Penalty debate prompts managers' frank stance

Southampton's Victor Wanyama (left) fails to get the better of West Brom's Saido Berahino in Saturday's 0-0 draw.
Southampton's Victor Wanyama (left) fails to get the better of West Brom's Saido Berahino in Saturday's 0-0 draw.PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES

LONDON • Saido Berahino returned to the West Bromwich Albion squad on Saturday - just 10 days after threatening that he would go on strike.

But the biggest surprise in the 0-0 Premier League draw at home to Southampton was the contrasting manager reactions to a penalty appeal on the quarter-hour.

West Brom manager Tony Pulis accused his player Callum McManaman of trying to win a spot kick by diving after the midfielder appeared to be brought down in the area by a sliding Matt Targett.

"I've looked at it and I think Callum's feet actually go up from under him and I don't think the player has touched him," he said.

"I'll be having a chat with Callum on Monday. I don't like to see that.

"The referee and the linesman made a fantastic decision and they deserve a lot of credit for it."

Ironically, Southampton manager Ronald Koeman felt his side were lucky not to have conceded a penalty.

"I think Matt takes a lot of risk sliding in the box and was lucky the referee didn't whistle for a penalty - he couldn't say anything if he did whistle for a penalty," said the Dutchman.

Berahino had little impact in the goalless encounter after coming on as a 55th-minute substitute for Rickie Lambert.

The England Under-21 striker, who had vowed never to play for Baggies chairman Jeremy Peace again after the club blocked a move to Tottenham Hotspur, received a mixed reception at the Hawthorns.

But Pulis insisted that Berahino will be a key factor in determining the club's fortunes this season.

"He's a young lad and hopefully he will learn from his mistakes and move on. We all have to move on as well," he told Sky Sports.

"You've seen what he can do. (In the) second half, he made a difference when he came on.

"Now we need to get him fit and up and running. He will be important for this team this year."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2015, with the headline 'Penalty debate prompts managers' frank stance'. Print Edition | Subscribe