Belfast Telegraph

Joe Cole won't dwell on Liverpool penalty miss

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

Ryan Babel handed Liverpool a slender advantage in first-half injury time before promptly being substituted.

Liverpool should have won more convincingly but Cole's miserable week - after being sent off against Arsenal on Sunday - continued as he had a second-half penalty saved.

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."

Reds manager Roy Hodgson told ITV1: "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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