. United dominated the possession, tested David James(who of course received much abuse) and marked Peter ‘freak’ Crouch out the match. Vidic and Rio did not give Defoe a sniff of goal whilst Tevez, Anderson, Evra and Rooney all looked dangerous on the attack. The goal eventually came after a lovely move, finished by our new top scorer Darren Fletcher. He deserves it for his work rate alone, and has been long overdue some praise and credit.

For the remainder of the match United never looked in danger. Pompey were restricted to two shots from distance where as United could have put away a couple more. Rooney looked a lot better on the ball and was unlucky to be given offside after he put the ball away. It was a little bit nervy at the end but United really deserved the points.

It has been a few months since Reds got to sing for 90 mins at full volume and watch the team do the business on the pitch at the same time. Now there are three weeks to get Carrick and Park back, let Anderson rest, see Nani return from suspension and hopefully watch the arrival of Berbatove. Things seem a lot less ominous than last weekend when we had no players and had a bad start. Bring on Anfield.

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