Gladbach spoil Cole's Reds debut
Joe Cole's debut for Liverpool ended in defeat as they went down 1-0 to Borussia Monchengladbach.
Roy Hodgson fielded a strong side including England's FIFA World Cup™ captain Steven Gerrard, as well as Jamie Carragher and Glen Johnson, while Fabio Aurelio was named on the bench after re-signing for the club yesterday.
Monchengladbach had arranged the match as part of their 110th anniversary celebrations at Borussia Park, and the hosts broke the deadlock 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 the 25-year-old produced a powerful finish.
Matmour was proving a real irritant for the Anfield club and 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. The former West Ham United and Chelsea player was withdrawn nine minutes later.
Borussia continued to threaten and, although David Amoo headed narrowly wide, the Germans fully deserved their victory.
Birmingham held, Wigan lose
A goal eight minutes from time by Ian Harte gave Carlisle United victory over Hibernian in a low-key game at Brunton Park. The former Leeds United left-back headed home a James Berrett corner after losing his marker to earn a deserved win for the League One side, who also came close through Craig Curran.
Hibs had a goal disallowed for an apparent offside in the first half, but they produced little in attack after the break, bar an attempt by Anthony Stokes which goalkeeper Adam Collin saved with his leg.
A late goal by Liam Davis earned Northampton Town a 2-2 draw with a Birmingham City at Sixfields. The Premier League side fielded a strong line-up including James McFadden, Cameron Jerome and Lee Bowyer. However, it was the Cobblers who went ahead when Billy McKay held off Liam Ridgewell to poke the ball past keeper Maik Taylor.
The Blues levelled five minutes after half-time, before McFadden put Alex McLeish's side ahead with a little over 20 minutes remaining. Davis, though, had the last word, scoring an equaliser with five minutes left.
Chester City had an emphatic win as they beat Wigan Athletic 4-0 at the Deva Stadium.