Pompey’s Premiership openers

Jason Rodgers

Portsmouth’s first game in the Premier League couldn’t have gone much better. A 2-1 win over Aston Villa was followed by a good away point at Manchester City, before a 4-0 win over Bolton briefly put Pompey top of the league. 

Harry Redknapp’s side were favourites to be relegated. After their good start, they struggled badly, slumping into the relegation zone in March after a horrendous run of four wins in 25 games. One defeat in their last 10 however, ensured comfortable survival for Portsmouth, eventually finishing in 13th on 45 points.

Here are the starting XI and subs who were part of that historic opening day…

Portsmouth took the Premier League by storm largely thanks to the millions of Milan Mandaric. Mandaric established the club as a stable mid-table side before selling Pompey in 2006. Sadly it was under new ownership where things went badly wrong. High, unsustainable spending led to initial success culminating in an FA Cup victory in 2008, but soon after the club fell into administration, and almost out of business as they plummeted down to League Two.

After a painful four seasons in the fourth tier, Portsmouth won the title last year much to their dedicated, but long-suffering fanbase. With a takeover well on track, can Portsmouth get back to the heady heights of these unlikely heroes? It will be fascinating to find out.

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