"The effort in defence was first class".
Gareth Anscombe and Anthony Watson both dived for a loose ball and it looked like the Welshman had got there first, but the video official said he had failed to ground the ball.
A late Gareth Anscombe penalty cut the gap to six points and gave Wales a losing bonus point but England's relief at the end was obvious among the players, and the Twickenham faithful, when Farrell kicked the ball out to mrk full-time.
England deserve plaudits for actually winning the game and scoring their second successive Six Nations tournament victory but they were made to look vulnerable in the last quarter against a very well conditioned Welsh outfit.
His place at fullback was taken by Anscombe.
England had been forced to make a change to their backline too, with the injured Ben Youngs replaced by Danny Care, who became his country's most-capped scrumhalf (78 Tests).
Danny Care started in place of the injured Ben Youngs and so became England's most-capped scrum-half, surpassing World Cup victor Matt Dawson's record of 77 Tests, while centre Jonathan Joseph replaced Ben Te'o.
The conditions were poor - wet and slippery - and didn't really suit the Scarlets' approach, but then they went for broke, moving Anscombe up to No 10 and bringing George North on, with Josh Adams going to full-back.
New Zealand referee Glenn Newman made a controversial TMO call in the England-Wales Six Nations match.
Mixing it up: Owen Farrell opts for a grubber kick at Twickenham.
Farrell missed the conversion, before Patchell was off-target with a penalty-goal attempt.
Wales put a huge amount of pressure on the hosts in the second half but Eddie Jones' side managed to hold out for a crucial victory.
"I think the wording was something about not... grounding, but you can clearly see he gets his hand there first and it's grounded".
However, the referee was playing advantage and Anscombe kicked the penalty to reduce the deficit to six.
Wales twice went to the corner from kickable penalties either side of that score, but were unable to capitalize on England's lack of discipline and saw another opportunity go begging early in the second half after Aaron Shingler's 40-yard break.
While Sam Underhill's tackle on Williams to deny Wales of their first try in the 61st minute was superb, an extra yard of pace or some added urgency to Williams' attempted finish would have completely turned the game around. They also looked more risky when New Zealand-born fullback Gareth Anscombe moved to flyhalf in the second half.
Ahead of the 131st meeting between these two giants of the sport, few could have considered that the pre-match build-up could be bathed in even greater hysteria.