Virgil van Dijk: Liverpool star's return vs Hertha Berlin didn't go entirely to plan

Virgil van Dijk in action for Liverpool vs Hertha Berlin

Virgil van Dijk made his first appearance for Liverpool in 285 days on Thursday evening.

The Dutchman suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament against Everton last October.

He has been out of action ever since but was named on the bench for The Reds' pre-season match against Hertha Berlin in Austria.

Liverpool were trailing 3-2 when Van Dijk made his return with 20 minutes to go.

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But his first game back didn't go entirely to plan.

The Dutchman was the last line of defence as Steven Jovetic ran towards Liverpool's goal in the 80th minute.

Virgil van Dijk in action for Liverpool

Van Dijk is usually so cool and composed in these situations but he found himself second best on this occasion as Jovetic left him on the floor.

The Hertha Berlin striker would go on to fire past Adrian after sending Andy Robertson flying.

That's not the return Van Dijk would have wanted.

Still, it's nothing to worry about for Liverpool fans. Van Dijk was always going to be rusty after spending so much time out.

It's all about getting minutes under his belt and that's exactly what he managed to do on Thursday.

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Van Dijk is the world's best defender at his best and it won't be long until he's back to that level.

Liverpool went on to pull one back through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's well-struck volley with two minutes remaining.

But The Reds couldn't find an equaliser as they fell to a 4-3 defeat.

Joe Gomez also made his return on the evening and Jurgen Klopp was pleased to see them back on the pitch.

He said: "It was a nice feeling.... eh? Usually we all know the fourth goal, we defend that situation well. But it's nice to have them back. First step, really important."

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