Date: 4th November 2006 at 5:11pm
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Manchester United eased to a 3-0 victory against Harry Redknapp’s Portsmouth, thus beating the 3rd and 4th place teams within a week.

After the disgraceful performance at Copenhagen, this time United quickly confirmed there will be no shock here: in the 3rd minute, Gary Neville’s long throw was controlled by Rooney in the box when Stefanovic fouled him from behind. It was a definite penalty and Louis Saha coolly placed his shot into the left side of the net.
Seven minutes later, we were two up. Saha got a kick on his knee by Davis 25 yards out and Ronaldo fired the free-kick inside of the left-hand post.

The rest of the half was scattered with spurned chances – even Gary Neville could have got a brace! David James was outstanding, though, so United still only had a two-goal advantage when five minutes before the interval the visitors had their first shot on goal. Gary O’Neill’s powerful drive was beaten away by van der Sar but despite this late chance, the two-goal difference was distinctly flattering for Redknapp’s team.

The second half started, unsurprisingly, with United missing chances. Rooney shot wide after a fine back-heel from Saha then Giggs and Saha both had opportunities but it was Vidic who headed in the Red Devils’ third after Gary Neville’s superb cross.

The rest of the game was a quiet affair, with the hosts creating and spurning chances at will. An easy victory for United who are still top of the table and have a massive goal difference of +21. Good work, lads, happy anniversary, Sir Alex!

Player Ratings

Van der Sar 6
Did his job well but rarely troubled.

Gary Neville 7
It’s a shame he could not score from any of the openings created for him. He rarely had anything to do at the back so he could be an integral part of our attacks. Crossed the ball onto Vidic’s head wonderfully.

Ferdinand 6
Not much to do, occasionally went forward and had a threatening header on goal, parried by James.

Vidic 7
Solid at the back, and scored his second league goal of the season – he’s starting to become a minor favourite of mine!

Evra 7
He was lively at left-back and left-midfield, too.

Ronaldo 8
Fantastic, thunderous free-kick and the visitors’ back four simply could not cope with his pace.

Carrick 8
He was influential throughout. His passing was of a very high standard and often broke up Pompey’s attacks. His partnership with Scholes is improving rapidly.

Scholes 8
He was fantastic again; I could even say he did what he always does…

Giggs 6
He was a bit subdued though occasionally showed why he’s still one of the best wide players – his chip to Rooney was wonderful.

Rooney 8
He desperately wanted to score and on two occasions he decided to shoot when passing the ball would have been a better option but otherwise he was lively, full of energy and creativity.

Saha 7
His second penalty of the season was much more confident than the first one and he caused problems for Pompey with his mobility throughout the game. Should have scored one more.

Silvestre 6
Replaced Carrick and did well.

Fletcher 7
He could not live up to Ronaldo’s performance on the right wing but made a good contribution and started some fine moves.
He did not really make an impact but he seemed confident – as everyone else.