Marco Silva does not expect Aleksandar Mitrovic to be suspended for long after the striker tried to grab referee Chris Kavanagh in five minutes of frenzy that cost Fulham their chance of reaching the FA Cup semi-finals.
Fulham were leading Manchester United 1-0 in the quarter-finals at Old Trafford with just over 20 minutes remaining when Willian parried Jadon Sancho’s shot down the line with his arm.
Kavanagh initially signaled for a corner but VAR’s Neil Swarbrick sent it to the screen, where the protesting Silva refused.
After an inevitable penalty decision and a red card for Luljan, Fulham striker Mitrovic raged at Kavanagh and tried to pull him by the arm – just 40 seconds short of the three throws.
United punished Fulham’s collapse when Bruno Fernandes scored from the penalty spot two minutes before Marcel Sabitzer’s first goal for United, as Fernandes sealed a 3-1 win in injury time.
Fulham’s loss of discipline could now hurt their push to reach Europe via the Premier League with suspensions sure to follow, but Silva isn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary for Mitrovic despite being pictured holding Kavanagh, a referee Fulham had been in control of. actually. this chapter.
Paolo Di Canio received an 11-match ban for shoving Paul Alcock to the ground in 1998, but Mitrovic’s grab was far less impressive.
“I don’t think so,” Silva said of a possible long ban. “I have of course seen the picture and have already spoken with Mitro. It is a moment for him to control the emotions.
“Of course he paid the verdict but I didn’t see that it was so bad as you say, so I hope the people who will decide in fairness will decide the moment you deserve.”
Silva’s ability to give any lectures on discipline was limited given that he was the first to see the red, a fact for which he apologized in the dressing room, but continued to complain about Kavanagh after the match.
At Old Trafford, Fulham wanted two first-half penalties, both of which concerned Mitrovic, who felt he was pushed by Luke Shaw early on before tangling with Lisandro Martinez soon after.
But the complaints go back further, to a 3-1 loss to West Ham in October when Fulham felt two of the Hammers’ goals related to a handkick, and Fulham’s 2-0 FA Cup win over Leeds last month when Kavanagh ruled out a Fulham goal in his favour. Soft foul.
Silva added, “Our story with Chris Kavanagh this season was very difficult as a football club. Before the match we didn’t say anything to the players, it’s the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, let’s do our best to play the semi-finals of the FA Cup.”
“That was our goal and I think we showed that in the 75 minutes, but they also know he was the referee for that game at West Ham when we lost by two clear goals in handball, Chris Kavanagh was in that moment. This afternoon everyone saw what happened…
Of course, in all moments we must control our feelings, but we are human beings.
While Fulham counts the cost, United will face Brighton at Wembley hoping to lift the FA Cup for the 13th time and add to the League Cup they won last month.
United were second best on the balance sheet before the penalty incident, and while Erik ten Hag was pleased with the result he knew his side could play better.
“I’m happy and happy with the performance but I see a lot of room for improvement,” he said. “On the ball today is an example, we have to show more composure, recognize where the overload is, and use that overload.
“In attacking the turnovers today were some good examples that we can definitely do better.”
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