Solskjaer hails unique Fernandes trait; Ferdinand blasts ‘disgraceful’ call

Date published: Sunday 22nd November 2020 10:42 - Steve Pearson


Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted his side were fortunate to escape the concession of a penalty, but praised matchwinner Bruno Fernandes after his unique penalty-taking trait directly contributed to their victory.

The Red Devils ran out narrow 1-0 winners over West Brom to secure their first home league victory of the season.

Both sides had ample opportunities to score from open play, but the result of the game hinged on two penalty decisions.

West Brom saw their initial awarding of a spot kick reversed by VAR, while Man Utd had their saved penalty retaken after Sam Johnstone was adjudged to have left his line too early.

Speaking to the BBC following the contest, Solskjaer said: “It’s nice after the international break that you get a win. We needed that win at home.

“We looked unsettled towards the end even though we should score one or two more to have a more relaxed finish.

“It’s never comfortable against players of this quality. They had a couple of chances and David [de Gea] made two fantastic saves. Tight margins decide games but the mood is decided by the results.

FULL MATCH REPORT: Vibrant Fernandes hauls Man Utd to vital victory after surviving scare

“It’s up to us to create momentum, we have the chance to continue the good start in the Champions League and Southampton away is a very difficult game as well. Hopefully we get a few more back and can kick on.”

Regarding the decision to have Man Utd’s penalty retaken, the Norwegian said:  “It’s the same with David [de Gea] early on [in the season] when he made a save but he was an inch off the line.

“It’s probably the beauty of Bruno’s [Fernandes] style where the keeper goes a second too early.


“The handball rule you van discuss over and over but we get into the box and the ball into feet so with VAR a touch can be enough and it’s different to when I was playing when you had to be hacked down.”

On the overturned penalty initially conceded by Fernandes, Solskjaer admitted his side may have gotten away with one.

“I looked at a penalty this afternoon, Villa-Brighton and there’s contact on the ball and then the man,” he told BT Sport.

“In my head it might be a penalty. Maybe here we’re a tad lucky but none of them are given. Maybe the rules are different to how I interpret them.”

Regarding the controversial decision to rescind West Brom’s penalty, BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand didn’t hold back.

“It’s a disgraceful decision,” he said.

“He got it right first time. It’s a nailed-on penalty. How can he go against his own decision on that?”


Fernandes responds to penalty controversy

Matchwinner Fernandes also spoke to BT Sport, and revealed his displeasure with aspects of the penalty outcomes at either end.

“It was really important to us to win this game because we need the points,” said the 26-year-old.


“It was a tough game. We can do a lot better. We created a lot but we have the quality to do better.”

Regarding the penalty he conceded before being overturned by VAR, he said: “I felt I touched the ball and it was the second contact.”

Fernandes showed great composure to tuck away his penalty at the second time of asking.

Despite the positive outcome, the playmaker was not pleased with having his initial spot kick saved.

“It’s not good,” he added. “You need to do it on the first one. I’m not happy. I scored the second one but I didn’t the first one.”


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