When Liverpool take on Hertha Berlin in Innsbruck on Thursday, it will be four years to the day since the Reds last faced the club from the German capital.

Jurgen Klopp’s men ran out 3-0 winners at the Olympiastadion but, despite a resounding victory, a quick look at the Liverpool line-up back then shows just how the manager has revolutionised the team to give it such a dynamic killer edge in the seasons since.

This was Mohamed Salah’s first summer at the club having joined from Roma in a £36.5m deal five weeks earlier. The Egyptian came on for the second half and netted on the hour mark.

Latching onto a pass over the top from Philippe Coutinho to lob the keeper, Salah’s perfectly timed run and exquisite finish was a sign of things to come. It is a shame the duo didn’t not play together for longer before the Brazilian’s switch to Barcelona, but a greater shame for Coutinho than for Salah and for Liverpool.

In the seasons following this standard pre-season friendly win, Klopp would go on to build a ferocious side whose constant pressing and swashbuckling counter-attacks would leave opponents begging for mercy. Attack after attack after attack would lead to quickfire goals and games wrapped up in a blink of an eye.

It was Dominic Solanke who headed Liverpool ahead from a clipped in ball from the left boot of Adam Lallana. The striker would go on to make 21 Premier League appearances during the 2017-18 campaign.

Now, though, he is playing in the second tier with Bournemouth, netting 15 times in the Championship last season after his first two seasons on the south coast yielded just three goals.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have plundered in goals in the three seasons since Solanke left, and now boast an even fiercer frontline since Diogo Jota joined the Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino triumiative.

Lallana, meanwhile, turned 33 in May and joined Brighton last summer. Following his departure, the Reds bolstered the midfield with a top-class quality replacement, signing Thiago Alcantara for £25m from Bayern Munich.

Emre Can also featured, as did Gini Wijnaldum who scored. While the latter departed Anfield this summer for Paris Saint-Germain, Can left for Juventus three years ago. Naby Keita came in to fill the void and while his Liverpool career has been beset by a lack of form and fitness problems. Fabinho joined at the same time and has been a machine in the centre of the park, providing a robustness Can did not.

However, it is at the back where Liverpool have most improved since that summer day in Berlin and the improvement in defence is what clinched the Premier League title in 2020.

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In front of Simon Mignolet, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan and Alberto Moreno took the field.

Andrew Robertson was the first vital cog of the current crop to join and actually came on as a second-half substitute a week after signing from Hull for just £8million. Gomez then thrived at centre-back before missing much of last season while academy graduate Trent Alexander-Arnold became a first-team regular to transform the right-back berth with his stunning passing and crossing range.

It was goalkeeper and centre-back purchases though which really took Liverpool to the next level.

The arrival of Alisson from Roma and Virgil van Dijk turned the Reds into a completely different animal.

The Dutchman has been a rock. He is a leader who marshals the team with such authority, it can sometimes feel he is solely responsible for how perfectly it functions, front to back.

Alisson between the sticks boasts a dependability lacking in Mignolet’s game. The Brazilian is a strong presence. Sure, he has made an error or two in the past, all keepers do, but for the vast majority of matches, he does not put a foot wrong.

Liverpool were a strong and talented side when they last faced Hertha Berlin. They were worthy winners.

However, the Bundesliga side will realise swiftly that Klopp has transformed the Reds into a ravenous and ruthless machine since that game four years ago.

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