Cole strikes but Lille prove fragile again

 

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The Independent Online

Joe Cole has been labelled as "international class" by his new coach Rudi Garcia after the former Chelsea and Liverpool midfielder scored his first goal for French champions Lille against Lorient with a superb 30-yard strike.

Lille have endured a frustrating start to the season and could not hold on to their lead to record their fourth successive draw, a last-minute equaliser by Kévin Monnet-Paquet meaning Saturday's game finished1-1."I wish my goal had secured victory for the team," Cole said. "I'm glad to score my first goal for Lille but we are disappointed because we should have won. We need to transfer draws to wins."

Signing for Lille on a season-long loan from Liverpool, Cole is the first Englishman to score in Ligue 1 since Chris Waddle did so for Marseilles in 1992 and he feels he has already built a good rapport with his new team. "The people here have welcomed me very well," Cole added, "but it's hard to take such a late goal in the game."

Lionel Messi, meanwhile, has stated his desire to become Barcelona's all-time top scorer after his hat-trick helped his side to a 5-0 win over Athletico Madrid on Saturday.

The Argentine is currently 42 goals short of Cesar Rodriguez's record but having scored 53 goals last year, he believes the record can be broken by the end of the season. "Obviously I'm very excited about becoming top scorer. Hopefully I can beat his statistics – I want to continue breaking records here."

In Italy, Claudio Ranieri got his Internazionale reign off to a winning start with a 3-1 win over Bologna. The former Chelsea manager was appointed on Thursday following Inter's poor start to the season, in which they had picked up just one point from three games. Giampaolo Pazzini opened the scoring but ex-West Ham midfielder Alessandro Diamanti equalised for Bologna before Diego Milito and Lucio secured the win deep in the second-half.

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