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Lee Johnson fumes at ‘joke’ penalty decision as Bristol City suffer early exit

Bristol City boss Lee Johnson criticised the decision to award QPR a late penalty in normal time of their Carabao Cup first-round defeat.

Ryan Manning’s conversion levelled the game at 3-3 and meant that a penalty shoot-out followed, which the west Londoners won 5-4.

Famara Diedhiou had put the visitors ahead, before Nahki Wells and Ilias Chair turned the game on its head.

The seesaw nature of the encounter continued when Jack Hunt and Liam Walsh put the Robins in front before referee Andy Davies pointed to the spot after Wells went to ground.

“It’s a joke. No way is it a penalty,” fumed Johnson about the 85th-minute incident.

The former Barnsley head coach was more positive about the contribution of 18-year-old debutant Han-Noah Massengo, a recent signing from Monaco.

Johnson added: “He was excellent. He coped really, really well. A couple didn’t do enough though and showed a bit of talent, but naivety and they’ve got to be more aggressive in their game.”

Johnson’s opposite number Mark Warburton praised QPR’s stand-in goalkeeper Liam Kelly, who marked his debut for the club with two penalty saves as the hosts squeaked through to face Portsmouth in the second round.

The 56-year-old is pleased with the competition he has for the starting role in goal, with Kelly challenging Joe Lumley.

“They get on great, but Liam wants number one and Joe wants number one,” said Warburton. “It’s great for a manager to have two top-class goalkeepers. Liam’s distribution is top drawer. I’m delighted for him.”

Warburton’s men travel to the West Country on Saturday to face the Robins in Championship action.

And despite there being eight changes for the cup tie, the team that turns out at the weekend could be pretty similar.

Warburton said: “If that was my team for Saturday, I’d have no problems. When we press hard and high, we look a really good team. We switched it effortlessly. The boys have staked a real claim for the shirt which is what you want,

“We saw the players (who arrived in the summer) bed in and understand how we want to play, which is important. It was a big turnover of players, but in the last couple of games they’ve settled in really well.”

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