The centre-backs came on in the 69th minute after being out of action for over nine months. As Van Dijk has been out since last October with an ACL injury, and days later Gomez was also sidelined for the year when he did damage to his left knee, requiring surgery.

Although Both had been training with Liverpool in their pre-season camp in Austria, but despite Klopp saying they were unlikely to play any minutes against Hertha Berlin, he sprung a surprise by introducing the pair in the second half.

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After the game, Klopp said: “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.”

Meanwhile, Van Dijk thanked his surgeon and Liverpool staff for helping him in his recovery, admitting he found it difficult to describe how he felt after his long-awaited comeback.

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“285 days ago, I started on a journey back towards playing,” said Van Dijk, writing on Twitter. “It’s hard to express how I am feeling, but it’s important to me that I say I feel blessed to have had the support of so many incredible people.

“The surgeon, my physios, coaches and staff who have been with me in my corner since day one. My team-mates for giving me energy and keeping my head up. The fans for their love, support and encouragement. And most of all, my family because without them, I’d be nothing. Thank you”

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