Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez returned from long-term injuries as Liverpool lost 4-3 against Hertha Berlin. In just their second full pre-season game in Austria, Liverpool went 2-0 down thanks to goals from Santiago Ascacibar and Suat Serdar. Liverpool struck back before the halftime whistle with goals from Sadio Mane and Takumi Minamino.
Stevan Jovetic came on as a substitute in the second half and scored a brace to take the game away from Liverpool. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain pulled one back for the Reds but it proved to be just a consolation. Jurgen Klopp would not mind the defeat as both van Dijk and Joe Gomez came on for the last 20 mins after close to a year.
First-half team: Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Matip, Tsimikas; Milner, Keita, Elliott; Mane, Salah, Minamino
Second-half team: Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Williams, Robertson, Milner, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Salah, Mane
“It was a nice feeling. Started immediately well and usually, we all know that the fourth goal is a clear situation which saw and defend well. But that’s it,” said Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp after the game after they lost to Hertha Berlin. “I’m not sure, 260-something days for Virg and not much less for Joe they didn’t play football, so it’s nice to have them back. It was the first step, really important.”
“285 days ago, I started on a journey back towards playing,” said Van Dijk, writing on Twitter. “It’s hard to express how I am feeling, but it’s important to me that I say I feel blessed to have had the support of so many incredible people. The surgeon, my physios, coaches, and staff have been with me in my corner since day one. My teammates for giving me energy and keeping my head up. The fans for their love, support, and encouragement. And most of all, my family because without them, I’d be nothing. Thank you”