Premiership, March 11, 2006
One of the most memorable matches in Pompey’s history – and the spark behind the club’s Great Escape.
A late stunner from Pedro Mendes earned the Blues their ﬁrst win of 2006 as they saw off Manchester City before a crowd of 19,556 to keep their Premiership survival hopes alive.
Harry Redknapp was back as Pompey manager but – despite a string of new signings in the January transfer window – his side had yet to ﬁre.
They had picked up just one point from seven matches and started the game against City eight points behind West Brom, who were one place above the relegation zone.
Pompey looked dead and buried with the match locked at 1-1 going into the ﬁnal seconds.
Two minutes and 50 seconds of stoppage-time had been played when Mendes collected the ball on the edge of the penalty area and thrashed an unstoppable shot past David James into the top corner.
It was Mendes – a January arrival from Spurs – who had put Pompey ahead on 59 minutes when he picked up a clearance and lashed home a 25-yard shot for his ﬁrst Pompey goal.
It seemed the Blues were robbed of two vital points when Richard Dunne netted seven minutes from time – but Mendes struck again at the death to spark joyous scenes at Fratton.
Chants of ‘We are staying up,’ echoed around the ground and the late drama proved the catalyst to Pompey’s remarkable run to top-ﬂight safety .
POMPEY: Dean Kiely, Brian Priske, Linvoy Primus, Andy O’Brien, Matt Taylor, Sean Davis (Wayne Routledge), Pedro Mendes, Gary O’Neil, Andres D’Alessandro, Lomana Lualua, Benjani (Svetoslav Todorov).
MANCHESTER CITY: David James, Sun Jihai, Richard Dunne, Micah Richards, Stephen Jordan (Stephen Ireland), Trevor Sinclair (Lee Croft), Claudio Reyna (Shaun Wright-Phillips), Joey Barton, Kiki Musampa, Darius Vassell, Georgios Samaras.