Rampant Portsmouth deliver demolition job to put leaders Sunderland to sword
Rampant Pompey demolished leaders Sunderland with a 4-0 super show in the Fratton rain.
Danny Cowley’s men emphatically put their seven-game winless run to bed with a superb display of high-pressing football in front of a crowd of 17,418.
Three goals in the first half did the damage as Marcus Harness set his side on their way on his 100th appearance, before Lee Brown and John Marquis extended their side’s lead.
The excellent Marquis then got his second to give the game a scoreline which didn’t flatter the home side.
The only worry was whether the game would be seen out with surface water over sections of the pitch, with the home side adapting to the conditions with ease.
The abandonment never materialised, however, to ensure the best performance of the Cowley era was rewarded.
Pompey made the breakthrough after 19 minutes with Harness applying the finish to an outstanding team move involving Gavin Bazunu, Ronan Curtis and Brown
Brown went from provider to goalscorer after 33 minutes, with Curtis pressing regaining the ball from Luke O’Nien. Harness picked up the pieces and cross with Marquis backheeling into the path of the left-back, who applied the right-footed finish.
It was three just before the break when Curtis’ free-kick was flashed home by Marquis as he converged with Dennis Cirkin.
The only worry for Pompey at the break was being beaten by the conditions as the rain continued to teem down and surface water in the corners of the pitch.
That was increasingly a concern as the second half progressed, but Pompey made it 4-0 after 61 minutes as Marquis got his second. His initial header from Morrell’s cross was parried by Hoffmann but the striker was on hand to snaffle away the loose ball.
Tunnicliffe should have made it five with 16 minutes left, but his chipped shot was smothered by Hoffmann after being played clean through by Harness.
But that mattered little as Pompey saw the game out with ease for a big three points.