West Bromwich Albion manager Valérien Ismaël insisted his side should have been awarded a late penalty in their 1-0 defeat at QPR.
Shortly before Charlie Austin headed in a last-minute winner against the striker’s 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 the furious Ismaël.
“It was 100% 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.”
With Albion under pressure in the second half, Ismaël sent on £7m signing Daryl Dike for his debut.
The young American striker made an immediate impact, finding space on the right and setting up Jake Livermore, who shot over, and finding Karlan Grant, whose deflected cross almost caught out keeper David Marshall at the near post.
Dike certainly made a mark on Yoann Barbet, bundling him head-first into the advertising hoarding.
Barbet needed several minutes of treatment but had his head strapped, changed his bloodstained shorts and played on.
At that stage it seemed Albion were the more likely team to snatch a winner.
But Austin, on as a substitute, got in front of Taylor Gardner-Hickman to head Chris Willock’s cross into the far corner of the net.
It took Rangers above Albion to fourth in the Championship table.
“It was a good game from us. We played very well and had a chance with Matt Phillips,” Ismaël 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.
“QPR were on top, we put Dike on and then it was in the balance. It was a 50-50 game then.”
Rangers boss Mark Warburton dismissed Ismaël’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 insisted.
“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 Valérien 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.”