Minutes after the last whistle, it started ringing again. Thousands of Liverpool FC fans in the stadium applauded as coach Jurgen Klopp said goodbye to the spectators. Even before this, when the players went to the dressing room, there was a lot of applause. This was certainly true of the Hertha BSc as well. Because the Berliners played a big part in the fact that the game at the Tivoli Stadium in Innsbruck was quite a spectacle.
The Bundesliga club defeated the 19-time English champion in 4:3. “It remains a Test match for me,” said coach Pal Dardai, not wanting to exaggerate the result. In the end, it is just preparation for the season, a poor draw against regional league club VfB Lübeck and a very convincing victory against Liverpool for the third time in the last Premier League season should not be overrated.
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But success is good for confidence, Dardai said: “We like to take it with us.” Especially since Liverpool had sent anything but a reserve team on the pitch. There were a lot of changes in the second half. But then Andrew Robertson, Scotland’s captain at the previous European Championship, and Virgil van Dijk played in defense after a protracted injury.
It didn’t look good at all when Steven Jovetic provided a highlight of a summer evening that wasn’t bad in terms of activities. He danced both the defenders one after the other and made the score 4-2. Earlier, Hertha’s new offensive made it 3-2 with a place header shortly after being substituted. Debut could hardly get better than this. Jovetic hints at why he has scored a ton of goals in the four top leagues in his career. “Let him play in the rooms the way you want him to,” said Dardai.
The template came from Dodi Lubacchio, who was also directly involved in the second goal, and acted much more distinctively than in previous friendly matches – which Dardai was pleased to see. “If no one is injured and Lubacchio runs like today, we have a good team,” re-emphasizing that one or two players are still needed.
His team attacked the opponent very early stages and presented him with problems. Three goals were worth watching, with Suat Serdar’s 2–0 coming in a particularly “extraordinary” category. The first hit by Santiago Ascasibar – who suffered a concussion and probably won’t be allowed into training until Wednesday – fell according to a standard version practiced in training units. “We showed what we practiced in the game. It felt good,” said the coach.
However, there were some things that Dardai did not like. When Liverpool picked up, Hertha came under enormous pressure. Which in itself is not surprising, as the British had the most finely manned offensive division. But Dardai was particularly troubled by the long phase in the second half, in which the Berliners could barely get out: “It didn’t look good and wasn’t fun,” Dardai said. Liverpool’s carelessness in front of the goal and strong goalkeeper Alexander Shvolo blocked the further goal.
Overall, however, the performance was quite impressive. “We have to keep working now,” said Dardai, who said a week after a win against Liverpool in sight of Sunday’s Cup first round: “The game against Maypen will have a different character.”