Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Cherries 0 Liverpool 4

Date: 21 January 2024

From my point of view this was a totally rotten day, at the end of which I couldn’t think of a single ‘positive’ at all.

There was rail engineering going on in more than one section of track that affects me, so I had to get the car out. The M3 was closed (also for ‘engineering’ presumably) so I had to take the A3 – and part of that was congested because of further ‘engineering’! There were 60+ mph winds to contend with as I drove, and torrential rain falling on me as I sat in the East Stand. I didn’t get home till 9:30 PM, by which time I couldn’t be bothered to cook a meal – so didn’t have a hot meal all day. And to cap it all we were thrashed 0-4!

While it was good that Liverpool were missing Salah, we too were missing key players: Senesi suspended and both Ouattara and Semenyo at the Africa Cup of Nations. Mepham was, surprisingly, drafted in as the leftmost centre back, and Hill was the left full back (the seventh player I’ve seen in that position this season).

We held our own in the first half, winning several corner kicks early on and having another purple patch just before half time. You could tell the league’s two in-form teams were up against each other. But it was to be a very different second half.

Nunez scored in the 49th minute and – although we almost responded within sixty seconds when a Kluivert shot was deflected – this wasn’t to be our day. Jota scored in the 70th and 79th minutes to bring the score to 0-3.

Iraola used all five substitutes and then Aarons pulled up with a hamstring. Following touchline treatment the referee waved him back onto the field of play, but he wasn’t up to it. He was in front of the away fans at the time so had a long walk to leave the pitch, being applauded by sympathetic Bournemouth fans as he limped past them. So we were down to ten men for the rest of the match. We now lined up 4-4-1, with Zabarnyi, Mepham, Kelly and Tavernier at the back; Brooks, Christie, Scott and Billing in midfield; and Moore up front. Brooks still had a good chance to score what would have been only a consolation goal but he fluffed it and – three minutes into added time – Nunez scored again to make it 0-4. I hope this won’t prove to be the start of a poor run of games.

The team lined up as follows at the start of the game:

Aarons, Zabarnyi, Mepham, Hill;
Christie, Cook;
Tavernier, Kluivert, Sinisterra;

At the time of Aarons' injury the line-up was:

Aarons, Zabarnyi, Mepham, Kelly;
Christie, Scott;
Brooks, Philip, Tavernier;

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