MX23RW : Friday, September 24 06:15:45| >> :120:34725:34725:
Mar 11, 2006 at 3pm UK at Fratton Park
Portsmouth
2-1
Man CityManchester City
Mendes (60', 90')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Dunne (83')

On this day: Stunning Pedro Mendes brace sinks Manchester City

Nine years ago today, two goals from Pedro Mendes secured a vital victory for struggling Portsmouth over Manchester City.

Pedro Mendes's four-year stint in England will best be remembered by many for the goal that never was.

It was in 2005 that the former Portugal international, while playing for Tottenham Hotspur, saw his effort from 55 yards out at Old Trafford fumbled over the line by Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll.

However, in the days before Hawkeye technology and with both the referee and linesman unable to keep up with Mendes's shot, a goal was not awarded, despite the fact that Carroll had clearly clawed the ball back from a good two yards behind the line.

Yet Portsmouth fans are likely to remember the flamboyant midfielder for events on this day back in 2006, when Mendes almost single-handedly resuscitated the South Coast side's bid for Premier League survival.

When welcoming Manchester City to Fratton Park, Pompey were 19th in the table and some eight points from safety - games were running out and wins were a necessity.

Such pressure made for a nervy first half against Europe-chasing City, with Portsmouth's Benjani and Gary O'Neil both spurning chances at one end, while City midfielder Joey Barton skidded a shot just wide.

It was in the 60th minute, though, that Mendes struck. A corner was cleared to him and having taken one touch, he unleashed a powerful effort into the corner of David James's net.

Even so, the hosts had not kept a clean sheet since December and they were not about to start in this encounter. They failed to clear Barton's corner in the 83rd minute and when the ball fell for Richard Dunne, the centre-back nodded in from close range.

A draw would have been no use for Portsmouth, but as the match entered stoppage time, it seemed that they would have to settle for just the one point.

But, with only seconds remaining, they forced one more corner which again was worked to Mendes. On this occasion - from almost an identical spot to his first goal - he hit an even sweeter half-volley which flew beyond a rooted James, sparking scenes of wild celebration in the process.

"If we didn't win today we were dead and buried. It has given the players a lift and the fans a lift. It's going to be hard but you can only keep going and what today's result has done is keep us in there," Pompey boss Harry Redknapp said after the final whistle.

"It was no more than Pedro Mendes deserved because he was fantastic today. He hits balls like that in training. He's been doing it all week and we said 'save one for Saturday Pedro'. He saved two!"

City manager Stuart Pearce added: "The goals we conceded I don't think my defenders could do anything about it. The lad finished well although we might have challenged better outside the area."

PORTSMOUTH: Kiely; Priske, Primus, O'Brien, Taylor; O'Neil, Mendes, Davis (Routledge), D'Alessandro; LuaLua, Benjani (Todorov)

MAN CITY: James; Jihai, Dunne, Richards, Jordan (Ireland); Sinclair (Croft), Reyna (Wright-Phillips), Barton, Musampa; Vassell, Samaras

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Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring for Manchester United against Manchester City on February 13, 2005.
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