Klopp on Hertha Defeat and the Return of Van Dijk and Gomez

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Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp saw plenty of room for improvement on the pitch as The Reds lost 4-3 to Hertha BSC in their latest friendly.

Sadio Mané, Takumi Minamino, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were on the scoresheet for Klopp’s side while Mohamed Salah, Naby Keïta, and Harvey Elliott impressed throughout.

Scrappy defending at the other end meant Liverpool fell to their first loss of the summer so far, however.

Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com after the match, Klopp spoke of both the positives and the negatives from the game:

“It’s pre-season. So, I prefer winning football games obviously but the goals we conceded tonight were obviously for all different reasons. First goal, unnecessary free-kick, then a tricky situation, Caoimhin knows probably that he can come, stuff like this. Second goal, no challenge from Kostas, ball inside, then worldie. But we were back in the game. In the moment when we started playing the game and not the position, we were in the game and played really good football. 2-2 at half-time, all fine. Then a lot of changes and stuff like this. Jovetic came on and obviously the situation with the cross, Robbo is in the situation but Curt has to be there, two-v-one situation, avoid the cross. When the ball is in the air it’s difficult, a little misjudgement from the centre-half, that’s it. Then the fourth goal, a counter-attack. It’s like it always is but we have to get there again and it’s fine. Really good moments. We have to get much more compact in all situations as a formation. We have still a job to do obviously. We are sometimes really too far away from each other and that’s why they can play football there and we don’t get a proper feeling. A wonderful goal of Ox, our goals were brilliant, we could’ve scored more. A pre-season game, how I said.”

Of course, the main positive from the evening was the return to first-team action for both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez. Both defenders came on with around 20 minutes to play and, thankfully, emerged unscathed as they push for full match fitness ahead of the new season.

On their return, Klopp commented:

“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. 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.”

Next up for Liverpool, they head to Evian in France for the last overseas training camp venue of the pre-season. Klopp discussed his hopes for Evian and having the full squad back together by that stage:

“Nearly all are back, then during Evian, they will pretty much all be back I think. That’s good and then we can really start preparing, involve them all, get used to each other again and all this kind of stuff. Then we have a tricky start away at Norwich, that’s how it is. They obviously were flying last year, they’re probably still flying, so we have to be ready to fight – and I saw glimpses of a fight tonight. I saw the boys want and all this kind of stuff, there’s no doubt. All the things I said before the game – that we are in full training all the time. No doubt there was a lot of good things as well but, of course, conceding four is not an option – but for tonight we have to take it.”

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