EPL

Solskjaer backs 'very tight calls' after Man Utd beat West Brom

By Sports Desk November 21, 2020

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backed referee David Coote for making "three right decisions" in Manchester United's controversial win over West Brom.

Bruno Fernandes' retaken 56th-minute penalty at Old Trafford proved to be enough for United, who claimed a first home win in the Premier League since July.

Fernandes retook his penalty after West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone saved the first but came off his line, while the visitors thought they had a spot-kick of their own early in the second half, only to see Coote overturn his original decision following a VAR check.

Happy to end a wait for a first home league win this season, United manager Solskjaer also backed Coote's decisions.

"We're delighted to get three points of course, first [home] win in the league this season and a clean sheet, we're happy with that," he told a news conference.

"Very tight calls and I think probably made the two right decisions with the pens, even three right decisions because Sam was off the line."

United are ninth in the Premier League table, seven points behind leaders Tottenham, who have played one more game.

Since the start of last season, 16 per cent of United's Premier League goals have been penalties – 13 of 79 – the highest ratio of any team to have played in both campaigns.

While pleased with the win, Solskjaer said his team's performance was below where he wanted it to be.

"It's definitely not a step forward performance-wise," he said.

"We played really well against Everton last time, that's a performance I was really happy with. This one is way below par, but we got the first win and sometimes three points are more important than the performance, even though we know to get points and to move up the table we have to play better."

Solskjaer added: "We know we can play better than this and we certainly could've made it more comfortable if we'd taken our chances earlier on.

"Towards the end when you don't do that, there's always an edge to the game and we seemed edgy towards the end and it was important for us to get that win of course. You can see that and we never got that composure or quality to get the second goal that would have made it more comfortable."

United continue their Champions League campaign at home to Istanbul Basaksehir on Tuesday.

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