Man U thrash Portsmouth 4-1; Giggs scores 100th EPL goal
Portsmouth: Portsmouth were on the receiving end of a Manchester United goal-glut, conceding four times with only one response.
Prior to United`s trip to Fratton Park to take on Portsmouth, Sir Alex Ferguson alluded to the potential of "new manager syndrome" in upsetting the reigning Premier League champions` ambitions of returning to Manchester with maximum points.
Avram Grant`s unofficial (work permit issues prevent the Israeli from officially taking the reigns at Pompey) start to his Portsmouth tenure, though, did not begin with a win, despite Ferguson`s absence from the touchline - the Scotsman began his two-game touchline ban for his defamatory "unfit" comments aired toward officiator Alan Wiley.
Ryan Giggs, 36 on Sunday, began his celebrations a day early as he danced his way around the Fratton Park turf. In the 10th minute the Welsh wizard proved his Premier League class by enjoying the freedom of the left flank and threatening Asmir Begovic`s goal with box-bound crosses that begged for an obliging head.
The Bosnian stopper showed a good command of his area, however, and prevented any controversy that Sir Alex may have spoken of in his post-match notes, as Giggs capitalised on a pass that found it`s way to his feet via referee Mike Dean.
Portsmouth had their early chances, too, but Tomasz Kuszczak proved a reliable glovesman, saving efforts from Aruna Dindane and midfielder Jamie O`Hara. The latter of which was a well struck volley from outside the area.
In the 25th minute, Wayne Rooney was adjudged by Dean to have been felled in the area by Michael Brown, and the stocky English striker made no mistake from the resultant spot-kick - he slipped his penalty to the right, Begovic unable to prevent the conversion.
Six minutes later the home side found an equaliser, again from the penalty spot, as highly-rated prospect Kevin Prince Boateng placed an accurate strike to the left hand side of Kuszczak.
Rooney restored United`s lead three minutes after the re-start. Giggs playing provider, who guided a lofted ball toward Rooney who, in turn, fooled Begovic with a low shot.
Six minutes later and the watching fans were treated to a third penalty of the game as the productive Giggs was deemed to have been on the wrong end of a Piquionne foul. Rooney, for his hat-trick, elected to fire to the left hand side of Begovic`s net, and the result was the same as the first - a goal to the visitors.
Giggs capped his performance with a goal three minutes from full-time - his 100th in the Premier League.
Dean awarded United with a free-kick and the veteran midfielder curled a delightful shot around the wall and into the bottom corner, and Begovic stood little chance of denying Giggs his champagne moment.
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