Sasa Lukic said facing James Maddison in Fulham’s win over Tottenham was like a “dress rehearsal” for Serbia’s European Championship opener against England this summer.

Lukic netted his first Fulham goal in a 3-0 victory which prevented Ange Postecoglou’s side from moving into the top four.

The Euro 2024 finals will be Serbia’s first as an independent nation and Lukic used Saturday’s victory to ready himself for their Group C clash against Gareth Southgate’s men in June.

When asked how excited he is to face England, Lukic said: “Yeah, I can’t wait.

“Already today was like a dress rehearsal because Maddison was there and it’s definitely going to be a good game against England at the Euros.

“I’m proud to be Serbian and play for my country. It is our first time in the Euros after a long time and I hope to do well.”

Lukic’s strike came in the 49th minute at Craven Cottage after his knee connected with Timothy Castagne’s cross.

The midfielder, who battled with injury earlier this season, talked about his relief at getting amongst the goals and starting in Fulham’s last four matches where they picked up three wins.

“I am so happy to score my first goal for Fulham,” Lukic added. “It was my knee, it was strange, but it’s important to score a goal. I hope to score many goals for Fulham.

“This was my fourth game in a row. Prior to that, I didn’t play much and it was hard, it wasn’t an easy time.

“I worked a lot on myself. But it proved that with a performance like tonight and the ones against Manchester United and Brighton, work has been paying off.”

Rodrigo Muniz scored a brace to extend his stunning run in front of goal to seven in his last seven.

Lukic is not surprised with the Brazilian forward’s form, highlighting his work ethic in training.

He said: “No, I’m not surprised at all, I see him everyday in training, I see how he works, I see how he behaves. He only has to keep it going.”

Tottenham captain Son Heung-min described their 3-0 defeat at Fulham as “unacceptable” and urged his team-mates to use it as a wake-up call.

Spurs entered this fixture on a high after an emphatic victory at Aston Villa last weekend.

It meant fifth-placed Tottenham could leapfrog Villa and reclaim fourth spot with all three points at Craven Cottage, but they were blown away as Rodrigo Muniz continued his excellent form with a goal either side of half-time.

Sasa Lukic also found the net after 49 minutes with his first goal for Fulham, who have now won four of their last six matches.

“Yeah, it is very disappointing and very frustrating,” Son told Sky Sports.

“Everybody has to look in the mirror and say, ‘it was my fault’ because it was not good enough. It was not near the level where we put the effort all season.

“This time it was very, very disappointing. The attitude, the performance, it was not good enough. I think everyone needs this as a big wake-up call.

“It is unacceptable. You always have lessons and including me it was unacceptable that performance and the result.

“We make two steps backwards and now need to make a strong step forwards because after the international break we have massive game and it will be very crucial.”

Tottenham started poorly and could have conceded twice inside the opening 11 minutes, but Cristian Romero made crucial blocks to deny Muniz and Andrea Pereira.

The visitors eventually regrouped and went close through captain Son and James Maddison, who both failed to hit the target from inside the area and Fulham punished Spurs in the 42nd minute.

Antonee Robinson produced an excellent cross from the left, which Muniz controlled before he side-footed into the bottom corner.

It was 2-0 immediately after half-time when Lukic deflected in Alex Iwobi’s cross with his knee and Muniz wrapped up the scoring after 61 minutes.

Calvin Bassey’s effort was parried onto the post by Guglielmo Vicario and Muniz bundled in for his seventh goal from his last seven matches to consign Tottenham to a painful defeat.

Boss Ange Postecoglou expressed his disappointment and doubled down on his previously stated notion that Champions League qualification is not crucial for the development of his team.

“The second half after we conceded the second one, we just didn’t reach the levels of intensity and tempo we’ve had all year,” Postecoglou reflected.

“Then it was very hard for us to get any kind of control or traction in the game. It seemed like we were chasing the whole time, so it was a disappointing night for us.”

On missing out on the chance to return to fourth, Postecoglou replied: “I don’t see fourth as the prize.

“This club has finished fourth before. It’s finished second before.

“Fourth is not my end goal. I don’t want to finish fourth if we haven’t grown as a team and developed as a team.

“Success is built on, I think, more tangible stuff. If we finish fifth and if I think we’ve got a team to challenge next year (after the summer transfer window), then I won’t be disappointed.”

Fulham boss Marco Silva toasted another fine result, with this win making it four from their last six matches, which includes victories over Brighton and Manchester United.

“If not the best (performance), one of the best,” Silva insisted.

“The first half was the best of the season because the players did it brilliant. It was almost perfect.

“A crucial moment to score and it was really important to score two quick goals to kill the game.

“A well deserved three points.”

Rodrigo Muniz scored twice as Tottenham missed out on the chance of moving into the Premier League top four after suffering a 3-0 defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Victory would have meant Ange Postecoglou’s side moved a point ahead of Aston Villa but the north Londoners instead finish the weekend in fifth.

Muniz’s double took his top-flight tally to seven goals in his last seven appearances on a day where the Cottagers shone in west London.

Sasa Lukic scored his first goal of the season as Marco Silva’s side bounced back from last week’s 2-1 defeat by Wolves at Molineux.

Fulham looked to strike an early blow through the in-form Muniz, who was freed into a pocket of space. After his initial shot was blocked by Cristian Romero, Andreas Pereira’s rebound narrowly missed Guglielmo Vicario’s right-hand post.

The hosts’ momentum continued and after Romero was called into action again to block Pereira’s close-range attempt, Muniz proved to be a handful when he outmuscled Radu Dragusin with his back turned to goal, setting the tone for a physical encounter.

Willian was enjoying himself. The experienced 35-year-old, who had a knack of scoring goals against Tottenham in his Chelsea days, looked to punish them again but his first-time effort was stopped by Vicario who got down quickly to keep the scores level despite a one-sided opening period in favour of the hosts.

Spurs rode the storm and began to create chances of their own.

Destiny Udogie exploited space to run in down the left and his cutback found James Maddison on the edge of the area. The England international’s body position suggested he was going for the far post but he opted to go near, dragging his effort wide instead of the open net which Fulham keeper Bernd Leno left unoccupied.

Fulham’s efforts deserved a goal and they got just that. The electric Antonee Robinson broke away and he delivered a perfect ball to the dangerous Muniz before the Brazilian forward performed an intricate touch and powered home into the left-hand corner.

The Cottagers had played the perfect game up to this point and it continued after the break when they doubled their lead.

Fulham’s full-backs had been allowed space all game and this time it was Timothy Castagne’s turn to maraud forward. The right-back’s cross met the thigh of Lukic who had made a late surge into the box and the ball fizzed past the helpless Vicario for a second time.

Muniz’s spectacular run of form took another turn. The forward was well positioned in the box to scrap for the loose ball and claim his brace before he was serenaded with a standing ovation when he was substituted minutes later.

Joao Palhinha thought he added a fourth but referee Robert Jones deemed the strike offside after an interference from Raul Jimenez.

Tottenham head coach Ange Postecoglou has backed Radu Dragusin to grasp his opportunity with the January recruit primed to make his full debut at Fulham on Saturday.

Micky Van de Ven has been ruled out of the London derby with a minor hamstring injury, which is only set to sideline the Dutch defender until after the international break.

Van de Ven’s absence will hand Dragusin a first start since his move from Genoa in a transfer that could rise to £25million.

“I’ll take the suspense out of it. He’ll start tomorrow,” Postecoglou revealed.

“It’s a good opportunity for him. We obviously brought him in with a view that it was evident we were very short in that area and he’d had a very good half-season in Italy.

“He’s had to be patient and I said to him when we signed him I couldn’t tell him when he’d get an opportunity but he would get an opportunity.

“I thought he did well when he came on the other day (against Aston Villa). It was good that the team was already in a good rhythm but the scoreline was still 0-0.

“He contributed to how we finished the game. He’s a pretty assured young guy. He has belief in himself, he has really good people around him.

“I think he can bring something to the team. He’s a very strong defender, very good in the duels and I think we’re going to need that tomorrow.

“More than anything that half-an-hour at least gives him that game-time he needs at the level.

“He was exposed to a very good team and some very good opposition players. I think that will help him tomorrow, particularly at the beginning of the game.”

While Spurs will be without centre-back Van de Ven at Craven Cottage, Richarlison could return after a knee injury.

The prognosis for Manor Solomon is not positive, with the former Fulham loanee no closer to being fit again.

Solomon has not played since September due to a right knee injury.

Postecoglou said: “Yeah, no real progress. He’s still in that position of not being really comfortable where he’s at.

“So, we’ll give him the time he needs to be in the palace where he can recover. The medical team is looking at some other strategies now.

“Micky, nothing too significant. He’ll miss tomorrow, but we’re quite confident if the recovery goes well with the international break, he shouldn’t miss too much more.

“I think he came off at the right time to be honest, so while he misses tomorrow, it’s still positive.

“Richy, he trained today so we’ll just see how he pulls up. If he pulls up OK, he’ll probably be available.”

Gary O’Neil rated Wolves’ 2-1 victory over Fulham as his favourite of the season given the adversity his side overcame.

With several key players already out, Wolves were forced into two first-half changes because of injuries to Jean-Ricner Bellegarde and key man Pedro Neto.

But second-half goals from full-backs Rayan Ait-Nouri and Nelson Semedo put Wolves in control before Alex Iwobi pulled one back with virtually the last kick of the game.

“Unbelievable win,” said a delighted O’Neil, whose side are up to eighth in the Premier League table.

“My favourite I think in terms of what we’ve had to deal with, the position we were in before the game, the position we found ourselves in 20-odd minutes into the game.

“To find a way to beat a Fulham team that are in a really good moment – when I got their team-sheet I realised how strong they are depth wise, unbelievable bench they had available to them.

“Obviously we’re in a different moment. We can be as strong as that but at this moment we’re not. Then mentally for the players to lose the only attacking players we have left and still be able to find a way to respond I thought was an unbelievable win.

“I’m sure they are, but the supporters should be unbelievably proud of the team that they just saw. If I’d have grown up being a Wolves fan and you asked me what I wanted my team to look like, it would have been that.”

The considerable negative was the two injuries, with Bellegarde sustaining a left knee problem in the opening minutes of the game and Neto then pulling up just before half-time holding his left hamstring.

The Portuguese winger, who missed two months of the season with a right hamstring injury, went off at half-time against Newcastle last week because of tightness in his hamstring, leaving O’Neil to rue his team selection.

“He had a really good week,” said the Wolves boss. “He had a scan that was completely clear, no muscle damage at all, he felt really good yesterday in training, felt good again today.

“That lands on me whether the decision to play him today was right. I’m just devastated for Pedro and how hard he’s worked to get back. We’re hopeful, medical don’t think it’s anything like his first one, but it’ll be a scan and we’ll go from there.

“If I had the team-sheet back again now, of course I’m not putting Pedro Neto’s name on it.”

It was a frustrating afternoon for Fulham boss Marco Silva, who saw Harry Wilson miss a one-on-one and Tosin Adarabioyo hit the bar in the first half.

“We had a chance to come to half-time leading the score clearly,” said Silva. “We didn’t start really well but after the first chance we created, from that moment we built the momentum and we started to be on the front foot.

“But the reality is the game is 95 minutes and the way we started the second half, we played too slow, losing some balls in dangerous areas that we cannot lose. And from that moment we are punished.”

Wolves’ bid for European football was boosted by a 2-1 victory over Fulham, but it came at the expense of more injury problems.

Jean-Ricner Bellegarde limped off with just over 10 minutes gone while Pedro Neto, who had been passed fit after feeling his hamstring last weekend, pulled up just before half-time clutching the back of his left thigh.

But the hosts made Fulham pay for missed opportunities, with Rayan Ait-Nouri scoring his first goal since December 2022 in the 52nd minute and Nelson Semedo adding a deflected second before Alex Iwobi grabbed a very late consolation.

The result lifts Gary O’Neil’s side up to eighth in the Premier League table in the week when it was revealed Wolves will open contract talks with their manager this summer.

Wolves’ strong form was halted by a 3-0 loss to Newcastle last time out while Fulham, looking to win at Molineux for the first time since 1985, were chasing a third Premier League victory in a row.

O’Neil was boosted by the availability of goalkeeper Jose Sa, who went off at half-time last weekend, but Craig Dawson was injured so Santiago Bueno came into the side along with Joao Gomes and 19-year-old striker Nathan Fraser, given a first start for the club.

Fulham’s good run meant the returning Joao Palhinha had to settle for a place on the bench.

With Wolves fans screaming for a foul on Fraser, Fulham went down the other end in the sixth minute and created the first chance of the game – Andreas Pereira’s shot from wide on the left pushed away by Sa.

A tight game was cut open in the 25th minute by an excellent through ball from Iwobi for Harry Wilson but, with only the keeper to beat, he opted to shoot with the outside of his left foot and sent his effort wide.

At the other end, a one-two between Ait-Nouri and Mario Lemina nearly put the full-back through before a heavy touch allowed Bernd Leno to block.

Fulham had their second golden opportunity in the 35th minute when a spell of pressure ended with Harrison Reed sending a ball across the goal for Tosin Adarabioyo, who saw his shot bounce off the top of the bar.

It was Fulham threatening again at the start of the second half, Wilson sending a curling shot just past the post.

But the first goal went the way of the home team, as substitute Toti seized on a weak header by Calvin Bassey from a Wolves free-kick and teed up Ait-Nouri, who had pushed further forward following Neto’s departure, for a confident finish high into the net.

Fulham boss Marco Silva sent on Willian and Tom Cairney for a disappointed-looking Reed and Pereira but their pursuit of an equaliser was leaving gaps at the back and Wolves grabbed their second in the 67th minute.

VAR took a look but Fraser, who had worked tirelessly throughout, was just onside when he ran onto Gomes’ pass. His attempted cross was blocked but Gomes back-heeled the ball to Semedo, whose shot beat Leno via a big deflection off Cairney.

Fulham came agonisingly close to pulling one back with 10 minutes to go, Sa pulling off an acrobatic save to deny substitute Palhinha and Max Kilman heading Rodrigo Muniz’s follow-up off the line, before Wolves old boy Adama Traore’s strong run and shot drew another stop from Sa.

Referee Tony Harrington then lost patience with visiting manager Silva and showed him a yellow card, adding to a frustrating afternoon that was barely improved by Iwobi’s stabbed effort with almost the last kick of the game.

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.”

Rodrigo Muniz was on the scoresheet again as Fulham claimed an impressive 3-0 win over Brighton at Craven Cottage.

The Brazilian forward claimed his fifth Premier League goal in his last five matches after Harry Wilson’s long-range effort put the Cottagers’ ahead.

Adama Traore came off the bench to score in second half added time.

Fulham registered their first back-to-back league wins since December after their 2-1 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The hosts kept the momentum from last week’s victory and started the better of the two teams.

After Harrison Reed’s bursting run forced a yellow card from Carlos Baleba, the stand-in skipper tested Jason Steele from inside the area, getting on the end of a free-kick.

Fulham’s early pressure was rewarded in the 21st minute when they took the lead. The inform Muniz hustled Lewis Dunk in the air, knocking the ball down into the path of Wilson who curled his effort into the top left-hand corner.

Brighton searched for a way back into the game and missed two quickfire chances to equalise.

After Adam Lallana’s long-range strike whistled past Bernd Leno’s post, Julio Enciso showed intricate skill to beat his marker before the Seagulls midfielder’s shot failed to hit the target.

The Cottagers on the other hand did not have to be asked twice in front of goal as they scored again to double their lead.

Wilson, who had been untouchable up to this point, repaid Muniz’s earlier favour, curling the ball onto the head of his team-mate who nodded home to continue his stunning scoring form.

Fulham continued to impress in the second half through the electric partnership of Wilson and Muniz.

Wilson initially dragged his one-on-one wide of Steele’s left-hand post but was given another opportunity to score.

Muniz showed strength to hold off the defender, drove into the box and found Wilson who was dispossessed by Dunk’s last-ditch effort to keep the score at 2-0.

Evan Ferguson had a golden chance to score from inside the six-yard box but the forward poked his effort wide in a move which summed up the visitors’ lacklustre display.

Fulham allowed Roberto De Zerbi’s men possession as they began to shut up shop. Pervis Estupinan was unleashed down the left, whipping a dangerous ball to the rising Baleba whose header ballooned over the bar before he was substituted minutes later.

Traore was played through and buried his effort to give Fulham a third during four added minutes.

Erik ten Hag insists he does not need a public vote of confidence from Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Speculation has been rife about the future of the Dutchman as Manchester United manager following investment in the club from Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group.

A promising run of results ended with a poor performance in defeat against Fulham last weekend, putting the focus back on Ten Hag’s position.

That will ratchet up again should United fail to beat Nottingham Forest on Wednesday in the FA Cup, which is their only remaining chance of silverware this season.

Ten Hag said: “I’m here, I’m under contract for three seasons, so I don’t care. I’m only focusing on the process so I don’t care what’s going around me.

“I have many talks with Jim Ratcliffe but especially also with Sir Dave Brailsford so I know what we are talking about. I have a strong belief and I feel that they believe in me.

“I’m just focusing on the team and I have to find solutions for this team that they perform in the best way they can. It’s all about focusing on this and don’t get distracted by any noise.

“We’re talking about the future, we’re talking about a future together.”

Ten Hag’s tactics and recruitment have attracted criticism, with the performances of Brazil winger Antony particularly under the spotlight.

The 24-year-old cost more than £80million when he followed Ten Hag from Ajax to Old Trafford in 2022 but he has been a peripheral figure this season, with his only goal coming against Newport in the FA Cup.

Against Fulham, teenager Omari Forson started on the right and Amad Diallo was also sent on ahead of Antony, who only came off the bench in the 89th minute.

Antony took a leave of absence earlier in the season to address allegations of domestic abuse in Brazil, which he denied, and Ten Hag believes that had an effect on his form.

“Now he left this behind but for a moment in the season it had absolutely an impact on him and you could see in his performance, in his attitude,” said the United boss.

“But now he’s back. Of course it affected him and the process is still going, now he has to turn the point and to bring his big potential again in.

“You have to fight and you have to give every day the maximum. I see in the training he’s doing (that) so he will turn a corner.

“When the issue was in Brazil, he came back and he wasn’t any more the person like he was before, and that did something with his belief.

“One of the big skills from Antony is that he’s very brave. He has to find that back and that’s up to him. We will support him, absolutely all the staff, me as a manager. I have 100 per cent belief in him.”

Goalcorer Calvin Bassey felt Fulham just “wanted it more” than Manchester United after the Londoners claimed a shock win at Old Trafford.

Alex Iwobi struck in the seventh minute of stoppage time as the Cottagers killed off a late United fightback to snatch a last-gasp 2-1 victory in the Premier League on Saturday.

Fulham had been course for what seemed a deserved success courtesy of Bassey’s opener but United produced a strong finish and Harry Maguire appeared to have salvaged a point for the hosts in the 89th minute.

Yet while United pushed for a late clincher themselves, they were caught on the counter-attack and Iwobi capitalised to secure his side’s first win at Old Trafford since 2003.

“I don’t think you can just come here and overrun them,” said defender Bassey, whose goal was his first for the club. “You can see the quality of the players they have.

“They have got top players and a top manager and players that can have an effect off the bench, but we were just at it more and I felt we wanted it more. That showed in the way we played.

“(The equaliser) was a bit annoying, but we had done so well to even get 1-1, so then it was about making sure we didn’t leave with nothing. But then we got a chance and we were able to bury it.”

Mid-table Fulham’s victory was only their second in their last six games in what has been an inconsistent season but Bassey hopes a corner has been turned.

“It is always nice to win a game and hopefully we can keep this momentum going,” the Nigeria international said.

The result put an end to United’s four-game winning run in the league and dented their hopes of reaching the top four.

Maguire feels the team need to get it out of their system quickly ahead of Wednesday’s FA Cup trip to Nottingham Forest and then the derby against Manchester City next weekend.

The England centre-back told MUTV: “We know it’s going to be a tough game in midweek. Our full focus is on that one. We’ve got to bounce back.

“A big reaction is needed. It’s going to be a tough game, but one that we got to go there and produce a performance like we did there last year.”

Maguire admitted United were caught out in the end by Fulham but said pushing for the win seemed the right approach at the time.

He said: “This season we’ve scored numerous late goals, numerous late winners. So we had great belief that we were going to go on to win the game.

“Obviously in hindsight now we can all sit here and say that we should have been more cautious, we were far too naive.

“We can look back and I’m sure we’ll assess it in terms of areas that we can improve on but, ultimately, over the 90 minutes we didn’t do enough to win the game.”

Harry Maguire called for a “big reaction” after Manchester United were stunned by a late Fulham winner at Old Trafford.

Alex Iwobi netted in the seventh minute of stoppage time as Fulham snatched a 2-1 Premier League victory on Saturday after it seemed Maguire had salvaged a point for the hosts.

Fulham dominated most of the contest and deservedly led through Calvin Bassey’s 65th-minute strike, but United produced a strong finish.

Maguire equalised when he pounced on a rebound in the 89th minute and Erik Ten Hag’s men were pushing for a late clincher themselves when they were caught on the break and Iwobi finished them off.

The defeat ended United’s four-game winning run in the league and dented their hopes of reaching the top four.

United are back in action when they travel to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup on Wednesday before taking on rivals Manchester City next weekend.

“We know it’s going to be a tough game in midweek,” defender Maguire told MUTV. “Our full focus is on that one. We’ve got to bounce back.

“A big reaction is needed. It’s going to be a tough game but we’ve got to go there and produce a performance like we did there last year.”

Maguire admitted United were caught out in the end but said pushing for the win seemed the right approach at the time.

He said: “This season we’ve scored numerous late goals, numerous late winners. So we had great belief that we were going to go on to win the game.

“Obviously in hindsight, now we can all sit here and say that we should have been more cautious. We were far too naive.

“We can look back and I’m sure we’ll assess it in terms of areas that we can improve on but, ultimately, over the 90 minutes we didn’t do enough to win the game.”

Mid-table Fulham have been inconsistent throughout the season and the victory was only their second in their last six league games.

Yet Iwobi believes the manner of the performance and the way they obtained the result should give them a big confidence boost.

The former Everton and Arsenal midfielder, who recently returned from Africa Cup of Nations duty, told the club’s website, fulhamfc.com: “I’m over the moon right now.

“To come back into the team and get a win now at Old Trafford, big stadium like this – no better feeling and fully deserved as well.

“We feel like we’ve been performing well recently and it’s just about getting the results.

“To do it at Old Trafford – hopefully we can kick on from this. This will give us a world of confidence.

“Everyone’s emotion is going to be high but we have to dust down now and go again.”

Fulham boss Marco Silva had no doubt his side got what they deserved after snatching a dramatic stoppage-time win at Manchester United on Saturday.

Alex Iwobi struck in the 97th minute as the Cottagers responded to an 89th-minute equaliser from Harry Maguire to claim a stunning 2-1 Premier League success at Old Trafford.

It was the London side’s first win at the ground since 2003 and, after creating the majority of the chances throughout the game and taking a 65th-minute lead through Calvin Bassey, Silva felt it was merited.

Silva said: “Definitely, it is clear in my opinion the better team on the pitch won the game. We are the team that created the most chances, that played better and tried to win most of the moments of the game.

“We created a very good number of chances in the first half. They had two or three very good moments as well but the way we started the second half, the first 30 minutes, the way we controlled the game against Man Utd at Old Trafford, that is not easy to do.

“We scored and after came the normal reaction from Man Utd, the crowd played a big part in their reaction, and we conceded a bit of an unlucky goal.

“In that moment we showed a strong mentality. It was first a moment for us not to concede the second as Old Trafford was on fire but we showed a strong mentality and even before the 2-1 we had a strong chance from Rodri (Muniz).

“It was a really well-deserved three points and the best team won.”

Fulham’s success punctured some of the optimism that has swept into Old Trafford this week following the completion of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s partial takeover.

The defeat was United’s 10th of the campaign in the Premier League, ending a four-game winning streak, and was a setback to their hopes of reaching the top four.

Manager Erik Ten Hag, however, dismissed the suggestion his team’s Champions League hopes had been dented and highlighted the overall picture.

The Dutchman said: “After these two months I can’t go with that approach. We have gone lately very good but now we have some setbacks.

“Today we could have won this game. We should have won this game as the team showed great character.

“We had two slow starts in both halves, definitely. It was a big loss to lose Casemiro (to injury), we lost some stability in the team and conceded a goal that is very avoidable, but then fought back in the game.

“I have to credit the team – they showed great character. We went for the win but by the end we let them slip away.

“But after one defeat you have to see the bigger picture and the bigger picture looks very good.

“We have to catch up in certain positions and get the injuries back, then we will be more in balance and also strengthen the squad in the transfer windows.

“You see there are many good players coming up and real high potential players, so definitely we are going in the right direction. When we have the players available, we have a very good team.”

Alex Iwobi struck a dramatic stoppage-time winner as Fulham snatched a rare 2-1 win at Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday.

The former Everton and Arsenal midfielder finished off a counter-attack in the seventh minute of time added on moments after Harry Maguire looked to have salvaged a point for United.

Maguire had pounced on a rebound in the 89th minute, cancelling out a 65th-minute strike from Fulham’s Calvin Bassey.

United looked to be finishing the stronger as they pushed for a late winner but they were caught out by Iwobi, who secured his side’s first victory at Old Trafford since 2003.

On the balance of play, it was a win Fulham deserved and a result that punctured some of the optimism brought into United this week following the completion of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s partial takeover.

United’s tame performance for large part of the game underlined how much work they have to do to make ambitions of knocking Manchester City and Liverpool “off their perch” become reality.

United were slow to get going and Fulham, despite the absence of the influential Joao Palhinha through suspension, made most the running.

Andreas Pereira had their first opportunity with a weak effort which was easily dealt with by Andre Onana before Iwobi failed to make clean contact with another chance from the edge of the area.

Pereira played in Iwobi for a clearer opening on 18 minutes but he missed the target trying to guide into the bottom corner.

United survived again when Onana saved a powerful header from Rodrigo Muniz following a corner and Sasa Lukic was unable to get to the rebound.

United eventually got a sight of goal after Fulham struggled to clear a free-kick and Alejandro Garnacho attempted to curl a shot into the far corner through a crowded box but Antonee Robinson headed clear.

Diogo Dalot went even closer with a long-range effort which beat Bernd Leno but clipped the outside of the post.

Fulham responded well and hit the woodwork themselves moments later as Muniz turned Victor Lindelof in the area and thumped a shot against the upright.

The visitors turned defence into attack again just before the break, this time after Marcus Rashford, playing centrally in the absence of Rasmus Hojlund, went through on goal but took the ball too wide.

Fulham raced upfield and fed Pereira, but his curling attempt was pushed away by Onana.

In a lively end to the opening period, Garnacho then forced a save from Leno after cutting in from the left.

United suffered a blow early in the second half when Casemiro was forced off after clash of heads with Harrison Reed while manager Erik Ten Hag also removed youngster Omari Forson after a quiet full debut.

Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen were sent on to increase the energy levels but it was Fulham who continued to dictate the pace.

Reed almost found the net when his cross-cum-shot had to be palmed over by Onana.

They capitalised from the resulting set-piece as Pereira’s cross found Bassey, and he rifled his first goal for the club into the roof of the net after his initial volley was blocked.

Fulham threatened more with Reed firing narrowly over and Harry Wilson bending a chance just wide.

United roused themselves late on and Maguire reacted quickly after a Bruno Fernandes shot was saved but Iwobi had the final say.

Erik ten Hag insisted Rasmus Hojlund’s injury need not throw Manchester United’s season off course as the club’s failure to sign another striker in January once again came under the spotlight.

Hojlund will miss Saturday’s match against Fulham and the midweek FA Cup tie at Nottingham Forest, and is also expected to be out for next Sunday’s derby against Manchester City with a muscle injury that could see him sidelined for up to three weeks and potentially miss five games.

It is a significant blow given Hojlund’s electric form of late – the 21-year-old Dane has scored seven goals in his last six appearances for United – and leaves Ten Hag short of options in attack, with Anthony Martial out until April following surgery on his groin.

But Ten Hag said Hojlund was not solely responsible for United’s recent uptick in goals.

“(Hojlund) was lately very important,” he said. “But main man? I don’t see it that way. Because I think especially (Alejandro) Garnacho is playing very strong in the last games…

“‘Rashy’ (Marcus Rashford) is capable. (He has only scored five but) he can score. Lately, in our last games the frontline is an absolute threat, they score. Is it Rasmus Hojlund only? No, it’s Garnacho, it’s also Rashford, it’s also Scott McTominay. Bruno (Fernandes) can score a goal.

“What gives me the confidence, in autumn the frontline wasn’t scoring, they were not even a threat. In this moment they are in very good form and a threat continually. I am quite confident that even when Rasmus Hojlund is not there, it will go on.

“We can line up a frontline which is really strong. I don’t think there is a frontline where the opponent thinks, ‘pfft, that is easy’. No, they will fear our frontline I am sure.”

Ten Hag has previously opened up on his desire to sign a striker last month, something United were unable to do due to concerns regarding the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules.

But on Friday the manager was questioned about the decision to spend £60million on Mason Mount last summer despite the relative depth in midfield, rather than invest up front given that Martial has regularly struggled to stay fit for a full season.

“You are a football manager?” he replied.

“If it was that easy… I already said (about) the money. First of all, striker options are the most difficult. Especially on our level. We had two strikers.

“I get that for Martial, but he has done for us last season great things. He is also on high payment in this club. So when you bring another one in, you strike him out. So there are all arguments not to do it.

“Then there is Marcus Rashford, who can play very good from front position. So actually we had three strikers in our squad to fill in.”

Ten Hag said it was “naive” to suggest signing another striker would have been so straightforward.

“Strikers are not cheap, and when you have three strikers in your squad and you bring a number four in, that means the prospective for the others will get short,” he said.

“We thought we had options, but when it develops during the season, I wanted to bring in a striker in the winter, but it was not possible. And already we had our problems with FFP (Financial Fair Play) in the summer of course.”

What the papers say

The Sun reports that Gareth Southgate has his eye on three uncapped midfield players – Manchester United teen Kobbie Mainoo, Everton’s James Garner and Fulham’s Harrison Reed – as concern grows over the form of Kalvin Phillips.

Coach David Moyes’ future with West Ham looks fraught as the club is understood to be sounding out Julen Lopetegui, Steve Cooper and Graham Potter to lead the Hammers, writes the Daily Mail.

Steve Bruce is keen to move abroad, with the ex-Newcastle boss looking to become the next manager for South Korea, writes the Daily Mirror.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Kylian Mbappe: The  Paris Saint-Germain star put pen to paper with Real Madrid weeks ago, reports the Daily Mail.

Liel Abada: According to the Daily Record, Celtic will speak to the winger’s agent this week to sort out his future.

Yann M’Vila: West Bromwich Albion has signed the former France international, but only until the end of the season, says the BBC.

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