Sat Sep 15 2001 - League
Palace suffered their third league defeat on the spin and put in another poor defensive performance, losing 4-2 away to Portsmouth. Portsmouth took an early lead through Alessandro Zamperini. The Italian scored from a Robert Prosinecki cross, which deflected off a Palace defender into his path.
On 38 minutes, it was the Croatian Prosinecki who found the net. Mark Burchill was fouled on the edge of the area by Dean Austin and Prosinecki curled a fantastic free-kick into the top left-hand corner.
In injury time, the Croat tried it again from a free kick, but the attempt was well saved by keeper Matt Clarke.
After the interval, Palace went looking for the equaliser, but it was Pompey who scored. It was Burchill scoring from the penalty spot after Jamie Smith had upended Pitt in the penalty area.
However, with 15 minutes remaining Portsmouth restored their two goal lead through giant striker Peter Crouch. His header sealed Portsmouth's victory from a corner on the right.
Another disappointing result for Crystal Palace, who lost substitute Tommy Black with a red card in the last minute of the game after two bookable offences.
Man of the match: Freedman.
Post match comments:
Boss Steve Bruce slammed referee David Elleray's poor performance in his side's 4-2 defeat away to Portsmouth yesterday.
The Eagles lost their third league defeat in a row and were again woeful at the back, having now conceded 14 goals in the league - the worst in the division.
Bruce said: "I don't usually criticise referees but it was like facing 13 men today. We had six bookings, a player sent off and a very dubious penalty decision against us.
"How much more do we have to put up with? It wasn't a dirty game and I just can't come to terms with it. I can't say what I would like for obvious reasons. You would know what would happen."
Bruce insisted that one of the corners which Pompey scored from should not have been awarded in the first place.
He said: "Our keeper Clarke felt the ball went out of play in the process of Portsmouth scoring their first goal."
About Black's sending off, Bruce added: "He made two challenges to win the ball and got booked for them, resulting in a red card."
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Ground: Fratton Park (Attendance: 18149)
Portsmouth: Ilic, Crowe, Hiley, Zamperini (Buxton 45), Pitt, Harper, Barrett, Quashie (O'Neil 73), Prosinecki (Bradbury 82), Burchill, Crouch.
Subs not used: Tardif, Vincent.
Bookings: Burchill, Harper, Pitt.
Goals: Zamperini 5, Prosinecki 38, Burchill 63 pen, Crouch 76.
Palace: Clarke, Austin, Popovic, Harrison (Black 68), Smith (Rubins 68), Mullins, Rodger (Kabba 89), Riihilahti, Kirovski, Morrison, Freedman.
Subs not used: Kolinko, Thomson.
Bookings: Austin, Black, Kirovski, Smith.
Sent off: Black 89.
Goals: Rodger 11, Freedman 70.
Referee: D Elleray (Harrow-on-the-Hill)
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