A difficult week for Portsmouth, in which players were only paid due to a loan being taken out, was forgotten as second-half goals from Hermann Hreidarsson and Aruna Dindane fired them to a 2-0 win over Burnley.

Avram Grant’s men were indebted to stand-in goalkeeper Asmir Begovic who made top-class saves from Kevin McDonald and Steven Fletcher.

Portsmouth should have led in the first-half after Phil Dowd awarded a baffling penalty when Hreidarsson threw himself over Wade Elliott’s leg to win his side a spot-kick. But Dindane’s weak effort was saved by goalkeeper Brian Jensen, the Burnley stopper grabbing Dindane’s follow-up header.

But the visitors had the best of most of the match and will be disappointed to have lost a seventh away game of the season due to schoolboy defending yet again.

First Hreidarsson finished well across Jensen and then Dindane sealed the points with an unmarked header at the back post.

Fletcher had the best chance in the early stages of the match but got the ball stuck under his feet after being set up by Wade Elliott.

Dindane could have atoned for his fluffed penalty but fired at Jensen from a narrow angle after a lapse from Andre Bikey.

The second half followed a similar pattern with the visitors making all the play and Portsmouth looking nervous in possession.

Kevin McDonald’s thumped 25-yard effort was well saved by Begovic before Fletcher fired across goal and wide of the far post. But Begovic was again quickly called into action to repel Fletcher’s curling effort from the edge of the area.

But Grant reacted to Burnley’s dominance by replacing the ineffective Tommy Smith with Kanu and the introduction of the Nigerian changed the game.

It was the striker that made the crucial opening goal. Hreidarsson played the ball in to his feet and Kanu returned the pass for the Icelandic left-back to rifle a shot across Jensen inside the far post from ten yards. Burnley will point to a possibl handball from Dindane in the build-up and also to the fact that Hreidarsson looked a shade offside, but they are just excuses to disguise yet more shoddy defending from the Premier League new boys.

Kanu then set up Kevin Prince Boateng but the former Spurs man hit the side netting from close range as Burnley’s heads dropped.

And the win was complete when nobody shut down Jamie O’Hara after he took a short free-kick and nobody marked Dindane, the striker drifting between Bikey and Stephen Jordan to give Jensen no chance with a solid header from O’Hara’s fine centre.

The win took Portsmouth off the bottom of the table temporarily before Wolves sent them back to rock bottom by beating Bolton at Molineux. For Burnley, the atrocious away form is becoming more of a concern every week and the Clarets have slipped to 13th in the table.

This report was written for FansOnline.

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