Portsmouth had spent much of their debut campaign in the Premier League fighting for survival until a staggering run of six victories from their final 10 matches ensured that Harry Redknapp's team lived to fight another day in the top flight.
During that period, Pompey had stunned Manchester United with a 1-0 triumph at Fratton Park and after a solid start to the following season which saw Portsmouth register three wins in front of their home faithful, hopes were high when Sir Alex Ferguson's team returned to the South Coast on this day in 2004.
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United had suffered just one defeat in their first 10 games, which came at Chelsea in Jose Mourinho's first match in England, and the Red Devils were coming off a 2-0 success over Arsenal at Old Trafford that had ended the Gunners' unbeaten run that had stretched 49 matches.
The contest began as many had expected, with United making all of the early running. Cristiano Ronaldo, who was competing in his second season in England, was looking particularly threatening and the Portuguese winger had three attempts kept out by Shaka Hislop during the first 20 minutes.
More chances arrived at the feet of United players as Alan Smith's strike was parried away by Hislop before Paul Scholes lashed a long-range effort marginally wide of the post as United targeted progress into the top four in the standings.
However, as the frustration began to grow within the United ranks, Portsmouth's confidence started to rise with Ricardo Fuller, who had been introduced as a substitute for the injured Diomansy Kamara, causing Gabriel Heinze problems down the right before setting up Lomano LuaLua who had a shot blocked on the line.
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The Jamaican continued to be a threat after the restart and seven minutes into the second half, he powered into the penalty area before being hauled back by Rio Ferdinand, leaving referee Neale Barry with little choice but to award a spot kick which David Unsworth comfortably converted past Roy Carroll.
United's response was instant and almost effective. Phil Neville stood the ball up for Ronaldo to head against the woodwork before Wayne Rooney sent a wayward effort past the post as Pompey started to retreat deeper into their own final third.
However, with 18 minutes remaining, much of the pressure was relieved when Portsmouth doubled their advantage through Yakubu Aiyegbeni. The Nigerian had condemned United to defeat in the spring and he repeated the trick for a second time when out-foxing Ferdinand before his deflected effort found the back of the net after deceiving Carroll.
United attempted to find another gear in the closing stages but Portsmouth held out to move into the top half of the table to heighten expectations at the club as they looked to improve on the previous season's 13th position.
The win over the then eight-time Premier League champions turned out to be the last top-flight victory for Redknapp in his first of two spells in charge of Portsmouth. His resignation was rumoured to be because of a disagreement with chairman Milan Mandaric, but this was something that Redknapp would deny.
Despite insisting that he would "never go down the road", Redknapp was appointed as the new Southampton boss just two weeks after his exit, sparking divided opinions between fans of the two teams with neither set of supporters happy with the events that had transpired. The switch proved to to a short one, though, with the Saints being relegated to the Championship under Redknapp's guidance before he eventually returned to Portsmouth.