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‘It’s not easy to decide the best’: Marco Silva on Fulham’s stunning FA Cup goals

Joao Palhinha and Manor Solomon’s strikes were equally impressive

Sonia Twigg
Wednesday 01 March 2023 08:19 GMT
Joao Palhinha scored a stunning opener for Fulham (John Walton/PA)
Joao Palhinha scored a stunning opener for Fulham (John Walton/PA) (PA Wire)

Marco Silva insisted it is “for the fans to decide” which goal was better after two moments of individual brilliance proved the difference in Fulham’s 2-0 win over Leeds which saw them reach the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Manor Solomon continued his excellent run of form since recovering from a knee injury, finding the net for a fourth time in as many matches with a clever curled effort from the left wing.

But it was Joao Palhinha’s stunning strike which broke the deadlock. He won the ball in midfield, drove forward and then unleashed a superb shot from outside the box.

“It’s not easy to decide (which is better),” Silva said after the game. “Two different moments but two great finishes.

“The first one was a very good recovery from Joao, the way he won the ball and a great finish.

“The other one was different. The way Manor linked with our striker and a great finish from a spot (on the pitch) that (he) is very strong (from). It’s for our fans to decide what’s the best, but they were two great moments.”

Fulham will be without Palhinha for their next two matches, including a west London derby at Brentford on Monday night, after he was booked for the 10th time this season against Wolves on Friday night.

The absence of the Portugal international will be a blow to Silva and Fulham, having established himself as a mainstay in central midfield during their high-flying season.

“Of course he will be a miss for us, he is an important player for us but another one will come in and another will do his job well for sure,” Silva said.

Leeds manager Javi Gracia admitted his disappointed as his side were unable to capitalise on their chances, especially in the first half.

The visitors also had a goal ruled out when Georginio Rutter tapped home after Marek Rodak palmed the ball into his path, but referee Chris Kavanagh saw a soft foul in the area and VAR did not intervene.

“In this moment I am really disappointed because in my opinion we were a little bit unlucky because we created many chances,” Gracia said.

“It’s true we were not clinical, we did not finish with composure, but after we scored a goal that was disallowed, in my opinion very, very soft.

“We were close to changing the dynamic of the game, but we didn’t score after, we didn’t have any chance.”

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