Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish was happy to hand Joe Cole his chance in last night's victory over Sparta Prague.

Dalglish opted to hand Joe Cole his first start since the trip to Blackburn on January 5 and the midfielder almost capped it with a second goal deep into stoppage time.

The boss admitted he had not intended to give the No.10 the full 90 minutes but saw his hand forced following injuries to Martin Kelly and Daniel Agger.

"It was a surprise," he joked when asked about Cole's late run and shot.

"Obviously we picked up one or two knocks in the match. Martin Kelly felt a wee twinge at the top of his leg so he had to come off at half-time. Then Daniel Agger had to come off and Soto split his eye.

"Maybe Joe wouldn't have been on for that length of time but he had to be."

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