Saido Berahino

Stoke City 1-0 Arsenal: Jese leads Potters to win

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  • New boy Jese scores
  • Arsenal has goal chalked off
  • Gunners have 77% possession
  • First Arsenal loss to Stoke since Dec. 2014

Jese Rodriguez’s second half goal lifted Stoke City to a 1-0 win over Arsenal at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday.

Alexandre Lacazette had a late goal controversially ruled offside — it didn’t appear to be — as Arsenal fell ahead of an Aug. 27 trip to Liverpool.

Arsenal also had two sincere calls for penalties go unheeded.

Stoke heads to 2-0 West Brom on the same day.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Signed on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, Jese had a good early chance when he dribbled into the 18 and hit a left-footed offering that Petr Cech raced to close down.

Arsenal soon settled into expected control of possession, though the first real bit of danger saw Jack Butland stopping a Danny Welbeck effort in the 20th minute. Bellerin drew shouts for a penalty kick moments later.

Stoke had a chance against the run of play when Jese, now on the right, found Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting for a tame chance at Cech.

Butland denied Aaron Ramsey‘s attempt off an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain free kick in the 28th minute.

Choupo-Moting found Shawcross from a dangerous header in the 32nd minute, but the English center back couldn’t get the required mustard nor direction on his attempt.

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[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Saido Berahino played provider on the 48th minute opener, holding the ball for Jese to race past Nacho Monreal and shoot past Cech.

Butland conceded a corner off a pair of Arsenal chances in the 58th minute, but the Gunners couldn’t do anything with the opportunity.

Berahino came close to making it 2-0 on a break, but Arsenal forced a corner kick.

The Gunners stayed in the match, and a lively Welbeck forced Butland to concede a corner off a good lay-off from substitute Olivier Giroud.

Jese subbed out to solid applause in the 71st minute.

Soon after, a nice bit of combination play resulted in a wrongly ruled-out Lacazette goal. He looked to be onside, but the linesman didn’t see it that way.

Giroud flashed a stoppage time header across the goal but wide in what was Arsenal’s last true chance of the match.

Pulis rips Berahino for fitness, mentality after drug test reports

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Not that Tony Pulis is one to sugarcoat, but the West Brom manager was certainly not mincing words when it comes to ex-striker Saido Berahino.

The 23-year-old moved to Stoke City in the January transfer window after years of controversy — some tame, some more wild — with the Baggies.

[ MORE: USA vs. Jamaica preview ]

The Daily Mail reported Friday that Berahino was banned for eight weeks while at West Brom for failing a recreational drug test. Pulis and West Brom had maintained that Berahino was not playing because of fitness, though the manager says West Brom was up front with West Brom about any issues with the player.

Anyway, Pulis doesn’t want to talk about it now, saying he doesn’t “give a damn” about Berahino. From the BBC:

“Anything Stoke asked for, we told them the truth,” Pulis told BBC WM Sport.

“We never picked him again because his fitness levels, mental levels, were never what we wanted. This club has been absolutely fantastic towards Saido. The way it’s protected him, the way it’s looked after him. He should be really, really grateful.”

We were just thinking about how grateful we would be to not have to hear Berahino’s name in the transfer mill or gossip pages any time soon, which begs the source of this “leak”. The Baggies really must have it out for Berahino, who has a lot to prove with the Potters.

Berahino apologized to West Brom fans once the transfer was complete.

Stoke’s Berahino apologizes to WBA fans, explains frustration

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If speculation regarding Saido Berahino‘s status at West Bromwich Albion felt endless to you, imagine how it felt for the player (and his club).

The new Stoke City striker has been the subject of all sorts of gossip: transfer, immatury, fitness, attitude, foreign substances. Now freed to a new home, Berahino has spoken out about his frustration.

[ MORE: Lampard turns down PL offers ]

After all, Berahino saw several big money bids come from Spurs despite his issues.Tony Pulis rarely played him. Why didn’t they sell him?

“No-one ever sat me down and told me,” Berahino said.

Berahino, 23, says that may have fueled some of his issues, that he felt “very lost” without regular playing time.

From the BBC:

“Of course I have got some regrets – obviously I could have handled it much better. You live and learn, I guess,” Berahino added.

“I take all my actions, all the wrong things that I did, and, as I’ve said before, the West Brom fans deserve an apology from me for the way I’ve gone on.”

Berahino had a 14-goal Premier League campaign under his belt at the age of 21, but scored only four times last season and appeared only four times this season.

Here’s hoping for better, on-and-off the field.

Saga over: Saido Berahino finally has a new home (video)
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What in the world is the transfer rumor mill going to do without Saido Berahino?

Linked with a move away from West Brom for the better part of two years, the English striker has been freed from the bad graces of Tony Pulis and has joined Stoke City on a five-and-a-half year deal.

[ MORE: Liverpool hires Steven Gerrard ]

Berahino, 23, was sold for $15 million, a fee that could rise as high as $19 million. West Brom has previously rejected bids from Spurs amongst others that reached as high as $31 million.

It’s a smart, calculated risk for Mark Hughes and Stoke, who have not been able to get over the mid-table hump and encroach on European competition. Berahino scored 14 PL goals in 2014-15, a figure that rose to 20 when including all competitions.

Now could this mean Bojan Krkic is indeed off to Middlesbrough? We’ll wait to see if it’s a domino move for the Potters, and also if we one day yearn for the dulcet tones of Pulis screaming, “Saido!”, again and again, on the West Brom touch line.

Transfer rumor roundup: Jagielka, Begovic, Berahino, Zarate

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There’s action all over England, from those defending the goal mouth to others striving to conquer it.

[ MORE: More transfer gossip ]

— Bournemouth wants an upgrade on Artur Boruc, according to The Telegraph, and that could come in the form of Chelsea backstop Asmir Begovic.

The Cherries reportedly had a $12.5 million bid turned down by Antonio Conte, who has Thibaut Courtois in the No. 1 seat and Portugal national team backup Eduardo in the ranks (along with three keepers on loan and young goalie Mitchell Beanie).

— Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger shut the door on acquiring West Ham wantaway Dimitri Payet according to Sky Sports’ Transfer Centre:

“We have many players offensively who can play in this position. You are interested by the quality of the player but there needs to be a need as well, and we have no need in this domain.”

— Clubs in need of experienced Premier League backs need look no further than Everton, where manager Ronald Koeman has admitted that England international Phil Jagielka could leave Goodison Park. The 34-year-old center back has 40 caps for England and has made 337 appearances for Everton. He could be a massive upgrade for Sunderland if David Moyes is up for a reunion.

— Stoke City chairman Peter Coates says a purchase of Saido Berahino from West Brom is not contingent on a sale of Bojan Krkic. The latter has been linked to Middlesbrough.

— Mauro Zarate may be returning the Premier League. Watford boss Walter Mazzarri has been largely let down by his strike corps as Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney have taken steps back this season. Could $4 be enough to bring the ex-West Ham and QPR man from Fiorentina to Vicarage Road? Zarate has four goals in nine matches for La Viola, and has nine goals in 40 Premier League matches.