Pompey pressed and outpassed Bournemouth in a manner the Cherries have not seen at Premier League level.
That was the flattering verdict from visiting boss Eddie Howe after his team survived an FA Cup scare to edge past the challenge of a spirited Blues side in Saturday’s fourth-round tie.
Portsmouth played very well, they pressed us and outpassed us which we haven’t seen at Premier League level.Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe
Gary Roberts netted a stunning goal for the hosts two minutes before the break to put Paul Cook’s side ahead.
He collected Marc McNulty’s slide-rule pass in his stride before putting the final touch to a brilliantly-worked team goal.
But with a Fratton Park upset on the cards, Bournemouth dug deep to come from behind to seal their progress thanks to goals from Josh King and substitute Marc Pugh.
Former Pompey player Howe, though, was full of praise for the Blues’ performance with the home side defying their League Two standing.
He said: ‘Reflecting on the game, the first half was poor.
‘Portsmouth played very well, they pressed us and outpassed us which we haven’t seen at Premier League level.
‘So there’s a lot to learn from the first half.
‘But thankfully players showed great character to come from behind in the circumstances.
‘I spoke numerous times to the players about what to expect and it was a tough game but one we’re pleased to win.’
Howe made 10 changes to his starting line-up for the tie, with skipper Tommy Elphick handed a first start in four months following a long-term ankle injury.
And the Cherries boss was happy to rotate his squad to give certain players priceless game time, although he stressed the result remained the most important thing.
‘It was crucial for the players to get minutes and it was great to have our captain back,’ he said.
‘We’re pleased we could give the players a good run out and get through, which is the most important thing.’