EPL

Rodrigo Muniz’s ‘great performances’ delight Fulham boss Marco Silva

By Sports Desk March 02, 2024

Marco Silva believes Rodrigo Muniz is getting “better and better” after the Fulham forward inspired the Cottagers to a 3-0 win over Brighton.

Muniz claimed his fifth Premier League goal in five games with a clinical header which came after his assist for Harry Wilson’s earlier long-range strike at Craven Cottage.

Adama Traore opened his account for the season during four added minutes in the second half.

Silva lauded the Brazilian forward’s impact in recent weeks which has kept loan signing Armando Broja out of the starting XI.

“They were great performances. Rodrigo is getting better and better,” Silva said.

“He’s getting stronger which is really difficult for the defenders to deal with. We know that if we provide for him inside the box then he’s really dangerous as well.

“We expected Brighton to play man on man across the pitch and to press us and we knew we had to play behind that pressure. To have a player like Rodrigo to link up our game and build our attack is really important.

“The way he’s improving in all aspects of the game is really good for us and for him he’s a happy boy as you’d expect and I think there’s even more to come from him.”

The victory marked Fulham’s first back-to-back wins since December after last week’s late 2-1 victory over Manchester United.

Silva believes his side’s triumph was fully deserved, crediting his players’ desire.

“I’m really happy because we deserved the three points at home with a clean sheet,” Silva added.

“To have back-to-back wins in the Premier League is really tough and we wanted to get back to winning ways after the Aston Villa match (2-1 defeat).

“We showed quality, commitment and desire to do the right things and that’s positive.

“The first half was almost perfect I must say. They didn’t create one chance and we were clinical of course with the goals that we scored.

“The second goal is almost the perfect team goal. The way we built from the goalkeeper to the last moment and myself as a manager that is something I’m proud of.”

Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi believes his side played without the right energy during the defeat.

He said: “I think we played without the energy. In the Premier League you need to push 100 per cent and you can’t play with 50 or 60 per cent.

“I think we didn’t play well and that we didn’t deserve to win the game. Fulham played a good game but they were not incredible. For us it’s a tough moment.”

Related items

  • Bernardo Silva atones for midweek penalty miss as Man City reach FA Cup final Bernardo Silva atones for midweek penalty miss as Man City reach FA Cup final

    Bernardo Silva made amends for his midweek penalty miss as holders Manchester City returned to the FA Cup final with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Chelsea.

    Silva badly fluffed his lines as City were agonisingly knocked out of the Champions League on penalties by Real Madrid on Wednesday but he was the match winner as they bounced back at Wembley.

    The Portugal international turned home the only goal of a tight encounter six minutes from time to keep alive City’s hopes of retaining the domestic double.

    Chelsea were left to rue wasting a host of chances, with Nicolas Jackson particularly culpable, on what proved a bad day for the Senegal forward in front of goal. The Londoners were also frustrated not to be awarded a penalty.

    City, without the injured Erling Haaland, were not at their best – perhaps still feeling the effects of their draining encounter with Real.

    With former City midfielder Cole Palmer instrumental, Chelsea made most of the running.

    Palmer played in Jackson early on but his shot was too easy for Stefan Ortega.

    City’s first opportunity came as Kevin De Bruyne slipped in Phil Foden with an inch-perfect pass but he went too wide attempting to go round Djordje Petrovic and Chelsea escaped.

    Pep Guardiola’s side had a huge let-off when Jackson raced clear from an Enzo Fernandez long ball. Jackson only had Ortega to beat but he hesitated on the edge of the area and failed to shoot or go round the goalkeeper.

    City were caught out again when Malo Gusto escaped down the right but he could not pick out Jackson in the centre. Palmer also dug out a chance for himself with some neat footwork but did not get any power on his shot.

    At the other end, Marc Cucurella cleared off the line after Silva got on the end of a Jack Grealish cross but the flag was then raised.

    Jackson failed to deliver again early in the second half after breaking clear in the area but shooting tamely at Ortega. The ball came back to him as Palmer whipped in a cross but his header was weak and straight at Ortega.

    City had another let-off when a Palmer free-kick struck the arm of Grealish. The contact was missed by referee Michael Oliver, with Chelsea’s frustration at not getting a penalty compounded by the official awarding a goalkick.

    Jackson also wanted a spot-kick after going down following a race with Kyle Walker but nothing was given.

    Grealish suffered a heavy blow to the knee in a challenge from Felipe Caicedo and was withdrawn moments later. The England international voiced his frustration to the officials as he left the field, maybe suggesting Caicedo – already on a booking – should have been dealt with more severely.

    Grealish’s replacement Jeremy Doku made a lively entrance and immediately tested Petrovic.

    As time wore on, the game became a test of City’s resolve and the lively Doku made a notable difference.

    He was involved as the deadlock was finally broken, playing in fellow Belgian De Bruyne with a clever ball. De Bruyne pulled the ball back across goal and a deflection took it into the path of Silva, who made no mistake.

    It was a sweet moment for the Portuguese, who celebrated vigorously out of relief and joy.

    There was no way back for Chelsea as City, befitting their champion status, held out.

  • Chris Wilder accepts imminent relegation as Sheffield United fall to Burnley Chris Wilder accepts imminent relegation as Sheffield United fall to Burnley

    Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder admitted his side’s Premier League season was over after a 4-1 home defeat to relegation rivals Burnley.

    Burnley struck twice in the space of two minutes just before the interval through Jacob Bruun Larsen and Lorenz Assignon to snatch control after being second best for most of the first half.

    The Blades threatened a comeback when Gus Hamer reduced the deficit, but further goals from Lyle Foster and substitute Johann Berg Gudmundsson maintained Burnley’s late bid for survival.

    The Clarets climbed to within three points of 17th-placed Nottingham Forest, while a 23rd league defeat of the season has left the rock-bottom Blades 10 adrift of safety with five games to play.

    Wilder said: “We all understand the situation. I’m not being defeatist, I’m being a realist. The season really, is gone.

    “We have an obligation to our supporters and an obligation to the league to be as competitive as we possibly can, so we’ll look at that as well.

    “We’ll get it right. We’ll have people who want to be here. People that want to run around and be involved when the going gets tough and want to be part of it when we’re going well.

    “In the meantime, we have to do our best to make this as painless as possible because at the moment pain is going through every part of the football club.”

    Burnley goalkeeper Arijanet Muric made a string of crucial saves in either half, while at the other end the visitors were clinical and Gudmundsson’s effort with 20 minutes left, less than a minute after stepping off the bench, killed the game.

    Wilder added: “I won’t name names, but I think there were a few players out there who wanted to get out of there pretty quickly after the fourth went in, which you just can’t have.

    “I think there were a few who wanted to get out of there pretty quickly and that can’t happen. It’s a powerful league and it’s been too powerful for us all season.”

    Burnley registered just their second win of the year, but have now taken 10 points from their last seven matches and boss Vincent Kompany was delighted his players appear to be holding their nerves.

    The Belgian said: “You get closer to the end (of the season) and this game was important for both teams, so I feel really happy with the result and the performance.

    “The timing of their goal was really bad for us, it’s as bad as you can get. But you’re looking to see if the team is panicking, if there are any signs, but it didn’t feel like this.”

  • Rob Edwards confident Luton can still stay up despite Brentford battering Rob Edwards confident Luton can still stay up despite Brentford battering

    Rob Edwards backed Luton to respond after their Premier League survival hopes were dealt a devastating blow following a painful 5-1 home loss to Brentford.

    The 18th-placed Hatters knew victory would take them out of the relegation zone, but they were undone at Kenilworth Road by a slick attacking display from a Bees side without Ivan Toney due to his ongoing hip issue.

    Thomas Frank watched Brentford run riot with Yoane Wissa scoring twice in the first half before Ethan Pinnock, Keane Lewis-Potter and Kevin Schade netted after the break.

    Luke Berry hit a stoppage-time consolation for Luton, but they remain a point behind Nottingham Forest in 17th and two off Everton ahead of those clubs playing at Goodison Park on Sunday.

    “Yeah, I am deflated and I am hurting right now because of the manner of the performance. I have never really had to come out too many times all year and say that wasn’t us. Today it wasn’t us,” Edwards reflected.

    “How I feel is we’re in this. Today was a bad day for us as a club but the teams directly above us play each other and we will not be out of it this weekend. It’s important we all remember that.

    “What we have to try and harness now is the spirit, quality, fight and intensity we’ve shown that has kept us in and around it this season. We know we have to go and show that with four games to go.”

    A raucous reception greeted both players, but Brentford could have scored three times before Wissa rifled them ahead in the 24th minute with a superb snapshot.

    The brilliant Bryan Mbeumo had set up that chance and created the next for Wissa when his cross was scuffed home by the Bees forward in first-half stoppage-time for his 10th goal of the season.

    While Edwards introduced Berry at the break, the visitors hit Luton with a double sucker-punch when Pinnock powered home a header from a Sergio Reguilon corner after 62 minutes before Lewis-Potter nodded in Mbeumo’s centre two minutes later.

    Brentford substitute Kevin Schade slotted home a fifth after Mbeumo had set Vitaly Janelt away with four minutes left before Berry grabbed an added-time consolation, which was followed by applause at full-time from the Luton fans.

    Edwards added: “I have got to say thank you to the supporters who stuck with us. I apologise to them as well for having to live through that. A difficult day for them. We don’t want to go through that again so we’ve got to respond.

    “The players know there needs to be a response. As I say, we still have an opportunity to be in the Premier League next season and we don’t want to give that up easily. After today I am pretty confident we will respond in the right way.”

    After Brentford moved on to 35 points and 10 above Luton, Brentford boss Frank said: “Of course it was an important game but it was still one of the next five.

    “I also know it would be good to beat Luton because then that little sneaky feeling in the back of the head in this relentless league is more or less out of the question.

    “Five games unbeaten now, we need to continue playing well and doing well to end the season on a high.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.