Stoke boss Mark Hughes smells a rat over the disclosure that £15m signing Berahino had served an eight-week ban after testing positive for a recreational substance.
News of the suspension leaked out just 48 hours before Berahino returned to The Hawthorns with his new club.
The 23-year-old came off the bench in the 58th minute, took 21 minutes to get his first touch, and only managed three more all game.
His contribution ended up being zero, but his impact on the afternoon’s events stretched into and beyond both dressing rooms.
Ryan Shawcross was disappointed to read much of the lead up was about Saido Berahino
Saido Berahino had little effect on the game after coming off the bench
Hughes and Baggies boss Tony Pulis couldn’t manage a handshake before or after as the fall-out from the transfer festered long after the final whistle.
Shawcross certainly seemed to endorse Hughes’s curt observation that there was something fishy about how the Berahino disclosure came out.
“I was a bit disappointed with the stories coming out the day before which was obviously no coincidence,” he said.
“Someone from West Brom’s side must have been speaking to the papers and I was very disappointed with that. I didn’t think it was needed.”
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West Brom strenuously deny such claims and they were totally “open and honest” with Stoke about the matter.
Hughes isn’t having that, adding: “There’s talk that West Brom made us fully aware but they didn’t. We knew the situation anyway. We told them we knew.
“We knew it would come out at some point. But West Brom kept it quiet for several months and then, lo and behold, it comes out two days before the game.”
In the end it was James Morrison who settled matters, ghosting into the box in the seventh minute to steer the ball home beautifully from Salomon Rondon’s low cross.
West Brom dominated proceedings before the break though it took a crucial save from Ben Foster to keep out Joe Allen’s diving header to keep things level.
Stoke caused more problems in the second half and when Berahino was introduced, the feeling that something was going to happen proved false.
Foster admitted he was worried, saying: “In the back of your mind you’re thinking, ‘Come on, let’s just see this out, don’t let the ball drop to him’. You just worry that one little mistake could cost you.
“But the lads were amazing. They hardly gave him a kick, crowded him out and made sure he didn’t get any service whatsoever.
“It’s a great win and a really hard-fought one. First half we should have been out of sight – three or four goals up. We started like a house on fire.”