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Pedro Mendes vs Manchester City | The Commentary Classics Series

"What a goal by Pedro Mendes! 2-1 Portsmouth lead and the survival is on!"

27 June 2020

Ellis Hampton

Pedro Mendes' stunning volley against Manchester City was more than just a goal – it was the catalyst that sparked the greatest of escapes.

While safety was mathematically secured away at Wigan, Mendes' unstoppable last-minute winner kick-started a 10-game run of form that kept Harry Redknapp's side in the Premier League.

Such a vital moment in the context of Pompey's 2004/05 season deserved some memorable commentary, which was provided by Sam Matterface.

“It was a do or die moment. Unless that goal had gone in, they would have been relegated. But the atmosphere at Fratton Park on days like that is clearly better than most places. The noise, the roar, you’ve got it all going on around you.

"In some big stadiums, you’re separated quite considerably from the general public, but not at Fratton Park. You’re in the mix, you’re part of the action, you feel every intake of breath. It’s fantastic for that. If it had happened at Manchester City away, I would have got kicked out!

"I actually played the commentary back the other day and my wife heard it and said ‘god, your voice sounds better now doesn’t it’, but it was one of those moments. When you live in the city, you breathe it, you know the players intimately and you’re involved in it, you can’t help that. I lost my composure, but I was quite happy to!

"That moment and the Sergio Aguero goal at the end of the season when Man City won the league were the only two in my career, and I’ve been doing this now for 20 years, where I lost it.

"I’m quite proud to be associated with that particular moment because it was big for the football club."

Sam Matterface

"One thing I will say is that I do describe what is happening. There was never a moment where I think the people listening were lost. When I did the Sergio Aguero moment and this moment, the build-up to it is quite composed until the actual moment of explosion.

"But it’s about being authentic, it’s about caring, it’s about being in touch with everybody else who’s watching it and knowing your audience.

"Every year, my Twitter starts going mad on the anniversary. The amount of people that still get involved in it is crazy. I’m quite proud to be associated with that particular moment because it was big for the football club."

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