Sunday 4 December 2016

Pulis: Berahino not to blame

West Brom 0 Watford 1

Sean Taylor

Published 17/04/2016 | 02:30

Watford goalscorer Ben Watson celebrates with team-mates after the final whistle. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Watford goalscorer Ben Watson celebrates with team-mates after the final whistle. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire
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A turbulent season for Saido Berahino slumped to another low yesterday with two penalty misses but Tony Pulis did not blame the striker for the home defeat to Watford.

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The 22-year-old striker saw both his spot-kicks saved by the brilliant Heurelho Gomes, whose heroics ensured that Ben Watson's first-half goal halted a six-game run without a win for the Hornets in the Premier League.

Berahino, who in August had a written transfer request turned down by the club amid several rejected offers for him from Tottenham and has struggled for fitness and form since, saw his first penalty in the 67th minute beaten away by Gomes diving to his right.

With three minutes remaining, the Brazilian goalkeeper repeated the feat, this time getting down to his left-hand side to divert Berahino's goal-bound effort away from the bottom corner.

"It's a cruel game at times, but it happens," said Pulis. "Good strikers miss penalties. That's football. He's a good player. Since I've been here he's always been the penalty-taker, and he's always been competent as well.

"He wanted to take the second one. I think if he lacked any confidence he'd have walked away from it. You can't have a go at him as the keeper has made a fantastic save for the second one. It was a well-struck penalty and it was a fantastic save."

Berahino was not the only West Brom player to find Gomes in fantastic form.

The 35-year-old enjoyed a storming afternoon, producing smart saves to twice thwart Stephane Sessegnon in the first half and acrobatically deny Gareth McAuley shortly after half-time.

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