Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits Manchester United rode their luck when David Coote overturned the decision to award a penalty for Bruno Fernandes' foul on Conor Gallagher; Slaven Bilic says 'crucial decisions went against us' as West Brom remain in bottom three
Sunday 22 November 2020 11:03, UK
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted Man Utd may have been "a tad lucky" as VAR played a major role in their 1-0 win over West Brom at Old Trafford.
Referee David Coote overturned his own decision to award the visitors a penalty with the scores goalless after VAR official Peter Banks instructed him to view the pitchside review monitor.
Minutes later, VAR was again involved to order a retake of Bruno Fernandes' saved spot-kick after it noticed Sam Johnstone had encroached off his line to keep it out.
Solskjaer, referencing Aston Villa's similarly overturned last-minute spot-kick in their 2-1 home defeat to Brighton earlier on Saturday, told BT Sport he thought both penalties should have been awarded.
He said: "I looked at the penalty this afternoon at Villa-Brighton, and there's contact on the ball and the man. In my head, it might be a penalty, and there as well.
"We're a tad lucky maybe, but none of them are given so maybe the rules are different to how I interpret them.
"Bruno wants to [take a retake] - we had the same with David (De Gea) earlier in the season when he's an inch off the line.
"It's unfortunate for young Sam (Johnstone), he's had a fantastic game again, but it was hard to beat him today and that was the only way we could do it."
Solskjaer also defended the manner of Manchester United's unconvincing performance against their bottom-three visitors, coming only days after most of his squad had returned from a hectic international break.
"After the international break, we said it in the dressing room after, it's difficult," he said. "We've not worked together, we've waited until this morning to get the prep for this game done, and that's never easy when everyone's been away for 10 days.
"I'm delighted with the points, we know we can do better, but three points are three points, and we got a clean sheet.
"There's going to be ups and downs, inconsistencies, you see that in some results today as well. The league is not really settling; I saw Jose Mourinho saying one win moves you up, one defeat takes you closer to the bottom. It's very tight, it's very early on, so points are more important than performances."
West Brom manager Slaven Bilic was left heartened by the performance of his players - but the Baggies have now won none of their opening nine games and remain inside the bottom three after another narrow defeat to a side with Champions League ambitions.
Reacting to losing out on the opportunity to go ahead from the spot because of Coote's VAR decision, he told BT Sport: "I'm very disappointed with the decision. Throughout the whole second half, I felt like 'small West Brom', all those crucial decisions went against us.
"I've watched it a few times now, for me it's a penalty on Conor Gallagher, it's a clear penalty. I don't understand why he overturned it. In the new rules, it's a handball, it's a bit unlucky from Darnell (Furlong), but before that, it was a clear foul on Gallagher.
"We are talking about instead of 1-0 for us, 1-0 for them and that makes, especially against Manchester United away, that's a huge difference, crucial, game over.
"We were in the game, we had some chances to score in the first half and the second half. We needed the goalkeeper, of course when you play against Man Utd away, you need him.
"I told the guys, after the game, we are all very disappointed because we think we deserved something from the game, we deserved to go in front in the second half. I told them to stay positive and continue to play, fight and train like this and have a great atmosphere, and then we're going to win games."