West Brom manager Valerien Ismael insisted his side were denied a “clear” penalty in their 1-0 defeat at QPR.
Shortly before Charlie Austin headed in a last-minute winner against his former club, Conor Townsend went down under a challenge from Stefan Johansen.
Referee Simon Hooper waved away Albion’s appeals for a spot-kick and Rangers made the most of the let-off.
“I think the game changed with the penalty. It was a clear penalty for us on Townsend,” said Ismael.
“It was 100 per cent a penalty. There are no two meanings about the situation. Then two minutes later you have the goal.
“This is the big frustration for us. We should have had a penalty, it was very clear.”
Ismael was far happier with the performance, especially of £7million signing Daryl Dike, who made his debut off the bench in the second half.
The young striker made an immediate impact, finding space on the right and setting up Jake Livermore, who shot over, and picking out Karlan Grant, whose deflected cross almost caught out keeper David Marshall at the near post.
“It was a good game from us. We played very well and had a chance with Matt Phillips,” Ismael said.
“In the second half QPR pushed more, which was to be expected, and then Dike came on and made an impact.
“We lost the game but I’m satisfied with the performance. There are some positives but we didn’t get the rewards we wanted.
“The performance was good and the mentality of the players was good, we just wanted to get the reward.”
Austin’s winner came in the 89th minute, when he got in front of Taylor Gardner-Hickman to head Chris Willock’s cross into the far corner of the net.
The result took Rangers above Albion to fourth in the Sky Bet Championship, although boss Mark Warburton dismissed Ismael’s claim that the penalty decision was the turning point in the game.
“If that’s a turning point then there are turns in every single game,” he said.
“Some of the free-kicks that were given I’d have to question.
“Some decisions have not gone our way this season. That’s football and Valerien will know that.
“To a man we defended our goal very well and attacked with real purpose.
“I thought we showed a good team too much respect in the first half. What we had to do was up the tempo, get on the front foot and move the ball quicker with a bit more pace and purpose.
“We did that in the second half and pushed West Brom back and looked a real threat. I thought overall we deserved to win the game.
“Of course it’s a big win for us because it puts us two points clear of them with a game in hand. The players have earned that with their efforts.
“When you win a game like that it sends the fans home happy, so I’m delighted.”
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