An emphatic Kassam Stadium scoreline, yet Kenny Jackett believes his side can use such lessons to their advantage.
For the manager, the distance between League One new-boys Pompey and Oxford United was minimal after 82 minutes.
I don’t think you can necessarily put a timeframe on when you learn and when you deliver, that has to be nowKenny Jackett
Ultimately, the hosts ran out 3-0 winners, while the Blues struggled to register an impact in the final attacking third.
Nonetheless, it was an important education as the League Two winners settle into their new surroundings.
Jackett said: ‘This is a new level and lots of clubs have similar investment.
‘I’ve been reading about Oxford, where Darryl Eales, the executive chairman, feels this is their strongest squad.
‘In the summer they sold one or two, brought in eight and have good balance, good competition and good options.
‘There are good clubs in this division. Do we aspire to be one of them? Yes, we do.
‘If Saturday shows us where we have to be then, if nothing else, it comes out as a positive.
‘It’s a lesson, but I don’t think there was that much between the teams.
‘It was an open game even when we were 1-0 down, probably until the 82nd minute.
‘Being quite honest, after going 2-0 down I couldn’t see us coming back into it after that.
‘We got up around their 18-yard box enough times, but I cannot really remember taking people out of the game with good passing, playing one-twos or pace and power in one-v-one situations.
‘We didn’t look potent in those situations and that is the main thing we need to improve on.
‘It is always a learning process, I don’t think you can necessarily put a time frame on when you learn and when you deliver, that has to be now.
‘But it’s always a learning process along the way, particularly early season for a club, the manager and the players.
‘You have to learn and you have to learn quickly about the division – particularly if you are in a new division and how you are going to get on top of them.’
Oxford finished eighth in League One last term under Michael Appleton, before the manager’s summer decision to join Leicester prompted changes.
Pep Clotet arrived as boss ahead of pre-season and the U’s have won both league fixtures so far under his stewardship.
Meanwhile, Pompey have Jackett in charge – a manager who has twice won promotion at this level, most recently with Wolves in 2013-14.
He added: ‘People talk about differences at this level and there is definitely more power.
‘If you look at their midfield players, Josh Ruffels and Ryan Ledson, they both have very, very good physiques, but are comfortable on the ball and can get around.
‘When you are look at Marvin Johnson’s break from one box to the other down the left-hand side in the second half, it was a great tackle by Burgess in the end.
‘But there was a big difference in the athleticism and power in those moments.
‘It’s about learning and making sure we make the right moves to be a force ourselves.’