Three Things We Learnt From Portsmouth’s Win Over Oxford United – Opinion

League leaders Portsmouth extended their unbeaten run to nine games after beating Oxford United 2-1 at Fratton Park on Saturday.

As a result, the gap to Derby County in second stays at seven points and Pompey are now one game closer to playing in the Championship next season. With the rest of the top five all winning, it was paramount that John Mousinho’s men put three points on the board.

There is also no change in Oxford’s position, however they are now three points behind Stevenage who operate the final play-off spot. To make matters worse, Blackpool also won below them, meaning that the Tangerines are not just one point behind Des Buckingham’s side.

The play-off race is still wide open, but based on recent form, it looks unlikely that Oxford will be playing in the post-season. Now winless in their last four, a reaction is very much needed but that is by no means a guarantee.

It looked as if it could be a long afternoon for the U’s after Callum Lang opened the scoring two minutes into the game for the hosts, but they’d level the scores just four minutes later through a Cameron Brannagan penalty.

Both sides did have chances, however the only other goal in the game would come midway through the second half, with Portsmouth substitute Christian Saydee sealing all three points for the league leaders.

Here’s three things we learnt from Portsmouth’s 2-1 victory over Oxford United…

Portsmouth possess the credentials of title contenders

It was by no means an easy or even ‘flash’ victory for Pompey, but they got through the game and have put three more points on the board. Grinding out wins is something that they’ve been able to do plenty of times this season which is one of the main reasons why they sit at the top the League One table.

Based on recent form, it looks highly unlikely that anyone will be able to knock them off of their perch. Mousinho has built a very solid team that knows how to do the job at hand, and that has worked all season bar the slight slip over Christmas.

Oxford’s play-off chances are decreasing by the game

Although they probably wouldn’t have expected to win this game, it’s yet another loss for Des Buckingham’s side. They’ve gradually slipped down the table in the last couple of months and are at serious risk of falling out of play-off contention all together.

With just one win in their last eight, they are obviously a side going in the wrong direction and look susceptible to being overtaken by a couple of teams below them. It’s not all doom and gloom with Stevenage and Leyton Orient both failing to win, however it doesn’t look pretty at the minute.

Callum Lang is the signing of the January transfer window

Talk about an impact signing. Lang now has four goals and an assist in his first seven appearances for the club. Those goals have proved pivotal in Pompey’s unbeaten run and they are yet to lose since the forward joined from Wigan in January.

He’s a true class act and a man in red-hot form. He was effective at Wigan but has added goals to his game which has made him a real asset to John Mousinho.

It’s highly likely that he’ll bag quite a few more prior to the end of the season, and his goals may well just take Portsmouth to the League One title.


About Ivan Newsome 364 Articles
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