After The Match 


Borussia M.-Liverpool 1-0 (1-0)     1.8.10                PS friendly
Goals: Matmour (8)
Team: Cavalieri, Johnson, Insua, Ayala, Carragher, Gerrard, Shelvey, Ince, Eccleston, Cole, Dalla Valle
Subs: Jovanovic (Dalla Valle 46), Wilson (Carragher 46), Darby (Johnson 60), Aurelio (Insua 60), Spearing (Gerrard 62), Amoo (ince 62), Aquilani (Cole 65), Gulacsi (Cavalieri 68), Anderson (Brouwers 69), Irwin (Eccleston 78), Sterling (Shelvey 84), Suso (Jovanovic 89)
Not used:
Yellow: Jamie Carragher (42)      Raheem Sterling (90)
Red: None
Referee: Florian Steuer
Attendance: 51,515
Shots on target:
Shots off target:
Blocked shots:
Fouls conceded:

HEADLINES "I am seeing improvements in some individual players..."
Roy Hodgson
0208: Cole in confident mood
0108: Roy's Borussia verdict
0108: Cole starts in friendly loss


Cole in confident mood

Sky Sports

Liverpool star Joe Cole is confident his new side will be ready to fire on all cylinders for the start of the season.

Cole made his Reds debut in Sunday's friendly defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach alongside returning England team-mates Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Glen Johnson.

Despite going down 1-0 in Germany, Cole is optimistic Roy Hodgson's troops will be ready for the big kick-off on 15th August against Arsenal.

"It was a good workout," said Cole. "It was a very hot day and pre-season is always difficult. There were no injuries, so everything went well.

"It was lovely to pull on a red shirt. I really enjoyed it. I'm glad I got a run-out as I needed to get the legs going.

"We have looked solid in all the pre-season games and we can build on that.

"We lost the game, but the young lads who were playing got some good experience. While it's good to do lots of training, you need as many games as you can and I am so glad I got through the 60 minutes.

"Nobody is firing on all cylinders yet, but there were some good moments and the main thing we take out of it is the shape of the team and the organisation, which was good. We will be ready for Arsenal."

 Roy's Borussia verdict

By James Carroll in Germany - LFC Official Website

Roy Hodgson admitted there were plenty of positives to take from the performance of his Liverpool players, despite a 1-0 defeat to Borussia Moenchengladbach in Germany.

The Reds slipped to a narrow loss at Borussia Park after Karim Matmour made the most of some poor defending to give the Bundesliga side victory as they celebrated their 110th anniversary.

However, Hodgson was able to field summer signing Joe Cole as well as England colleagues Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Glen Johnson for the first time under his stewardship and insisted there was much to be encouraged by.

The boss told "We gave it to them again. It's disappointing. If it had stayed 0-0 I would have been delighted with the performance. I am still quite pleased and I think we got everything we asked from the players.

"We had three or four World Cup players playing their first 45 or 60 minutes and, of course, at the end of the game we had players who are only 15 and 16 on the field. I thought they stood up to the challenge very well.

"As in Kaiserslautern, we came close to a really good result. It was an even game but, as I said, unfortunately after 10 minutes with no pressure on us at all, we gave away that very bad goal."

Daniel Ayala was guilty of conceding possession cheaply inside his own area for the Moenchengladbach goal after eight minutes - but Hodgson had words of comfort for the young centre-back.

He said: "Ayala was our best player after the mistake and I think that shows what kind of character he is.

"To make a mistake like that after eight minutes, most players would crumble but not only did he get himself going again, I thought he was a pillar in our defence and I take my hat off to him.

"Mistakes are mistakes - they happen and you learn from it. I am pleased with him."

The clash in Germany represented Liverpool's final pre-season friendly of the summer - and Hodgson admits it has been difficult to prepare for the new campaign due to the extended breaks many of his senior stars were afford following the World Cup.

"I am seeing improvements in some individual players but we haven't really had the chance to work together as a team as yet," he said. "I don't even think we're going to be together as a team as I would like us to be on August 15 as we are still reintegrating players.

"Joe and Steven played their first 60 minutes today, Jamie Carragher played 45 and Johnson 55 - we're just reintegrating players all the time. It's going to take a bit of time.

"But today was an exercise and certainly not negative in anyway other than the fact our young players must realise at this very, very high level you are judged on mistakes and if you make glaring ones, you're going to be judged very harshly."

Despite fielding Gerrard, Cole, Carragher and Johnson, Hodgson is unsure whether they will be considered for Thursday's Europa League third qualifying round tie with FK Rabotnicki at Anfield.

He admitted: "I haven't decided yet. We've left a lot a players back at home - Kelly, Agger, Soto and Skrtel - so there's a whole back four and the chances are that's the back four that will play. We will see if they will get any minutes and I will speak to them.

"There's also the question of what is going to be best to get them fit for the game on August 15. We will have to sit down and talk about it."

Meanwhile, Hodgson explained why he opted to give youngsters Raheem Sterling and Jesus 'Suso' Fernandez some playing time towards the end of the clash.

"We were short of players but as it happened, Aurelio signed at the last minute and Insua decided that he is still undecided about his future and was therefore able to be selected," he said.

"Suddenly we had 20 players instead of 18. I was concerned in the beginning we wouldn't have 18 players so Raheem Sterling and Suso were called up and having done so I wanted to give them a few minutes on the pitch."

Cole starts in friendly loss

By James Carroll in Moenchengladbach - LFC Official Website

Joe Cole made his Liverpool debut as the Reds slipped to a 1-0 defeat in a pre-season friendly with Borussia Moenchengladbach in Germany on Sunday afternoon.

The summer signing delivered an encouraging 65-minute performance at Borussia Park and displayed some slick link-up play with his new teammates - particularly with Steven Gerrard, who along with Jamie Carragher and Glen Johnson, made his first appearance for the Reds under new manager Roy Hodgson.

There were also late cameos for Academy starlets Raheem Sterling and Jesus 'Suso' Fernandez as the Reds continued their preparations for the start of the Barclays Premier League season in two weeks time.

However, Moenchengladbach were eager to put on a show for their home crowd and duly opened the scoring on eight minutes as Karim Matmour capitalised on a defensive error to score.

The German club arranged the clash as part of their 110th anniversary celebrations and given the bond between the two sets of supporters that stretches back nearly four decades, Liverpool were more than fitting opposition.

Fans from both teams lined up to create a guard of honour for the players entering the impressive Borussia Park arena, before Gerry Marsden delivered a rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone that will live long in the memory for everyone privileged enough to be amongst the near-60,000 crowd.

The sense of excitement engulfing the stadium was further lifted by the sight of Cole wearing red for the first time.

Meanwhile, Fabio Aurelio was named amongst the substitutes after penning a two-year contract less than 24 hours previously, while Academy starlets Raheem Sterling and Jesus 'Suso' Fernandez were also on the bench.

The home side fashioned the first chance of a warm afternoon with Juan Arango drilling low into the arms of Diego Cavalieri from the corner of the box inside four minutes.

The Venezuelan went closer still moments later as he clipped a 25-yard free-kick narrowly wide of the upright.

However, Moenchengladbach made the breakthrough in the eighth minute when Matmour took full advantage of some sloppy play by Daniel Ayala. The youngster collected possession from Cavalieri inside the area, but his first touch was heavy under pressure and was punished by a powerful finish by the onrushing Borussia No.40.

The goal appeared to stun the Reds, who had dominated possession prior to conceding. Die Fohlen were looking menacing and the visitors were afforded a let off when Matmour completely missed his kick when well positioned.

With the Algerian's confidence visibly buoyed by his goal, Matmour was proving a real handful and his stinging drive required Cavalieri to palm the ball to safety on the half-hour mark.

Hodgson opted to introduce Milan Jovanovic and Danny Wilson into the action at half-time, but Moenchengladbach had the first chance of the second period as Arango's volleyed effort from Tobias Levels's cross deflected off Johnson, but Cavalieri was able to smother.

Liverpool fashioned their first chance of note on 56 minutes as Cole's low drive from distance was parried by substitute goalkeeper Christofer Heimeroth. Nathan Eccleston was on hand to collect the rebound, but the youngster couldn't profit as Die Fohlen recovered.

Shortly after the hour mark, Gerrard was withdrawn from the contest before Cole made way to a warm ovation from both sets of fans.

Borussia continued to threaten and Marco Raus blazed high and wide from a good position before Wilson was forced to cut out a dangerous centre from Arango.

With the clock ticking down, Hodgson handed Sterling and Suso senior bows, while fellow substitute David Amoo narrowly glanced a header wide of the post - but the hosts were good value for their win.

And though the Reds were unable to spoil Borussia's anniversary festivities, Hodgson will have been highly encouraged by a number of his players' performances - both old and new alike.

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Thor Zakariassen