Soccer

Rodrigo Muniz earns manager praise for ‘best performance’ in Fulham victory

Muniz netted his third strike in as many games alongside goals from Bobby De Cordova-Reid and Bournemouth’s Marcos Senesi.

Rodrigo Muniz (left) scored a brace as Fulham beat Bournemouth
Rodrigo Muniz (left) celebrates for Fulham Rodrigo Muniz (left) scored a brace as Fulham beat Bournemouth (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Marco Silva believes Rodrigo Muniz played his “best performance in a Fulham shirt” after he scored a brace during their 3-1 Premier League victory over Bournemouth.

Muniz, who scored his first-ever English top-flight goal in Fulham’s 2-2 draw with Burnley last week, netted his third strike in as many games alongside goals from Bobby De Cordova-Reid and Bournemouth’s Marcos Senesi.

Silva lauded the performance of the 22-year-old forward as Fulham claimed their first league win since New Year’s Eve.

“I’m really pleased for him and he really deserves it,” Silva said.

“When you have the chance, you have to step in and pop up and show your quality and it was the moment for Rodrigo to do it.

“This afternoon was probably his best performance in a Fulham shirt and he deserves it because he’s worked really hard.

“He had a good pre-season followed by a bad injury, but now he’s coming back and he’s fighting for what he wants and he’s showing the desire to play as the Fulham striker.

“The way he linked our game and played behind the pressure of the midfielders was really good.”

January loan signing Armando Broja came off the bench but failed to match Muniz’s performance up front.

Silva insisted that – much like the rest of the squad – the Albania international would have to wait his turn to claim a starting XI spot.

When asked if Broja would have to be patient, Silva added: “Not just him, but everyone.

“He’s a player who is here to help us and I believe he will help us. It’s competition between strikers and I will decide what is best for us in each game.

“We believe Armando will help us in the next few months because he is a player with a profile which I think will help.”

Fulham did not look back after De Cordova-Reid’s strike gave them the lead after five minutes. The potent winger capitalised on Lewis Cook’s slip before he drilled the ball home from six yards out.

Muniz poached Fulham’s second of the match, nine minutes before the break. Willian lofted a cross to De Cordova-Reid at the back post, who turned creator by nodding his effort into the danger zone and Muniz scored from inside the six-yard box with a roofed finish.

Bournemouth needed a response and they got just that five minutes into the second half when Senesi pulled one back for the visitors but – just two minutes later – Fulham responded in fashion when Muniz grabbed his second of the match.

Cherries manager Andoni Iraola believes the early goal hampered his side’s performance.

He said: “We conceded too much in the beginning of the game and we didn’t get nothing from today.

“Especially the first goal. It can’t happen, it’s a slip in a dangerous position.”