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Sava bags reserves brace

Facundo Sava scored twice as Fulham’s reserve team ran out comfortable winners over Millwall’s second string in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Motspur Park on Tuesday afternoon.

Stuart Noble continued his recent goalscoring form, as he calmly finished off an incisive move only minutes after coming on for Sava. Tom Davis completed the scoring for Fulham after the Millwall goalkeeper mishandled the young midfielder’s free kick.

FULHAM (4-4-2): Crossley; Rosenior, Leacock, Rehman; Milsom (Watkins 45); Buari (Stolcers 60), T. Davis, Pratley, Doherty; Sava (Noble 75), John (Fazakerley 75).

Espanyol eye Sava swoop

Espanyol are rumoured to have turned to Fulham’s Facundo Sava as they continue their search for a new striker.

The Catalan outfit have been linked with a string of forwards as they look to bolster the firepower of a squad currently sitting second bottom of La Liga.

Moves for Rivaldo, Juan Sanchez, Marcelo Zalayeta, Mario Jardel and Deivid have all fallen through, and Argentine Sava is now thought to be their priority.

The former Gimnasia y Esgrima de la Plata hit-man has struggled to make an impression on the first-team picture at Fulham this term, managing one goal in a total of six appearances for The Cottagers.

However, with Fulham’s top scorer Louis Saha set to complete his move to Manchester United, the West Londoners might be reticent to allow the 29-year-old to depart.

Coleman’s striking dilemma

Chris Coleman now has a whole host of options to spearhead his Fulham attack – but admits he is unlikely to look beyond in-form forward Louis Saha.

The French striker, who has been attracting interest from Manchester United of late, has scored eight league goals this season and has shaken off the after effects of a heavy challenge by Bolton’s Ivan Campo to be fit to face Leeds this weekend.

Facundo Sava, who came off the bench to score the winner against Bolton last week, and Barry Hayles are both in contention to feature and Coleman admits the pair will need to work hard to force their way into the side.

“It’s hard for Barry and Facundo as they know I’ll only play one striker. But they have to realise we’re fourth in the league because of the formation we play. I play a team that’s gets us results. My number one striker is Louis Saha so it’s up to Barry and Facundo to change my mind.”

Sava, eager for more first team football after spending two months on the sidelines after fracturing his shoulder, says he will keep working hard in training.

“Of course I am very happy after that game, but I need to keep working and hoping. This goal doesn’t change anything. All I can do is make sure I’m ready when the manager needs me.”

Sava ditches his mask

Fulham striker Facundo Sava has revealed he will no longer wear masks as part of his goalscoring celebrations.

The Argentine’s antics after hitting the back of the net had been one of the most bizarre scenes witnessed in The Premiership, as he would pull a mask out of his sock and put it on.

However, after netting his first goal of the season for The Cottagers against Bolton on Saturday, Sava insists he will not be reproducing his trademark celebration again.

“I’m not wearing the mask anymore,” explained Sava. “But the lady who always gives them to me brought one before the game, so it was still good luck.”

Sava was delighted to be back amongst the goals after revealing Chris Coleman’s tactics make it difficult for him to claim a regular first team place.

“I can’t remember the last time I scored so I am very happy because it has been very difficult to get a game now we’re only playing with one striker,” he added. “I dislocated my shoulder in training and missed the first two months of the season so now I must be ready if I’m needed.”

Sava seals Fulham comeback

Argentine forward Facundo Sava grabbed a late winner as Fulham came from behind to beat Bolton Wanderers at Loftus Road this afternoon. Chris Coleman’s side turned a tight game completely on its head by scoring two goals in the space of sixty seconds, with Sava stepping off the bench to slam home the winner shortly after Sean Davis had converted Barry Hayles’ pass to cancel out an opener from Kevin Davies.

Defeat was harsh on Bolton who had been clearly the better side for much of the contest. Classy French midfielder Youri Djokaeff run the show for the visitors, who were in confident mood after putting together a six-match unbeaten run. They almost made the perfect start after just 15 seconds when Simon Charlton’s forward ball was helped on by Davies only for Edwin van der Sar to push Kevin Nolan’s effort around the post. The remainder of the first period was largely devoid of clear cut chances but Bolton played the more progressive football.

Lee Clark wasted Fulham’s best chance to lashing well over from inside the area and Djorkaeff’s snapshot was well handled by van der Sar. Japanese midfielder Junichi Inamoto couldn’t hit the target with a header from six yards and then miscued a shot woefully wide of goal when played in by Louis Saha. The second half continued in much the same pattern, with Bolton on the front foot and Sam Allardyce’s side got the reward their ambition deserved when they took the lead within eight minutes of the restart.

A long throw from Jay-Jay Okocho was flicked on by Ivan Campo and Davies reacted quickest ahead of some statuesque home defending to volley home from close range. The ex-Southampton striker might have added a second just a minute later but header Riccardo Gardner’s cross back into the ground and the ball bounced up over the crossbar. A frustrated Coleman sent on Sava for the ineffectual Inamoto just before the hour mark and the Argentine almost made an immediate impact by hitting the post with a powerful header.

Fulham pushed forward and were gradually creating more chances but the speed of their turnaround was still something of a surprise. Hayles, introduced after Saha had jarred his hip in a clash with Campo, created the equaliser sending in a cross that Davis drove home from inside the box. Just a minute later, Sava grabbed his first goal of the season after Gardner had failed to clear a loose ball and ended up presenting the substitute with a glorious chance.

Bolton had the opportunity to level matters in stoppage time but substitute Mario Jardel could only hit the inside of the post with his header – much to Allardyce’s obvious frustration.

FULHAM (4-5-1): van der Sar; Volz, Bonnissel, Knight, Melville; Davis (Djetou 81), Legwinski, Clark, Inamoto (Sava 58), Malbranque; Saha (Hayles 51). Subs (not used): Crossley, Goma.

GOALS: Davis (75), Sava (76).

BOLTON WANDERERS (4-5-1): Jaaskelainen; Hunt, Gardner, N’Gotty, Charlton; Ivan Campo, Frandsen (Giannakopoulous 81), Okocha, Djorkaeff, Nolan (Jardel 85); Davies. Subs (not used): Poole, Thome.

BOOKED: Gardner, Frandsen.

REFEREE: Andy D’Urso (Essex).