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Hebda penalty piles pressure on clarets

Burnley 1-2 Portsmouth Line-up/stats
Premier League Results/standings

A bad week ended with some relief for Portsmouth as they beat Burnley at Turf Moor. A Hassan Yebda penalty and Piquionne strike either side of a Martin Paterson goal was enough to sink the Clarets who now find themselves only one place above Pompey and deep in the relegation mire.

Portsmouth, now all but relegated thanks to the impending nine point deduction, were looking to take their mind off financial woes and give their fans some much needed relief. As for the home side, the game offered a possible three vital points as they have a relegation battle of their own to fight.

During a quiet start, it was Portsmouth who created the first real opening on ten minutes. Owusu-Abeyie through ball was interrupted by Leon Cort, but the ball fell kindly to Danny Webber but the striker could only drag his shot wide of Brian Jensen’s goal. Webber then flicked Nadir Belhadj's cross from the left into the net but strike was ruled out for offside.

The home side then had their first attack of the afternoon, as Martin Paterson raced down the wing and his cut-back cross was cut out by the fingers of David James. Minutes later Andre Bikey had a header then went just wide.

The deadlock was broken on the twenty-five minute mark, as Portsmouth who had looked slightly brighter of the two sides took the lead. Jamie O'Hara found Webber, who caught Burnley's defence flat-footed with a low ball to the far post, which was turned in by Frederic Piquionne.

The goal conceded seemed to spark the home side into life and they hit-back almost immediately. Brian Jensen's long kick was flicked on by Steven Fletcher and Martin Paterson hooked a stunning lob over James and into the net.

Burnley were now on top and went close to going in front, first through a Robbie Blake free-kick that just sailed over the bar and Wade Elliot had a shot saved by James from the edge of the area.

Five minutes before the break, Portsmouth were forced into a change as Owusu-Abeyie is replaced by John Utaka.  Jamie O'Hara then hit a left-foot curler that pinged back off the bar, and Danny Fox cleared Danny Webber's shot on the line. However the teams went in at the break all-square.

Portsmouth once again came out the better team in the second half and should have taken the lead ten minutes in when they were awarded an penalty after Clark Carlisle brought down Piquionne. O’Hara stepped up to take the spot-kick but Jensen guesses right and saved the penalty.

Burnley then had a chance of their own to go ahead through Fletcher. But the Scottish star couldn’t direct his free header on target from Paterson’s right-wing cross. Brian Laws response was to bring on Jack Cork and Chris Eagles for Bikey and Elliot.

Burnley were now firmly on top and went close again when Danny Fox’s shot long-range shot dipped just past the post.

The winner came though with twelve minutes to play with another Portsmouth penalty. Carlisle again the guilty party bringing down Utaka this time and Hassen Yebda converted to give Portsmouth all three points.

Ricardo Rocha was sent off in injury time for Pompey but they held on for the result and heaped even more pressure on Burnley and Brian Laws.

Burnley boss Brian Law brought Martin Paterson in for his first league start since September in the absence of the ineligible David Nugent, while Robbie Blake and Wade Elliott also returned to the starting XI, but there was no place for Graham Alexander who has failed to shake off a calf strain. Portsmouth made two changes at the end of a week in which they officially entered administration, Ricardo Rocha and Danny Webber were drafted in at the expense of Papa Boupa Diop and Aruna Dindane.

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