A Few Observations From The Game Tonight.
Hertha Berlin 4-3 Liverpool
Liverpool were beaten 4-3 by German side Hertha Berlin in another pre-season friendly tonight. Hertha took the lead through Ascarciba, before Serda extended their lead with a cracking finish from an angle. Liverpool responded in the first half through Sadio Mané and Takumi Minamino, going in at the break level.
In the second half, Stefan Jovetic came on and scored a brace, before Oxlade-Chamberlain pulled one back for the Reds. Most notably though, it marked the return to action of centre back duo Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez. Read on for player ratings from tonight’s game;
At fault for the first goal as he chose to stay on his line instead of come out to collect the floated free kick. That gave Ascarciba the chance to connect on a volley six yards out, with Kelleher’s late lunge taking him out. Nothing he could have done about the second goal though, fantastic finish.
Played well, some trademark excellent passes and crosses. Put one on a plate for Matip far post with a first half free kick. Was skinned by Plattenhart on one occasion though. Kept combining well with Salah and Elliott ahead of him. Constant creative outlet. Got an hour in his legs.
His passing out from the back is such an asset. Several times he tried to play a forward through on goal. Not troubled much defensively even though we conceded two. Should have done better when Trent found him backpost. Always a threat from set pieces though. Subbed at halftime.
Cleared a few crosses with his head. Showed good strength on occasion. Can definitely pass from the back. He put one behind Trent and out for a throw and he was livid with himself.
Conceded the free kick that led to their opener. Created our opening goal too when he brilliantly intercepted the keeper’s throw out and charged into the box before laying it back for Mane to finish.
His passing range is quietly impressive as he sat at the base of midfield and distributed across the pitch. Looks set to start the season in that position as Fabinho and Henderson are still yet to report. His lack of pace can be a problem when he has to run back and cover an out of position fullback. Was tracking Serda when he scored but nobody expected him to shoot from such an acute angle. Played well. Got an hour.
Played really well first 30, before fading a bit. Some lovely touches on show. Wasn’t shy to take a shot too, twice trying his luck from range with one volley in particular going just over. He’s stronger on the ball than you’d think. Looks like he’s adapting really well to this new position that gets him into central positions.
Impressive again today. One turn away from his man in midfield was filthy. Played a lovely through ball to Salah for our equaliser. One miscommunication with Milner saw him dispossessed early on in a dangerous position which led to Boateng shooting wide. Got sixty minutes in his legs and was the pick of the bunch first half.
Full of running as usual, constantly gave the Hertha defence problems. Unselfish backheel to Minamino for the equaliser. Exquisite cross to Mane early on deserved a goal. Should have scored when he toe poked over, after the keeper had parried a Mane shot. Another who got an hour in his legs.
Thought he was anonymous and too lightweight again. Too easily pushed off the ball. But he got his goal, a tap in after excellent work by Keita and Salah. Did well to put one cross across the face of goal but Mane was on his heels.
He also made several runs in behind and had two bullet headers well kept out by the keeper, one from Salah’s cross to the backpost, and one from a near post corner. Took his goal well, showed determination to win the ball back after the defender initially got a touch. An hour in his legs. He looked knackered at times.
On at halftime. Started coming out for a cross and then changed his mind midway and ran back to his goal, giving Plattenhart the chance to send a volley goalwards. Not at fault for either Jovetic goal though.
Came on for the last half hour.
Came on at halftime and gave away a goal with poor positioning. He misjudged a cross and missed the header, leaving Jovetic free to head home. Went off for Gomez after 69 minutes.
On at halftime for Konate, went off for Virgil on 69.
On at halftime, he combined well with Jones to put one on a plate for Gordon on the penalty spot. Came flying in after Jovetic had gotten away from Virgil but was easily beaten by the striker for Hertha’s fourth goal. Combined really well with Jones and Jota down the left wing.
On for Milner in the last half hour. Better than last time out, more positive with his passing.
Came on for Keita in the last half hour.
On at halftime for Elliott, he impressed. Started well and looked to get in and around the box. Should shoot more though, always looking for a cute pass in the box.
The 16 year old continues to impress. His sense of positioning is natural and can’t be taught. On for Mo in the last half hour, he could have gotten a hat trick. His intelligent movement saw him find space on the penalty spot but he couldn’t wrap his foot round Robbo’s pull back, only managing to send it round the post.
Then Jota’s deep cross again found him free of the defender’s attentions but his header was straight down the middle and easy for the keeper. Last one was when he decided to go with his foot instead of his head after Jota’s shot had ricocheted to him. Exciting talent.
Also got a few sniffs of goal as soon as he came on. His left footed shot lacked power and was straight at the keeper, before he then sent a header over. He kept pushing though and got his reward when Virgil’s header was tipped into his path by the goalkeeper and he connected with a sweet right footed volley past a couple of defenders on the line. Tried to do too much late on when he attempted to power past three in midfield and lost the ball.
On for Mane in the last half hour, the Portuguese did well to reach a bachheeled pass by Robertson to send a left footed cross into the box for Gordon to attack. He then went on a mazy run when he jinked past three before getting a shot off. The keeper did well to parry and then close down Gordon on the rebound.
Great to see the big man back as he was given the last 21 minutes. He is obviously rusty and was left on the floor by Jovetic who then skinned Robertson before slamming home his second goal of the night. Virgil dusted himself down, went down the other end and hit a volley from a corner that was deflected into the keeper’s grasp. He then won the header which fell to Ox for our late goal. An assist of sorts. He will clearly need time to work towards his best.
Was brought on alongside Virgil as they reprised their record breaking partnership at the heart of defence. There was an early test of his pace when a pass was played in behind him but it was good to see he hadn’t lost any of it as he steamed back to clear. His rustiness was shown when another pass in behind saw him lose his man and the ball before having to hack him down to prevent him running through on goal. Like Virgil, it will take time but it will come.