Saturday 21 December 2013
Southampton beat Portsmouth at home for the second time inside three weeks, in the first Barclays Premier League derby between the sides.
The Saints followed up their 2-0 League Cup win at the start of the month with a victory that moved them two places up to fourth but dropped their South Coast rivals into the relegation zone.
In a fiercely contested encounter, Southampton took the lead in the 34th minute when Jason Dodd’s corner was headed into the net off the underside of the bar by Pompey defender Sebastien Schemmel. Saints captain Dodd was credited with the goal – his first strike since October 2000.
Marian Pahars doubled the lead midway through the second half when he collected the ball in the middle of the Portsmouth half, powered past two defenders and unleashed a fierce shot that flew into the net.
Newly promoted Portsmouth, who were without an away win in the league, offered little in return and James Beattie headed home Dodd’s cross two minutes into stoppage time for his first goal since netting twice against Pompey in the League Cup.
It was Southampton’s third straight league win and manager Gordon Strachan said: “More than winning a derby, for a middle-of-the-league club to pick up nine points from three games is manna from heaven.”
Portsmouth, promoted the previous season, went on to have a better second half of the campaign than Southampton, and beat Saints at Fratton Park in March. Southampton finished 12th in the table, two points and one place above Pompey.