Liverpool continued their preparations for the 2021-22 campaign as they faced Hertha Berlin in a pre-season friendly on Thursday. Although the Reds suffered a 3-4 defeat against the German side, they had plenty of positives to come away with.
The big boosts for the Merseyside giants were that star centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez returned to action following long spells out with injury. The two defenders were introduced as second-half substitutes, giving Liverpool fans plenty to cheer about.
Liverpool vs Hertha Berlin report and highlights
Santiago Ascacibar and Suat Serdar gave Hertha a two-goal lead over Liverpool before the half-hour mark. However, Liverpool struck back through Sadio Mane and Takumi Minamino to draw level before the break.
Stevan Jovetic then put Hertha back in front midway through the second half before Klopp decided to ring the changes for Liverpool. Klopp then brought on Van Dijk and Gomez to give them some precious minutes following their lengthy spells away from the pitch.
Despite Liverpool’s star duo at the heart of defence, Jovetic was able to add another goal in the 80th minute. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain did manage to pull one back for Liverpool just a few minutes before full-time.
Liverpool eventually suffered a 4-3 defeat against Hertha Berlin at the Tivoli Stadion Tirol.
Van Dijk and Gomez return to action following injury spells
Van Dijk and Gomez returning to action were welcome sights for Liverpool fans. Both players had been training with Liverpool in their pre-season camp in Austria, and Klopp had previously mentioned that he might give the two of them an opportunity against Berlin.
The two defenders were visibly thrilled when they were brought on in the 69th minute. There were also cheers from fans in the stadium when they got on the ball.
Van Dijk had been out for nine months after surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The Dutchman sustained the damage against Everton last October.
Van Dijk sustained his injury when Toffees goalkeeper Jordan Pickford clattered into his knee during the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park. Due to his injury, Van Dijk missed the remainder of the 2020-21 season.
Meanwhile, Gomez had to undergo surgery on his knee. The English star needed to repair a tendon he damaged while training for England before their friendly against Ireland in November. Gomez was also ruled out for the season as Liverpool’s injury crisis worsened at the time.
Liverpool finished last season in third place on the Premier league table. They were also dumped out of the Champions League by Real Madrid at the quarterfinal stage. However, with Van Dijk and Gomez returning to the fold, Liverpool have plenty to look forward to for the upcoming campaign.
Liverpool will begin their 2021-22 PL season against Norwich City on August 14. They will face Athletic Club and Osasuna in two more friendlies before their season begins.