Wolverhampton Wanderers boss Nuno Espírito Santo praised the performance of striker Fábio Silva after the Portuguese youngster scored in their 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Monday night.
Prior to Monday’s Black Country derby in the Premier League, the weekend’s action brought a rare goal for Adrien Silva in Sampdoria’s victory over Roma in Italy. Elsewhere, Nani turned on the style again in MLS, while veteran Paixão twins, Marco and Flávio, were both on target in Turkey and Poland respectively.
Former Porto striker Fabio Silva’s goal for Wolves at West Brom came as he and fellow youngster Vitinha were given starts by Nuno. Vitinha, currently on loan from Porto, was making just his third full appearance in the Premier League and Silva earned a place in the line-up for the 7th time in the competition.
Goalkeeper Rui Patrício, Nélson Semedo and Rúben Neves made it five Portuguese in the visiting line-up, with Daniel Podence issued a place on the bench. There was a degree of fortune about Silva’s goal to put Wolves ahead just before the break when the ball ricochet off his standing leg and found the net after good work by Semedo.
“It’s good for him” - Nuno
Vitinha stayed on the pitch for 80 minutes before being replaced, racking up a 90% pass completion rate while his four key passes was the highest figure across both teams. After the match, Nuno spoke to the media about the impact made by several young players and reserved particular praise for Silva.
“It’s been a long season,” Nuno said. “We have a lot of young players that need time to compete in the right moments and [Silva] did well today. He worked very hard against tough defenders, so it’s good for his growing process as a player.
“He was good. What we want is for them to work hard, and Fabio did that. He had a goal, he had more chances that required better finishes, but he’s young and playing against the centre halves of West Brom, it’s good for him, to give him the sense of physicality the Premier League requires.”
Silva himself spoke of his happiness after scoring his fourth goal for the club. “You have to believe, when you are a striker you have to smell the goal,” the 18-year-old told the club’s website. “I believed the ball would go in and I’m happy to help the team, it’s the most important.
“Not only the goal, about what I did in the game, my movements helped the team, this is the most important and I’m very happy to help the team. The goal is important because I’m a striker and it gives me confidence, so I’m so happy.”
Adrien Silva nets long-awaited goal
Roma’s trip to Sampdoria in Serie A saw the Giallorossi report back for domestic matters having suffered a humiliating 6-2 defeat to Manchester United in the Europa League. Roma arrived in Genoa in the midst of reports that Portuguese boss Paulo Fonseca will lose his job at the club following the defeat at Old Trafford after a disappointing run of form in the league.
Roma’s Serie A slump continued with a 2-0 defeat to Sampdoria, with Adrien Silva getting the opener and his first goal for the club. An error in the Roma defence ultimately allowed Morten Thorsby to set up former Sporting man Silva inside the box and the midfielder slotted the ball past Daniel Fuzato just before half time.
The goal was Adrien’s first since he scored for Sporting in a 5-0 win at Vitoria Guimaraes in August 2017, and the 150th scored by a Sampdoria player in the era of two points for a win. Speaking to club media after the match, he dedicated the goal to his loved ones: “I am pleased to have become part of the history of this great club. I am really happy. Today in Portugal is a special day: it is Mother's Day, so I dedicate it to my mother and also to my wife.”
The rest: Nani, Paixão twins shine
The weekend was also notable for another eye-catching goal by Portugal legend Nani for Orlando City in the United States. The winger, who earned his side a point last weekend with a glorious back-flick, raised the levels further with a fantastic individual strike in a 3-0 win over Cincinnati in MLS.
I’ll ask the question: should Nani go the the Euros based on this current form? pic.twitter.com/zg8N4CrwEP— Sean Gillen (@SeanGillen9) May 2, 2021
There were goals for each of the Paixão twins this weekend in Turkey and Poland. Curiously, both strikes, aged 36, scored from the penalty spot: Marco Paixão to give Altay a 1-0 win over Ümraniyespor in the Turkish Lig 1 and Flávio Paixão in Lechia Gdansk’s 3-1 Ekstraklasa victory at Wisla Plock in Poland.
Finally, there were also goals for Lisandro Semedo, who struck twice for Fortuna Sittard in a 3-0 win over Twente in the Dutch Eredivisie, as well as former Vitória Setúbal defender Frederico Venâncio in Lugo’s 2-2 draw with Real Zaragoza in the Spanish Segunda, while Mikael Almeida scored a late winner for Aarau in Switzerland against Grasshopper.
By Sean Gillen