Yesterday Hertha BSC took on the English giants Liverpool over at the Olympiastadion, a glamor pre-season friendly that the website had been hyping up for about two weeks with lots of tidbits. 51,684 spectators gathered to watch one of the world’s most famous sides, with their famous world-class players.
Well, some of them, anyway Steven Gerrard was out with a minor injury, while the Spanish trio of Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso, and Pepe Reina were still not back from their exertions in Swiss Austria Euro 2008. But hey, Andriy Voronin was there! To be fair, we were still missing our skipper Arne Friedrich and Josip Simunic, who’s still “injured.” New signing Cicero wasn’t quite ready to start yet, and other new signing Maximilian Nicu was injured as well.
The Hertha side was the same starting 11 as the one that thrashed Nistru Otaci last week. Liverpool did feature some very good players, like Mascherano and Carragher. I’m in the process of acquiring the game, but it was a 0-0 draw and from several reports was not particularly interesting. The one moment of drama was a penalty, awarded right at the start of the second half, when Kaká fouled Voronin in the area. The Ukrainian stepped up to take it and the shot was saved by second goalkeeper Christian Fiedler, who had just been introduced at the half. So that’s nice.
It also seems as if Hertha looked bright and attacking, at least enough of the time for it to be commented on, which is nice to see. Of course the players want to impress on a big stage, but it’s nice to hear anyway.
It was also a chance for Lulu and his buddy Rafael Benitez to meet up in person- they’ve been in contact since Lulu’s Servette lost to Benitez’s Valencia in the 2002 UEFA Cup. Now they got to see each other face to face instead of on the phone- isn’t that sweet?