Robinho stars as City run riot
Robinho produced another captivating display to inspire Manchester City to a 6-0 win over Portsmouth today. This result left his new club fifth in the Premier League, while Portsmouth dropped down into 12th place.
Robinho, making his second league appearance since joining from Real Madrid for a British record £32.5 million, teed up fellow Brazilian Jo to score his first goal in England's top flight, before finding the net himself. City captain and Republic of Ireland defender Richard Dunne also got his name on the scoresheet, and Shaun Wright-Phillips added his team's fourth goal.
Substitute Ched Evans added to Portsmouth's embarrassment in the closing stages, the 19-year-old grabbing his first senior goal for the club. And there was still time for Gelson Fernandes, another substitute, to score.
Portsmouth, FA Cup winners in May, were expected to give Mark Hughes's side a stern test, yet the south coast club were fortunate to escape a heavier defeat as City turned on the style with a display which suggests they could be top four contenders this season.
But it was Robinho's efforts which captivated the home fans at Eastlands. As early as the third minute he forced former City keeper David James into a fine save, before creating a chance from which Wright-Phillips tested the England international.
Portsmouth's nervous defence held out until the 13th minute when Robinho set Jo on his way, the former CSKA Moscow striker skipping past the advancing James before rolling the ball into the net with his left foot. City doubled their advantage seven minutes later, Dunne tapping home his first Premier League goal since October 2006 after Elano's corner hit the bottom of the post.
Portsmouth created few chances, yet former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch spurned a 28th-minute opportunity to reduce the deficit after stabbing wide Glen Johnson's cross. Sol Campbell thought he'd scored for the visitors in the closing stages of the first half, but his header was hooked off the line by Pablo Zabaleta.
However, the second half belonged to the home side as Portsmouth conceded four more goals. Robinho made it two league goals in as many appearances as he rounded off a delightful move involving the impressive Stephen Ireland and Jo by finding the net in the 56th minute.
Then Wright-Phillips sparked joyous scenes among City fans, beating James at the near post after a defence-splitting pass by Ireland in the 68th minute.
Pompey were shell-shocked yet their troubles were far from over. Evans, who had replaced Jo eight minutes earlier, made it 5-0 as he took advantage of more chaotic defending by the visitors in the 78th minute. And five minutes later, an error by James allowed Fernandes to wrap up a stunning victory for City.