‘We have been deserving this kind of result’ – Silva reflects on Fulham’s impressive win against Arsenal

Marco Silva felt Fulham’s New Year’s Eve win against Arsenal had been overdue, as his side finally tasted victory against one of the Premier League’s leading lights.

The Whites have suffered narrow defeats to Liverpool and Manchester United already this season, and they failed to win any of the games they played against sides that finished in the top four last term.

However goals from Raul Jimenez and Bobby De Cordova-Reid helped them to come from behind to win 2-1 against Arsenal and end 2023 with a flourish.

“We have been deserving this kind of result against a top side,” said Silva.

“We have been close in moments… sometimes it has been our fault, sometimes [we have not won] because of their quality. This is the best way to finish the year.”

Arsenal took the lead at Craven Cottage when Bukayo Saka turned home after Bernd Leno had kept out a Gabriel Martinelli shot.

Fulham responded well and drew level midway through the first half when Jimenez scored from a Tom Cairney cross.

De Cordova-Reid struck the decisive blow when he found the net following a scramble at a corner early in the second half.

“The way we reacted and played in the first half was at a very good level,” said Silva.

“We mixed up our game well. At moments we started attacks from the back, but we were a bit under pressure and we know that Arsenal press really high, so in some moments we went direct to Raul and others we showed quality from the back.

“Overall we were the best team on the pitch and deserved three points.”

Calvin Bassey played a vital role in Fulham’s equaliser, dispossessing Saka to allow Joao Palhinha to start a counterattack.

That was one of a number of important contributions from the centre back, and Silva admitted Fulham will miss Bassey when he goes to the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria in January.

“What a performance,” said Silva. “It’s his birthday, it’s a nice way to celebrate.

“He’s growing and showing we took the right decision when we signed him.

“He has great skills to be a top central defender in the future, right now he is a very good central defender.

“I believe he will keep improving. He’s strong, he’s quick, he’s good on the ball and always has the right mindset to learn and improve every day.”


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