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WhoScored: Zabaleta-Sterling a key battle

Tactics And Analysis 10 hours ago
Read
 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 19, 2010

Cole refuses to dwell on penalty miss

Joe Cole was quick to shoulder the blame after missing a penalty in Wednesday Europa League play-off first leg against Turkish Cup winners Trabzonspor at Anfield.

Hodgson: Work to do

Ryan Babel handed Liverpool a slender advantage in first-half injury time before promptly being substituted, but Cole spurned a great chance to double the Reds' lead in the second-half, seeing his spot-kick saved by Trabzonspor goalkeeper Onur Kivrak.

It has been a miserable week for the midfielder, having been sent off against Arsenal on Sunday and many have questioned why Cole, who reportedly had one of the worst records from 12 yards during World Cup training, was taking the penalty when Fernando Torres was on the pitch.

Asked when he last took a penalty, Cole told ITV1: "When I was about 13, and I scored that one.

"It was a bad penalty (tonight). It was pre-determined that I'd take it but you can't dwell on those things. It was a bad penalty but we won 1-0 so we'll take the positives from that.''

On his new playmaking role for Liverpool, Cole said: "It's nice. I'm finding my feet in there.

"It's my job to do that, to make goals, and it was nice to do that for Ryan tonight. He's a terrific player. I'm enjoying my time here, I've had a decent start.''

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson was happy with his side's performance but admitted regret at the Cole's missed penalty.

"We could have won more comfortably, particularly in the second half when we were good value for the victory. When you miss a penalty you've only got yourself to blame.

"We were fairly fortunate to get the penalty in the sense that it was just a clumsy challenge, but it was a great opportunity to put the game beyond doubt and then we had a goal disallowed.''

When it was suggested to Hodgson the Trabzonspor goalkeeper had made the most of Christian Poulsen's presence before the midfielder stabbed the ball home - although it may have been ruled out for offside - he said: "They do in these countries, to be fair. It was difficult for me to see from the bench.

"One-nil is not a bad result but it's going to be tough for us over there because they are a good team.''

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