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'It was a clear penalty' | Billic and Solskjær reflect on United's win

Stephen Kisbey-Green
Stephen Kisbey-Green

23:23 21 Nov 2020

Manchester United Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was just as confused as his West Bromwich Albion counterpart at some of the refereeing decisions on Saturday.

United beat West Brom 1-0 in Old Trafford on Saturday evening, in a match which was dominated by interesting Video Assisted Referee (VAR) decisions.

The Red Devils were awarded a penalty for a hand ball through VAR, which was saved but subsequently retaken after West Brom 'keeper Sam Johnstone jumped the line, giving the hosts the only score of the game.

Prior to that, however, a penalty which was initially awarded to West Brom was overturned, after the VAR decided that he original decision was incorrect.

An obviously frustrated Slaven Billić spoke to BT Sports after the match about the incidences.

"I told the guys after the game that we were very disappointed because we thought we deserved something from this game," Billić said.

"We deserved to go up front in the second half. I told them basically to stay positive, and to continue to play, and fight and train."

The West Brom manager could not understand why the first penalty of the second half was overturned.

"I am very disappointed with the decision," Billić said. "The whole second half I felt like 'small West Brom' to be fair.

"All those crucial decisions went against us. For me, and I have watched it a few times, for me the penalty on Conor Gallagher is a clear penalty."

This decision was not the only controversial one on the night, however, as United's only goal came from a penalty awarded through VAR, for a hand ball inside West Brom's box.

"Their penalty, under the new rules, it is a hand ball," Billić said.

"It is a bit unlucky from Darnell [Furlong], it is a hand ball, but before the hand ball it was a clear foul on Conor Gallagher.

"So, we are talking about, instead of 1-0 for us, it is 1-0 for them."

United were lucky

United manager Solskjær was equally confused by some of the decisions, however was happy to take the victory.

"It is important to get the first win at home, I think there has been a lot said about it, written about it," Solskjær said.

"You could see towards the end, we were a bit edgy about the win."

Solskjær acknowledged that he felt the first overturned penalty should have been a penalty, but that he has seen a pattern of similar penalties not being awarded.

"I looked at the penalty this afternoon [in the game between Aston] Villa and Brighton," Solskjær said.

"There was contact on the ball, contact with the man, in my head it might be a penalty.

"I think maybe there we were quite lucky, but none of them are given, so maybe the rules are a bit different to how I interpret them."

United's only goal of the game came from a retaken penalty after VAR showed that West Brom 'keeper Johnstone had moved off the line prior to the penalty being kicked by Bruno Fernandes.

Solskjær felt for the West Brom goalkeeper, and praised him for making it impossible to score against him otherwise.

"We got the same with David [De Gea] earlier on in the season, when it was just an inch off the line," Solskjær said.

"Unfortunately for young Sam [Johnstone]. He had a fantastic game again, good to see him. It was hard to beat him today and that was the only way we could do it."

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Read more about

Conor Gallagher European Premier League Manchester United Ole Gunnar Solksjaer Sam Johnstone Slaven Bilic West Bromwich Albion

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