Ben Pearson says Bournemouth were braced for "physical" battle against Sheffield United

Ben Pearson, the Bournemouth midfielder, admits the Cherries were braced for a “physical” battle against Sheffield United on Saturday as Scott Parker’s unbeaten side went top of the Championship with a 2-1 victory.

Monday, 4th October 2021, 12:13 pm
Morgan Gibbs-White of Sheffield United tries to push forward past Ben Pearson of Bournemouth: Paul Terry / Sportimage

United went ahead in terrible conditions on the south coast, when Morgan Gibbs-White swept in his third goal in Blades colours in the second half.

But the Cherries hit back to win 2-1 with goals from Dom Solanke and Philip Billing, with Blades boss Slavisa Jokanović frustrated with the officials for both strikes.

Solanke scored from the spot after referee Robert Jones awarded a penalty despite Enda Stevens’ challenge on the striker being outside the area, and Jokanović felt the flag should have been raised for offside in the build-up to Billing’s winner.

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And Pearson told the Daily Echo: "It was a tough game. I think we knew it was going to be physical like that. We sort of prepared for the physical battle.

"As much as [United] want to play, they like to mix it up as well. I think the conditions didn’t help either with playing through the thirds.

"It was a lot of second balls, a lot of spinning it in behind and playing for territory. So we competed well and had glimpses of quality when you need it as well."

Defeat sent United into the latest international break on the back of two successive away defeats, ending their mini-resurgence which saw them go five games unbeaten.

“I think everyone knew it was a big game,” Pearson added.

"Obviously United have just come down… they’ve got good players and we knew it was going to be a test.”