View: West Brom man slammed after Spurs delivers outstanding performance v Man Utd
A couple of weeks is a long time in football, and West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone certainly knows that to be true.
The 27-year-old, who made his 100th league appearance for the club earlier this season, came in for plenty of criticism following his mistake against Tottenham Hotspur that allowed Harry Kane to score a late winner.
With the ball looping into the area, Johnstone decided to come off his line to try and catch the ball. He was not quick enough though and Kane simply nodded the ball in an empty net.
However, two weeks later and the former Manchester United man is one of West Brom’s heroes that was robbed of a result at Old Trafford.
The England youth stopper was outstanding against his former club, pulling off six saves and commanding his box capably (via WhoScored). One save from Anthony Martial at point blank range was a candidate for the best of the season so far, while he repeated a similar feat later on to keep Marcus Rashford out.
After United were awarded a penalty in the second half, Johnstone brilliantly kept out Bruno Fernandes’ first effort. Unfortunately, the Baggies keeper had ventured off his line and after being reviewed by VAR, it had to be retaken. This time Fernandes scored, but Johnstone came close to keeping it out once again.
Wherever you stand on the VAR debate and the decision to enforce the rules as they currently are, it is hard not to feel sorry for a player who had performed so well against the club that never gave him a proper chance at the first team level.
For Johnstone, this performance was the ideal response to his critics and helped vindicate Slaven Bilic in sticking by his number one. While the disappointment will understandably be difficult to stomach for many of these Baggies players, Johnstone can feel proud of his showing.
In other West Brom news, Chris Wilder has responded to links between West Brom and a Sheffield United player.