Both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez made their long-awaited return to football last night, but their comeback got marred by a long-time familiar foe in Stevan Jovetic.
It was a particularly long time out of action for the defensive duo, both of whom came off the bench after 70 minutes against Hertha Berlin at the Tivoli Stadium in Austria yesterday. While van Dijk was out of action for 285 days, Gomez was unavailable for 259 days.
However, the pair looked extremely rusty in defence – particularly Van Dijk, who took on the captain’s armband after coming on for the last 20 minutes.
The Dutchman’s lack of action for the better part of the last year showed as he was spun embarrassingly by former Manchester City player Stevan Jovetic, who turned the defender inside out to score Hertha’s fourth goal of the night.
With Joe Gomez committing early, Jovetic got a free pass to run at Van Dijk, who came up with some very uncharacteristic bad defending and ended up on the floor as Jovetic found the back of the net.
Welcome back Van Dijkpic.twitter.com/2IuPj5gMzh— Troll Football Media (@Troll__Footbal) July 30, 2021