Sunday, September 29, 2013

29 September 2007 - This One Went To Eleven

On 29 September 2007, Portsmouth and Reading set a Premier League record with a 7-4 scoreline.

It was the eighth game of the season for both teams. Reading had struggled, with only two wins and one draw, and were sitting in seventeenth place. Portsmouth had done a bit better up that point and were in eleventh.

They met at Portsmouth's Fratton Park where the hosts jumped to a quick lead with a strike from forward Benjani Mwaruwari (pictured) in the seventh minute. He doubled the lead in the 37th minute, but Reading midfielder Stephen Hunt cut the deficit back to one right before the break.

The 2-1 halftime scoreline gave little indication of what was coming in the second half. Reading equalized through Dave Kitson three minutes after the restart, but Portsmouth then pulled back ahead with goals from Hermann Hreiðarsson (55'), Benjani (70'), and Niko Kranjčar (75') to set the margin at 5-2.

Shane Long pulled one back for the visitors in the 79th minute, but Reading defender Ívar Ingimarsson deflected a shot past his own goalkeeper, Marcus Hahnemann, two minutes later. So at the end of 90 minutes, the score stood at 6-3, but there were more goals to come. The referee awarded a penalty to Portsmouth in the second minute of stoppage time, converted by Sulley Muntari, then Portsmouth defender Sol Campbell delivered the day's last goal, but into his own net.

The match remains the highest-scoring game in the Premier League, though the record for the top flight is Nottingham Forest's 12-0 win over Leicester Fosse in 1892 (matched by West Brom over Darwen in 1909). The overall league record is 13-0, reached by Stockport County in 1934 and Newcastle in 1946.

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