Hammers v Portsmouth

Second half goals from Teddy Sheringham and Yossi Benayoun weren't enough to prevent Hammers from slipping to another heavy Premiership defeat, as relegation-threatened Portsmouth claimed an unlikely 4-2 win at Upton Park.

After soaring into an unassailable 3-0 lead at half-time, Harry Redknapp's return to the Boleyn Ground turned into the perfect afternoon as Svetoslav Todorov - who played under him in the claret and blue - put the seal on the victory late in the second half and earned Pompey a priceless three points in their battle against the drop.

After Wednesday night's arduous FA Cup replay battle against Bolton Wanderers, and with Monday's FA Cup quarter-final at Manchester City to look forward to, Alan Pardew made several changes to his starting line-up.

Sheringham, Bobby Zamora, Yaniv Katan, Christian Dailly and Clive Clarke came in for Harewood, Zamora, Benayoun, Mullins and Etherington, while there was an enforced switch in goal, as a hamstring injury to Shaka Hislop meant that Jimmy Walker came in for his Premiership debut and a first senior appearance since last year's Championship Play-Off final.

The popular goalkeeper was called into action as early as the 15th minute to deny Portsmouth what looked to be a certain goal, when Gary O'Neil ghosted into the penalty area and controlled in the six-yard box, only for Walker to block his point-blank effort and smother the loose ball.

Two minutes later, though, there was no such fortune, as Portsmouth took the lead following a swift attack. O'Neil found Taylor on the left, and the full-back sent in a low cross that evaded Benjani but reached LuaLua at the far post, who slammed the ball into the roof of the net.

Seven minutes later, the visitors grabbed their second, as LuaLua's cross from the right was met by the unmarked Davis, who controlled on the edge of the six-yard box and hooked the ball over Walker to send the travelling Pompey fans wild with delight.

Hammers responded well to the set-back and came close to pulling a goal back as the first-half wore on. First Reo-Coker saw a low shot cleared off the line by LuaLua, then Sheringham curled a free-kick just inches wide of the target, and the veteran striker came close again 10 minutes before the interval when he cut in from the left and fired in an effort that was blocked by Dean Kiely.

At 2-0, Alan Pardew's men could consider themselves still in with a shout of taking something from the game but, just as they did up at Bolton last week, then conceded a killer third goal on the stroke of half-time, as Pedro Mendes crashed in a stunning 30-yard effort that flew past Walker into the top right-hand corner of the net.

In an attempt to salvage something against the relegation strugglers, the Hammers boss sent on Marlon Harewood and Benayoun for the second half, in place of Yaniv Katan and Clive Clarke, but Portsmouth might have grabbed a fourth goal just minutes after the break, as Benjani found himself in the clear but prodded wide of the target.

However, with the attacking threat of their two substitutes beginning to make an impact, Hammers started to look dangerous going forward, and Harewood came within inches of pulling one back on 58 minutes when his rasping drive from the corner of the penalty area crashed off the crossbar and was cleared to safety.

Ten minutes later, Hammers hit the woodwork again, as Konchesky's right-footed effort rebounded off the crossbar, but this time the ball dropped for Sheringham, who coolly converted from 12 yards out to give his side a glimmer of hope.

Sadly, that hope was all but extinguished just five minutes later when LuaLua tricked his way past Konchesky on the right and fired the ball across the six-yard box for former Hammer Svetoslav Todorov - on as a 57th minute substitute - to tap in.

It appeared that we would be heading for our second 4-1 Premiership defeat in the space of seven days, but in stoppage time Benayoun claimed a consolation when he latched on to Zamora's clever pass and fired a left-foot shot past Kiely from 12 yards out.

The hope now is that Hammers respond to this defeat in the same way they did to last week's disappointment at Bolton - by producing another memorable performance in the FA Cup just days later.