16 August 2014 19:44
Alan Irvine waxed lyrical about Saido Berahino after his double ensured West Brom drew 2-2 with Sunderland in their Premier League opener.
Irvine took charge of West Brom for the first time in the top flight since being named head coach in June, but his side made a poor start at The Hawthorns as Lee Cattermole hit an unstoppable 25-yard drive that flew into the top corner.
The hosts equalised shortly before half-time when referee Neil Swarbrick awarded a controversial penalty for a tug on Victor Anichebe from Valentin Roberge and Berahino confidently dispatched the spot-kick.
Berahino then put the hosts ahead from close-range after a fine lofted cross from debutant Craig Gardner, but Sebastian Larsson rescued a point for Sunderland late on with a finish from close range.
Irvine said: “Saido Berahino is a very talented player.
“He has a love for the game, works really, really hard in training and has a great future ahead of him.”
Irvine, however, lamented West Brom’s inability to see out the victory and make a winning start to the campaign.
“Overall I’m disappointed because we let in a late goal and I thought we’d see it out,” he added.
“I was also disappointed with how it was conceded.
“[But] the supporters were fantastic. I loved it when they made lots of noise. They were fabulous.”