Portsmouth exit Europe with win

Portsmouth beat Heerenveen 3-0 in their Uefa Cup clash at Fratton Park, while a severely weakened Aston Villa lost in Hamburg.

Heerenveen's goalkeeper Brian Vandenbussche, left, saves a shot from Portsmouth's England striker Peter Crouch at Fratton Park.
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Portsmouth's maiden European voyage may have already been over, but two goals from Peter Crouch ensured they at least bade the Uefa Cup a fond farewell. The England striker scored a quick-fire double just before the interval and Portsmouth not only successfully held on to their 2-0 lead but added to it in stoppage time with a header from Hermann Hreidarsson. Meanwhile, Aston Villa surrendered their unbeaten away record in Europe this season as a severely-weakened side were no match for the Hamburg strikers Ivica Olic and Mladen Petric at the Nordbank Arena. With qualification for the final 32 already assured, the Villa manager Martin O'Neill included only three of the starting line-up from the 4-2 weekend win over Bolton in the defenders Carlos Cuellar and Luke Young and the midfielder Steve Sidwell. Villa, who had Sidwell sent off in the closing stages, had to play second fiddle to Martin Jol's side once Petric had opened the scoring to pave the way for a double blast from Olic before a late consolation from Nathan Delfouneso.