Date: 29th of September, 2007.
Venue: Fratton Park (20,102 fans attended that day)
Referee: Mark Halsey
Managers: Harry Redknapp (Portsmouth, England) and Steve Coppell (Reading, England)
Defence: David James (goalkeeper, England), Glen Johnson (right back, England) Sol Campbell (center back, England), Sylvain Distin (center back, France) and Hermann Hreidarsson (left back, Iceland).
Midfield: Sulley Muntari (central midfielder, Ghana) Sean Davis (central midfielder, England) and Papa Bouba Diop (central midfielder, Senegal).
Forwards: John Utaka (right wing, Nigeria), Benjani Mwaruwari (striker, Zimbabwe, 80′) and Niko Kranjcar, (left wing, Croatia).
Subs: Jamie Ashdown (goalkeeper, England), Matty Taylor (midfielder, England), Noe Pamarot (defender, France), Pedro Mendes (midfielder, Portugal) and David Nugent (striker, England, 80′)
Defence: Marcus Hanehmann (goalkeeper, United States), Graeme Murty (right back, Scotland, 77′), Michael Duberry (center back, England), Ivar Ingimarsson (center back, Iceland) and Nicky Shorey (left back, England).
Midfield: Liam Rosenior (right midfielder, England), Brynjar Gunnarsson (central midfielder, Iceland, 77′), James Harper (central midfielder, England) and Stephen Hunt (left midfielder, Ireland).
Forwards: Kevin Doyle (striker, Ireland) and Dave Kitson (striker, England).
Subs: Adam Federici (goalkeeper, Australia), Andre Bikey (defender, Cameroon), Emerse Fae (midfielder, Ivory Coast, 77′), Shane Long (striker, Ireland, 77′) and Leroy Lita (striker, England).
This game may have looked like your average top flight clash on paper, but back on the 29th of September 2007, Portsmouth and Reading played out a classic that turned out to be the highest scoring match ever in the Premier League to date.
Zimbabwean striker, Benjani (remember him?!) put Pompey 2-0 up with 37 minutes gone, before Stephen Hunt pulled a scrappy goal back before half time. So, the scoreline read 2-1 during the break at Fratton Park and nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary. Cue second half chaos …
Dave Kitson fired the visitors level on 48 minutes as Portsmouth goalkeeper, David James, had a rush of blood to the head and came charging out of his box only to be fooled by the Reading front man. Then it was Icleandic defender Hermann Hreidarsson’s turn to put the home side back in charge, finishing cheekily through the legs of Reading goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann in the 55th minute. Nicky Shorey incredibly had the chance to bring Reading level again on the hour mark, but saw his penalty kick effort saved brilliantly by James who atoned for his earlier mistake.
Benjani completed his hat-trick on 70 minutes, before Croatian midfielder, Niko Kranjcar poked in a header at the back post to make it 5-2 just five minutes later. James Harper’s powerful left-foot volley deflected in off substitute Shane Long, despite him seemingly being offside and that made it 5-3 to set up a crazy finale.
In the 81st minute, Sean Davis’ long range effort took a wicked deflection off Ivar Ingimarsson’s head and flew into the back of the net (6-3).
Then it was Hahenmann’s turn to lose his cool in the 92nd minute as he bought down the impressive Benjani in the box, allowing Sulley Muntari to have a go from the spot and he converted in (7-3). Nicky Shorey’s deflected effort in the 94th minute of the match (which later went down on record as a Sol Campbell own goal) drew a close to this breathless Premier League classic.
It was a joy for all neutral fans of the Premier League and a highly intense one for fans of Portsmouth and Reading I’m sure.
All the goals from the match can be found on this video below, enjoy!
Video belongs to it’s rightful Youtube owner.