Emotional Grant savours Pompey win

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Portsmouth boss Avram Grant admitted being overwhelmed by emotion when he marched onto the pitch to salute fans after the FA Cup win over rivals Southampton at the end of a week when his club nearly went out of business.

Pompey defeated their neighbours 4-1 at St Mary's, pulling away with goals from Aruna Dindane, Nadir Belhadj and Jamie O'Hara after Rickie Lambert had cancelled out Quincy Owusu-Abeyie's opener.

"I'm very emotional and this is an emotional game," Grant said. "If you win, you make 250,000 other people happy, this is what football is about."

Victory in the fifth-round tie means Pompey have bragging rights on the south coast and go into the quarter-final hat - but the bigger picture is that they have to return to the High Court to fight a winding-up order from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

"I will fight until the last moment," Grant said. "As long as we have a chance on the pitch. What happens in court is out of my hands. If they need to punish someone then it is a person that does something wrong. I don't know who that is but it is not us."

The eventual scoreline flattered the visitors, who had David James to thank for keeping the scores level at half-time. He pulled off fine saves to deny Papa Waigo N'Diaye and Wayne Thomas in the first half, then Adam Lallana just after the restart.

Saints boss Pardew was pleased with his side's performance until Pompey pulled away with their late goals.

"We tried to play a controlled game and not to open it up," he said.

"We did well with that. We were very disappointed not to be leading at half-time, David James was terrific, and it was evenly poised. Psychologically, scoring first would have been tough for Portsmouth."

"I think next time we'll play them we'll be in a stronger position. We are a lot closer than the team that played because we had players unavailable."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Wayne Thomas
David James
Rickie Lambert
Premier League
Adam Lallana
Quincy Owusu-Abeyie
Nadir Belhadj
Aruna Dindane
FA Cup
Jamie O'Hara

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