Marco Silva admits he crossed a line before being sent off but believes his Fulham side were hard done by during their FA Cup defeat to Manchester United.
Fulham looked set for a famous FA Cup win at Old Trafford before a chaotic minute saw Silva as well as players Willian and Aleksandar Mitrovic get sent off by referee Chris Kavanagh.
It all went wrong after Willian was penalised for blocking Sancho’s goalbound shot with his hand
Silva was sent off before Kavanagh even decided to give a penalty
Mitrovic was dismissed for his dissent too
Willian was sent off for blocking a shot by Jadon Sancho on the goal-line with his arm, leading to a Man United penalty.
A corner was initially given before VAR advised Kavanagh to look at the incident again. While Kavanagh watched replays on the pitchside monitor, Silva ran over and shouted at him, leading to the Portuguese’s dismissal.
And Mitrovic was then given his marching orders for berating and shoving Kavanagh, leaving Fulham with nine men and without a manager in the final part of the cup tie that they went on to lose 3-1.
Silva accepts that both he and Mitrovic should’ve handled things better but pointed to some ‘inconsistencies’ of the officiating, claiming the Serbian striker should’ve been given a penalty in the first half.
Silva told talkSPORT: “It’s tough to take to accept some decisions… I’m not saying the VAR didn’t do well but why didn’t it do it in the first half twice? Mitrovic in the 18-yard box…
“That is difficult for us to understand. For me it’s clear there are two moments. The first one is clear, it’s clear a clear penalty when Luke Shaw pushed Mitrovic – clear, clear penalty. Later there were a bunch of players who pushed Mitrovic in the back.
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“It’s difficult to understand why with Manchester United they do one thing and why with Fulham they don’t do the other thing.
“At that moment of course with the red card for Willian, we should control it in a different way. Our emotions, I should be in the touchline and shouldn’t be speaking with the referee in the moment he’s going to see the screen.
“If that’s the reason for him giving me the red card I have to accept that. I shouldn’t have gone [to him].
“And of course in that moment Mitro should control the emotions.”
Mitrovic pushed referee Kavanagh following Willian’s red card
The Cottagers boss also expressed his disappointment at seeing Kavanagh being in charge of a second straight FA Cup match for Fulham, while also making reference to how his side found themselves on the wrong end of decisions made by Kavanagh earlier this season.
Silva added: “I think we’ve had three games with Chris Kavanagh this season. First game – and full respect with him – we played at West Ham and lost with two handball goals. After we had an important game for the FA Cup at home.
“And the game after we have Chris Kavanagh again. Two games for the FA Cup the same referees.
“It’s difficult for us to understand certain things. Of course more difficult than that, because it’s out of our control, is the inconsistencies.
“About Willian, if he thinks Willian did it on purpose I would like to know where Willian can put his hand in that moment… I didn’t see him moving his hand towards the ball.”
Willian blocked a shot that was heading in with his arm but Silva suggested there was no intent there from the Brazilian
On Mitrovic, Silva said: “I already spoke with him. I have to be there on the touchline in the more difficult moments for our players, this is the first thing of course.
“I would like to see if every time they’re going to give red cards to managers when they are out of the area on the touchline.
“As I said I already spoke with Mitro. He should control himself in a different way, in that situation. I think an experienced referee in that moment could give a yellow card – he’s emotional in that moment of the game, Mitro was involved in two moments of the 18-yard box in the first half and no one said anything to check.”