Saints, Pompey react to first derby in seven-plus years

Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

For the first time in more than seven years, Southampton and Portsmouth squared off for a south coast derby.

It did not disappoint.

If you haven’t read Joe Prince-Wright‘s excellent write-up on the derby and the day, do it now, as Southampton weathered an intense start from its game League One opposition and took a 2-0 lead through hometown boy Danny Ings en route to a 4-0 victory at Fratton Park.

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It was intense, and left us wanting more. We’re likely a few years away from that at a minimum, barring Cup draws, but even the well-traveled coaches were raving about the atmosphere.

“It is more than only reaching the next round. It is about reaching the hearts of the fans,” said Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl. “You could feel the tradition that is in this derby. I think I have never had such an atmosphere in a stadium so far and I have seen a lot in my entire footballing career. It was a very special game for me also.”

Despite the loss, Kenny Jackett was invigorated by the encounter. Full credit to him, the match was better because he didn’t sit back like most sides two divisions lower than their rival.

“As a manager, I didn’t want to come away not having a go tonight, and just shutting up shop.”

Pompey is just outside the relegation zone, so hopefully this result can buoy their season. And Saints have looked okay in the Premier League but it’s currently a division without a nailed-on relegation group.

We imagine both will be flying into their weekend matches.