Johnstone posts Fernandes message after penalty controversy

Sam Johnstone led the complaints from furious West Bromwich Albion players after Slaven Bilic’s side were involved in a double penalty controversy against Manchester United.

Albion lost 1-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday night meaning their search for a first Premier League win of the season goes on.

But they feel hard done by after being denied a penalty before conceding a late spot-kick to Bruno Fernandes – at the second time of asking.

The first incident happened early in the second half when Fernandes brought Conor Gallagher down in the box.

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Referee David Coote pointed to the spot but reversed his decision after watching a replay of the incident on the advice of the video assistant referee.

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Just minutes later Albion conceded a penalty for a handball against Darnell Furlong.

Sam Johnstone thought he had denied Fernandes when he saved from 12 yards, but the celebrations were cut short as the VAR decided he strayed off his line and ordered a retake.

Fernandes lashed his second effort into the top corner and that turned out to be the winner.

Johnstone, who arrived at The Hawthorns from United two years ago, took to social media on Sunday to make reference to the way Fernandes stuttered in his run-up when taking the penalties.

He tweeted: “And a striker (midfielder) shouldn’t be able to hop skip and jump before kicking it.”

He wasn’t the only Albion player to reveal their frustration. Callum Robinson wrote on Instagram: “Nice to be back out there last night! We deserved something from the game but what chance you got when you’re playing against 12 men! Lads were great once again, we move on to the next one.”

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While Semi Ajayi added: “Proud of the team performance last night. More than frustrated about how the game was decided but if I speak…”

Albion’s bench were dismayed with boss Bilic bemused by Coote’s actions.

Assistant manager Danilo Butorovic said on Instagram: “Really proud of the spirit and work rate shown by the team last night! If we keep on going like this, we’ll achieve what we set out to. By the way, I sleep well at night, do you?” and added a puzzled emoji.

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