West Brom boss Tony Pulis admitted Saido Berahino was “really disappointed” in the dressing room after the striker missed two penalties in the 1-0 defeat against Watford.
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, 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 of the net.
Asked if Berahino was down after the match, Pulis said: “I would say that’s an understatement. He’s really disappointed.
“It’s a cruel game at times, but it happens. 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 McAluley shortly after half-time.
Pulis said: “Like I said, it can be a cruel game at times. I thought we played well. We’ve had something like 40-odd crosses, 16 efforts on goal and two penalties and not got anything from the game. How that’s happened I just don’t know.
“But that’s the way it goes sometimes, it just wasn’t our day in front of goal. Obviously the lads are really disappointed, some of them put in really good performances.”