It was built up as a pivotal day in the managerial career of Swansea’s Garry Monk – and it ended with many questions left unanswered.
Thanks to a first half fightback, the Swans avoided a damaging defeat that would have heaped pressure on players and boss alike, and yet the wait for a first league win since beating Aston Villa on October 24th continues.
And in truth, the Swans were outplayed for large parts against a Bournemouth side who are prime candidates to drop back into the Championship next season.
Make no mistake, from the balance of play it was two points lost for the Cherries.
To his credit, Monk was bold enough to make four changes from the side beaten at Norwich, a seemingly frank admission that the likes of Bafetimbi Gomis, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jefferson Montero and Federico Fernandez have been misfiring.
And after a terrible opening 26 minutes, the manager can at least take heart from the character shown by the home side, who were back level within 13 minutes of going 0-2 down.
But the brutal reality is this was another display of limited creativity and vulnerable defending.
Another ragged performance at the back was summed up by Bournemouth’s opening goal, when the recalled Kyle Bartley cleared the ball straight at Ki Sung-Yeung, with Junior Stanislas picking up the loose ball and setting up to Joshua King to score.
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Dan Gosling then drove into the box unmarked to grab a second, before the Andre Ayew inspired comeback, albeit completed by a dubious penalty won by the Ghanaian.
But with the momentum behind them, many braced themselves for a second half onslaught from the Swans and a push for a first win at the Liberty since beating Manchester United on August 31.
Far from it. The visitors were comfortable, at times even dominant, with Jonjo Shelvey’s wayward strike from long range the only effort of note from Monk’s men.
Striker Eder, given a first league start after waiting so long for his chance, was largely ineffective and duly replaced 73 minutes in.
Monk said afterwards his side’s display was tense and lacked confidence. He wasn’t wrong.
But it’s not about to get any easier. A trip to in-form Liverpool next Sunday is followed by a home clash with league leaders Leicester City, and then an away game at Manchester City, a place where the Swans have never registered a league point in their four top flight seasons.
Going into Saturday, there were major questions surrounding Swansea’s recent form and their manager’s position.
They head to Anfield this weekend, with those questions left largely unanswered.