Kanu gives Portsmouth a rare away win
( AFP ) - Portsmouth savoured the rare taste of an away victory after Nwankwo Kanu's goal clinched a 1-0 success at Blackburn on Sunday.
Harry Redknapp's side arrived at Ewood Park on a run of 13 away games without a win stretching back to last year's Boxing Day triumph at West Ham.
But Nigerian striker Kanu ended that woeful sequence with a cool first half finish for his third goal of the season.
It was only Portsmouth's second Premier League win of the season and condemned Blackburn to their first league defeat.
Mark Hughes was furious after Blackburn's woeful UEFA Cup loss against Larissa on Thursday and this result will not have improved his mood, especially as they were the more impressive side in the early stages.
Roque Santa Cruz hit the crossbar in the fourth minute with a powerful header from David Bentley's cross.
Then England winger Bentley forced David James to make a good stop to keep out his free-kick after Papa Bouba Diop fouled Robbie Savage.
Benni McCarthy should have done better than shooting wide from close range and those misses proved costly.
Portsmouth attacked with menace on the break and Brad Friedel had to produce a sensational double save to keep Blackburn level.
Friedel blocked Kanu's effort from John Utaka's cross and then got up to deny the Nigerian's attempt from the rebound.
But Kanu was not to be denied and 60 seconds later he scored his third of the season. He got round Friedel, held off Stephen Warnock and slotted home past Christopher Samba's despairing lunge.
Samba almost handed Portsmouth a second when he headed James's goalkick over Friedel, but the American keeper managed to scramble the ball clear.
Blackburn struggled to impose themselves in the second half and when they did pose questions for the visitors, James was able to come up with the answers.
Roque Cruz lashed in a fierce effort that James parried well, then Bentley curled a free-kick just wide and that was all Rovers had to offer.
Portsmouth nearly padded the score when Matt Taylor's powerful strike, his first touch after coming off the bench, drew a brilliant save from Friedel.
But Redknapp's side had done enough and, for once, they could look forward to the long journey home.