Hodgson Says Cole Didn't Mean It
Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has denied that new midfielder Joe Cole intended to hurt Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny after the England player was sent off on for a tackle on the Frenchman in the club’s first game of the season.
Cole, who Hodgson signed on a free transfer from Champions Chelsea earlier in the summer, was sent off in injury time in the first half after what looked like a nasty lunge on Arsene Wenger's latest French defensive prodigy.
"From what I've seen on the TV images, and I've got to say in real time it's very difficult to have a clear opinion of it, it's obviously one of those challenges where people throw themselves to stop the ball being played down the line or played forward.
Hodgson, however, feels that Cole did not mean to hurt the defender.
"Unfortunately, there's a collision between the player and the defender, and the referee often sees it as being a worse foul than perhaps it was.
"I was pleased to see the Arsenal player was not badly hurt as he was able to play the full 90 minutes."
Liverpool seemed unaffected by the red card shown to former West Ham playmaker Cole and took the lead through young French forward David N'Gog, who has started the season well, scoring in the Europa League also so far this year.
However, they let Arsenal back into the game at the death, with an own goal from goalkeeper Jose Reina breaking Liverpool's hearts in the final few minutes and Hodgson admitted his disappointment.
He said: "It was a bit disappointing, I suppose, to have lost two points so close to the end, but I thought it was a remarkable performance after having to play the whole of the second half with 10 men against a strong Arsenal team.
"I thought it was a sterling effort in the second half.”
Liverpool are 143/10 with betdaq to win the Premier League this season, with bet365 offering 14/1 and Sky Bet offering 10/1.