Arsenal Hit Pompey For Six On This Day, 29th August 1987

29081987 Arsenal 6 Portsmouth 0 pI seem to recall at the time there was some nostalgia in the media for Portsmouth’s return to the top flight. Little could those scribes – any of us – have foreseen how their Premier League adventure would end in the next century.

As it was, former Arsenal captain Alan Ball saw his charges destroyed by Alan Smith’s first hat-trick for the club following his £800k transfer from Leicester City and subsequent loan spell with his old employers. It would precede the same goal tally for Smith in George Graham’s first title-winning season, almost twelve months to the day later.

29081987 Arsenal 6 Portsmouth 0


Arsenal Under A Blood Red Sky On This Day, 1st January 1988

Arsenal arrived at Fratton Park with a bleak weather outlook promising rain for the visiting supporters. It lived up to its promise, the open terrace ensuring that those hardy souls were well and truly soaked. Living in Guildford at the time, the return train journey was mercifully short by its usual away trip comparison.

There was not much to write home about in this fixture, beyond the malevolent atmospherics. Fratton Park in those days was inhospitable at the best of times, decrepit like many of its contemporaries. By now you’ll have guessed that there wasn’t much to talk about on the pitch beyond John Lukic’s penalty save which meant Arsenal kept hold of the point that they started the match with.

Arsenal had won just once in the previous eight games, beating Sheffield Wednesday at Highbury at the start of December. They went into this match on the back of consecutive defeats to Nottingham Forest and at Wimbledon. A point was a good result at the time even if Portsmouth were the Division One whipping boys.

01011988 Pompey