A two-time penalty from Bruno Fernandes gave Manchester United an unimpressive 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, their first home win of the Premier League season.
Fernandes' first effort was saved by West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, but referee David Coote ordered the kick to be retaken after deciding the goalkeeper had gone out of line. The Portuguese midfielder was right on the second attempt.
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Winless West Brom's frustration was compounded by the fact that the penalty, awarded for a handball by Darnell Furlong, came eight minutes after the overturned penalty was canceled.
Coote indicated the spot after judging Fernandes had shin-shin contact with Conor Gallagher in the box, but the referee overturned his decision after being sent to the field monitor.
“Instead of being one, we're 1-0 and it's hard to come back. We showed after that that we did not stop believing or playing. I am very disappointed with the result and the referee's decisions, ”said Slaven Bilic, West Brom manager.
Substitute Callum Robinson went close to an equalizer for West Brom in the 65th minute with a superb curling shot that hit the bar.
United, who had struggled to bring down Slaven Bilic's side to their goal, had chances to extend their lead, but the exceptional Johnstone, a United academy product, made a streak good stops.
The victory propelled United above local rivals Manchester City to ninth place, with 13 points, seven behind leaders Tottenham Hotspur. West Brom remained third with three points.
While the performance may have been lacking, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was happy to have a tough game and walk away with the points.
“It's long after the international break that you get a victory. We needed this home win. We looked unstable towards the end although we would have to score one or two more to have a more relaxed finish, ”he said.
“Tight margins decide games but the mood is determined by the results. It's up to us to create the momentum, we have the chance to continue the good start in the Champions League and Southampton away is also a very difficult game. Hopefully we get a little further back [from injury] and can start. “