Fulham boss Silva throws support behind Leno

Fulham boss Marco Silva has defended goalkeeper Bernd Leno and insists the German goalkeeper should not be blamed for his side’s Carabao Cup semi-final exit on Wednesday.

Fulham went out 3-2 on aggregate to Liverpool despite drawing 1-1 at Craven Cottage with Leno beaten at his near post by Luiz Diaz’s shot that took a deflection after just 11 minutes to allow the Reds to seize control of the game.

Although Issa Diop’s goal 15 minutes from time set up a dramatic finish, the Whites were unable to find a second goal to take the game to extra time and missed the chance to feature in a first domestic cup final since 1975.

But Silva, who has claimed Leno is the best signing he has ever made following his £3 million switch from Arsenal last season said the 31-year-old should not be held accountable.

“Bernd is the first one to know what he should do or not and when he is at his best level or not it’s easy to criticise any player for a mistake,” Silva said.

“What Bernd has been doing so far the season and the first leg at Anfield is a good example.

“When Liverpool scored to make it 2-1 he then kept us on the in the game and gave us a chance to decide the second leg at home at the Cottage.

“He’s been brilliant for us and has been for most of the games. He’s a top goalkeeper and a great professional.

“People can say what they want but I know he’ll always be important for us and has performed since arriving.”