Marco Silva admitted Aston Villa thoroughly deserved the three points after his Fulham side fell to a 3-1 defeat in the Villa Park drizzle.
The Fulham head coach rued what he described as a lack of calmness from his side as the Whites were well beaten by Unai Emery’s in-form outfit. Silva told his post-match press conference:
“It was a frustrating afternoon for us. I have to say that Villa deserved the three points. A football match is much more than just playing the first half or second half, you have to be consistent from the first minute. The frustration for us is the way we conceded the goals this afternoon. A second own goal this season so far in 12 games, the number is too big.
We have to be much more relaxed. We know the quality of the teams that we are playing against and we have to be much more calm, much more relaxed in some moments when the ball is around our box. The second goal, again the way two players clashed with each other in one moment when we had that moment under control – easy to solve that problem there. And after they clashed, from that moment they built the second goal and made things much more difficult for us.
To be honest, what frustrates me more from the first half was the way we played on the ball. We had one or two moments, one good moment on our right side when probably we should have created the clear chance to score. We planned to attack them in behind, we tried to do it, but first half was poor on the ball. We didn’t express ourselves on the ball.
We spoke at half-time, from a tactical point of view we didn’t change many, many things, we just had to adjust and give the players the belief, and show them that we have to do much better on the ball, to start to express ourselves, and to be Fulham Football Club on the pitch that didn’t exist first half. Second half, we did it from the first minute. I felt Villa dropped off the pitch, waited much more for us, didn’t try to press so high to try to punish us on the counter attack, but from the first minute I felt that we were there.
We were trying to score [to make it] 2-1, to get into the game again. We were commanding the game, and we cannot give another goal like we gave. We gave the third goal to them, after an offensive corner for us. We had the moment again to be calm, to be relaxed, to build the attack again, and we gave the ball away and we were sloppy. And they scored 3-0. When you make this many mistakes, we don’t deserve nothing from the game.
In the second half, from the first minute until the last, we tried. We scored a good goal with the way we planned to punish Villa, and we had one or two more moments on the right-hand side with Timothy to square the ball to Vini in a way we planned. With better finishing in that moment, we should have scored to at least make it 3-2, and after we can go for the game again. The players fought until the end. The second half was much, much better than the first, but the football match is not just one half. It’s 95, 100 minutes. We have to start from the first minute in the way we did second half.”