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.
There were, though, many encouraging things to come from the match for Liverpool – not least the sight of two exciting 16 year olds finishing the match after cameo sub appearances late on.
And, of course, seeing England trio Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson back in action. Joined now by Cole, who began started just behind youngster Lauri Dalla Valle up-front.
There were also an impressive appearances from new signing Jonjo Shelvey, who played almost the whole match.
And two left-backs who had seemingly left the club were both involved here, with Emiliano Insua said to be undecided over his move to Fiorentina and so he was involved for the first time this pre-season, while Fabio Aurelio, who just yesterday it was announced has returned to the club, replaced him in the second half.
Möchengladbach had arranged the match at Borussia-Park as part of their 110th anniversary celebrations, and they made a breakthrough through Karim Matmour in the eighth minute. The Algerian took advantage of some poor play by Daniel Ayala inside the area and the defender was duly punished as Matmour produced a powerful finish. Ayala, though, recovered well and earned praise from manager Roy Hodgson in his post-match comments for how well he played after the mistake.
Matmour came close to doubling his side’s lead, with Liverpool having to wait until the 56th minute for their first real chance, when Cole’s low drive was parried, although the former Chelsea player was withdrawn nine minutes later. Borussia continued to threaten and although Liverpool’s David Amoo headed narrowly wide, Mönchengladbach deserved their win.
The Reds are next in action in the return leg against Rabotnicki at Anfield on Thursday night. The Spanish and Dutch lads return to training at Melwood tomorrow morning.
Liverpool: Cavalieri (Gulacsi 69), Johnson (Darby 59), Insua (Aurelio 59), Ayala, Carragher (Wilson 45), Gerrard (Spearing 62), Shelvey (Sterling 84), Ince (Amoo 62), Eccleston (Irwin 78), Cole (Aquilani 65), Dalla Valle (Jovanovic 45) (Suso 89).