Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes referee David Coote made three correct calls in Manchester United’s unconvincing Premier League win over West Brom.
Coote awarded West Brom a penalty in the 46th minute after Conor Gallagher was upended by Bruno Fernandes but, on advice from the Video Assistant Referee Peter Bankes, Coote reviewed the flashpoint and decided Fernandes had faintly touched the ball.
United received their own spotkick in the 53rd minute when Darnell Furlong handled Juan Mata’s cross and Bruno Fernandes had his penalty saved by Sam Johnstone. However, Johnstone was off his line when Fernandes struck the ball and the Portuguese converted the retake to secure a 1-0 win for United.
“We’re delighted to get three points, of course,” Solskjaer said. “First win at home in the league this season, a clean sheet, we’re happy with that. Three very tight calls and I think it’s probably three right decisions because Sam was off the line.”
United’s narrow victory marked their first league triumph at Old Trafford since July 4 to move them up to ninth in the table and above Manchester City, still in the bottom half after eight games.
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Manchester United ground out a 1-0 win over West Brom to finally notch a victory at home in the Premier League this season.
It wasn’t pretty but it means two successive wins for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, who have to balance league and Champions League commitments over a busy period in the coming weeeks.
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Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford were guilty of wasting presentable chances as Johnstone made six saves but his denials did not reflect any sense of dominance United had against the winless West Brom.
“It’s definitely not a step forward performance-wise,” Solskjaer said. “We played really well against Everton last time. That’s a performance I was really happy with. This one was way below par. But we got the first win (at home) and sometimes three points are more important than the performance.
“But to move up the table we have to play better. After an international break it’s never easy, there was not much time to prepare for the game.”