Marco Silva hails 'unbelievable work' from Fulham after win over Brighton
(Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)

Fulham head coach Marco Silva spoke of his pride at the way his team overcame Graham Potter's Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday evening, praising what he called 'unbelievable work' from his players.

After a relatively quiet first half, the hosts at Craven Cottage raced into a two-goal lead after the interval, with Aleksandar Mitrovic getting his fifth goal of the season, while a Lewis Dunk own goal put Fulham in a strong position.

As would be expected for a team who were unbeaten in the Premier League before this game though, the Seagulls did not go down without a fight, as Alexis Mac Allister halved the deficit from the penalty spot.

A nervy final half an hour ensued in west London, with the visitors searching for an equaliser to take back home, but Silva's side held on for a well-deserved 2-1 victory in the end.

On the importance of the win

Given the way Brighton had started their season, many had tipped this to be a very difficult game for Fulham, and perhaps would not have been surprised to see them fall to defeat against their south coast opponents.

As it was though, they produced a fantastic performance to overcome Graham Potter's team, with Marco Silva commenting after the match that it was, "A great win for us, a great result, a great three points against a really tough team to play against and to beat."

Silva continued on by praising the form of the visitors up until their visit to Craven Cottage, recognising how well they had been performing in their first four games - all of which they were unbeaten in.

"The way they [Brighton] started the season, they deserved the points [in those games], the way they controlled all the teams they played against," the head coach remarked, "the way they created so many chances.

"They conceded just one goal [before tonight] and it was own goal."

On holding out in injury time

With no fewer than eight added minutes at the end of the second half, it was fair to say that there were probably more than a few nervous fans amongst the home support, with a slender one goal lead to hold onto.

It probably would not have been fair on Fulham had they conceded an equaliser, but as with any game things do not always work out fairly in football, so the chances of letting the three points slip away were not impossible.

However, the Cottagers held on admirably, putting in a professional performance to ensure they got the win they deserved, something the boss described as "really, really good."

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Silva continued: "We showed the maturity to control, after the 2-1 as well. The way we controlled the last minutes of the game, the extra time, we showed the maturity that I'm really pleased to see, and I want to see, in our team.

"We showed the maturity to control far from our own half. It was really good and was one of the keys for controlling the game in that moment. Unbelievable work from our team without the ball, off the ball.

"It was fantastic the way we pressed most of the moments. They deserve all the credit. I'm really proud of them, of the fans as well, because they helped us in certain moments when we were struggling a little bit in the game."

On tactical tweaks

As you would expect from a game involving two teams with tactically-minded managers, this match swung to and fro between the sides, the momentum shifting at various points throughout the 90 minutes.

Marco Silva said that in the first 25 minutes his team, "had a clear plan to control them, probably with some different decisions on the attack or counter attack when we arrived with the ball in our offensive organisation, different decisions probably could have created more chances."

On what then happened for the remainder of the first 45 minutes, Silva explained, "Of course, they have the capacity to change their formation, and after 25 minutes Graham [Potter] changed to four at the back because we had been doing really well.

"They started to control the game a little bit better and we had some difficulties at the end of the first half."

That said, it was after the half time break when Fulham looked at their best, with the goals that settled the game in their favour coming within the first 10 minutes after the teams came back out the tunnel.

When asked what he told his squad in the dressing room, the 45-year-old said, "We spoke at half time about how we should be more aggressive, with our two wingers a little bit higher. The goal gave us the confidence and belief that we needed in that moment.

"Afterwards, there's the second goal, and even with the penalty when they score for 2-1 I think we controlled really well. They changed some players, they put fresh legs inside, two strikers at the end of the game as well, but we controlled really well."