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Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez make long-awaited Liverpool returns in friendly

By July 29, 2021No Comments

Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez both returned to action after long-term injuries in Liverpool’s 4-3 friendly defeat to Hertha Berlin in Austria.

Liverpool skipper Van Dijk and fellow defender Gomez both stepped off the bench for the final 20 minutes in Innsbruck where Jurgen Klopp’s side played their second full 90-minute match of their mini-tour.

Van Dijk and Gomez were absent for most of last season due to knee injuries as Liverpool lost their Premier League crown to Manchester City.

Holland international Van Dijk had surgery in November after damaging an anterior cruciate ligament in Liverpool’s 2-2 Premier League draw at Merseyside rivals Everton in October.

Gomez has also recovered from knee surgery, to repair a tendon, which he damaged while training for England before their friendly against the Republic of Ireland in November.

Bundesliga side Hertha led 2-0 after 31 minutes through Argentina midfielder Santiago Ascacibar and Suat Serdar’s fine finish before Liverpool hit back to restore parity at half-time.

Kostas Tsimikas crossed for Sadio Mane to convert from close range and Takumi Minamino brilliantly back-heeled the equaliser after good work from Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita.

Liverpool substitute, 16-year-old Kaide Gordon, twice went close for the Reds before Hertha regained the lead through Stevan Jovetic.

Jovetic ran clear to slide home Hertha’s fourth goal and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s 88th-minute volley made it 4-3.

The defeat was Liverpool’s first in pre-season following two 1-1 draws in mini-matches against Wacker Innsbruck and Stuttgart and last Friday’s 1-0 win against Mainz.