Portsmouth 7 – 4 Reading 29/09/2007
This match between Portsmouth and Reading set a record as the highest scoring match in Premier League history. Eleven goals were scored that day at Fratton Park, with Pompey coming out on the right end of the 7-4 scoreline. All the pre-match signs pointed to a scrappy home win. Harry Redknapp’s team was currently unbeaten at home and the Royals were not only yet to win on the road but were without a win over Portsmouth for 10 years. Reading Manager Steve Coppell was coming under increasing pressure and you would have been forgiven for expecting a close, cagey affair. But that’s not what we got.
It only took seven minutes for Pompey to open the scoring. Benjani, replacing an injured Kanu, started and finished the move, winning possession at halfway before spreading it out to Muntari on the left wing. Muntari picked out Benjani with a pinpoint cross and the home side looked well on their way to extending their streak. Shortly before half time the Zimbabwean doubled their lead. Cutting in from the right wing, he stepped back inside Ingimarsson, before unleashing a shot that left Marcus Hahnemann with no chance between the sticks. The Royals did somehow find a lifeline before the break. A close range Stephen Hunt header kept Reading in a game where they had never looked competitive.
At 2-1 nobody could have expected an eight goal second half but that’s what he got. Reading came out for the second half like a bat out of hell and a David James howler allowed David Kitson to equalize. From there, any concept of defending seemed to go out the window. Herman Hreidarsson struck to regain Pompey’s lead before James made amends for his error by repelling a Nicky Shorey penalty. There was still time for Benjani to net his hat-trick and for Niko Kranjcar, Sean Davis and Sulley Muntari to get on the act as the Reading backline capitulated. Shane Long and Shorey did manage to score two consolation goals that saved the Royals some blushes but they were well beaten in the end.
Any match which features 11 goals is likely to be high on entertainment and thoroughly enjoyable for the impartial observer but this will not be one that either sides’ defenders will thank you for reminding them about.
Pundit Arena, Donal Lucey.
Featured Image By Ben Hardinge (Flickr: DSCF0938) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.